Indians owner Larry Dolan spoke at a luncheon earlier today and criticized Yankee owner George Steinbrenner for the economic problems in baseball ("George is a large part of our problem''). He also hinted that a strike ``will be very harmful, but necessary perhaps.''
This team pays substantial salaries to Burks, Nagy, Fryman, and Guiterrez (playing out of position), all of whom are over 32 and past their prime; throw in large salaries to injured and unproductive Jaret Wright and overpaid though effective, second-year man, Danys Baez, and an already-released, over-the-hill Brady Anderson and Wil Cordero (over $4M), and you have a number of really bad decisions. Meanwhile Cleveland dumps all of its useful players (Ramirez, Alomar, Colon, etc.) and is reportedly dumping more (Thome, Vizquel), and they blame Steinbrenner for their problems. They still have the ninth highest team salary in baseball and have nothing to show for it.
I wonder if Dolan will incur the wrath of Selig and be levied one of Bud's million-dollar fines under the commissioner's yet-to-be-implemented gag rule. If no fine is levied, we can assume that Dolan's actions are condoned (maybe he even spoke on Selig's behest). If a fine is assessed, the veneer may be cracking on the owners' carefully crafted fašade-the greater the reaction, the worse the dissension.