Indians president Mark Shapiro: If you only care about winning, don’t renew your season tickets

Cleveland Indians president Mark Shapiro has been facing some criticism over comments he made on a local TV station recently in response to an angry season ticket holder’s email. The fan asked Shapiro to give him a reason to renew his tickets for 2013, and Shapiro told the fan “don’t come” if his only reason for going to games is to see the team win.

Not exactly the brightest thing a team president can say to a frustrated customer, so Shapiro attempted to clarify his response on Tuesday. He did not do a very good job.

“I told him if the sole reason, the only reason, for renewing is predicated on us winning, then they shouldn’t come,” Shapiro said according to Bruce Hooley of ESPN Cleveland. “I stand by that. Baseball has to mean more than just being a fan when you win.

“No where are we spending more of our time, more of our energy or more money in trying to win. We all understand that the single-most important thing in baseball is winning and losing. But we are always going to have cycles to when we can win.”

Once again, not the brightest thing for a team’s president to say. Some personal seat licenses belong to people with businesses who don’t care about the team or rich people with so much money they need to find ways to spend it. But many season tickets are sold to people whose sole reason for opening up their wallets each season is that “this could be our year.”

Is there more to going to a ballgame than seeing your team win? Of course, and season ticket holders know they are going to see plenty of losses each season no matter how good there team is. That being said, the idea is to win. If you don’t think your team has a shot at the postseason and you aren’t made of money, why not save a few grand?

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Around The Web

  • JamesT32

    Yeah, not the brightest thing to say publicly when you’re in the business of making money, but in a society full of useless people who lie and bulls**t on a continual basis it’s occasionally enjoyable to see someone have the balls to step up and slap the masses in the face with a dose of reality as opposed to coddling them and telling them what they’d prefer to hear.  More power to Shapiro as executives worried about getting fired don’t say things like that.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPCJOREDAL2HWSKQBCRAW5QV3E Lisa Gentile

    I’m just looking at a study showing that the Indians have the second largest drop-off in attendance, next to the Mariners, over the last 10 years.  You can’t keep breaking the hearts of your fans year after year, after year, etc. and expect them to pony up the kind of money needed for season tickets.  Yeah, they may fork over some dough every year for a select game or two, but when management doesn’t want to spend the money, why should the fans?  Aren’t they (Shapiro, etc.) supposed to love the game too?  I’m sorry, its just not as much fun when you keep losing.  This isn’t even really a slam towards the players as much as it is with the front office.  If I want to watch AAA ball, I’ll go see the Clippers!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/5BJ6LJKI2WYHXA3R7GKLKNAJGM Jesse

    My question is: HUH?

    It seems to me pretty much every baseball fan out there on the planet WANTS to see their team win – seems to me that’s a prerequisite to fulfilling the description of “fan” This guy runs the Indians organization and said one stupid thing, then tried to qualify his remarks with another stupid comment? Seems to me there’s going to be a job opening or two in Cleveland baseball soon.

    What a bonehead……

  • craigincalifornia

    As a fan, I expect to see the front office attempt, in good faith, to put together a team that will compete and not just fill the field, and that is exactly what the Indians front office has done for the last ten years, just fill the field with players. I’m glad that Shapiro has finally admitted to the entire fan base his idea of how to put together a team. We have seen his talent in trades and in prospects and have always knew he was not a true baseball person.
    Again, thank you Mr. Shapiro for the clarification, we always supicioned it but now it’s in the open and on the record!
    P.S. To think the Dolans listen to him, wow! What do you think of that? 

  • craigincalifornia

    Just learned that one can not write anything critical of Shapiro on the Indians home page, they are also controlling what fans write. Several attempts to write a little note concerning the radio interview and it got zapped.
    Now aint that something!!

  • 2jesi2

    As a fan you are not an expert to comment.  As a fan you trade what you pay for a ticket for the entertainment you get when you go to a game.  It’s a game, not brain surgery.  There is no such thing as an expert fan, or an all conference fan or an all pro fan.  You are a fan. A customer.  Someone who probably drives a min-van.  Every time I happen on these sites, it’s some FAN giving their advice.  As a FAN you pay a dollar.  If you don’t think it’s worth it, spend your dollar someplace else – like a movie.

  • bobosox

    Think about it a little more deeply.  If you’re a real baseball fan then you enjoy all the nuances of the game and that includes winning.  But winning isn’t the only thing that makes a well played game by both teams enjoyable.  What isn’t enjoyable is crazed fans whipped up on beer displaying rudeness, ignorance, and what they think is rooting for their team.  The  Yankees are perennial winners, but their fans are the games worst losers.  I agree with Shapiro somewhat, but he certainly didn’t express himself very clearly.


  • mikehjohnson

    Tell that to the Red Sox fans. REAL baseball fans.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2VK5FYHFA2QG4IX22IQIGBIPDI David

    Hey, if you don’t care to watch winning baseball, become a Pirate fan.

  • astros_should_be_fortyfives

    how is it refreshing to see a rich asshole put down one of his meal tickets ….that is what they do constantly that is not out of the norm they could care less and when he is fired eventually because his team sucks and will continue to suck until someone who actually care a little about baseball replaces him.All that being said indians season ticket holders are chumps for continuing to supporrt that type of front office bullshit with their hard earned money and they deserve what they get.

  • astros_should_be_fortyfives

    wrong,braves fans or possibly phillies are the worst.

  • rmcdonald422

    I’m not an Indians fan, but I am a big baseball fan.  Most Indians fans are savvy enough to know that the team will not be competitive based on the roster and the lack of forward momentum.  So, when a fan asks “why should I come to the park” and the answer is “don’t”, my question would be what else does the team offer in terms of entertainment?  The team President, faced with plummeting attendance, has to be MUCH smarter than this.  Could he have not talked about promotions, the ambiance of the park, other attractions, as well as watching a young team trying to grow into a winner?  It’s called public relations…might want to look into it.
    Fans may feel overly entitled, but c’mon, you GOTTA be smarter than this.  Acting like this only further alienates the fan base that drives the financial engine of the team.  It’s like pouring sugar in your gas tank.  DUMB.

  • natethesk8

    I was going to comment, then I read this. Nicely put. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.turcorz Anna Lynn Turcorz

    That bugs the heck out of me–when someone tells me, as a fan or customer, what I should do. I cheer for my team, win or lose, and certainly WANT them to win, but understand that there are bad games and unfortunately bad seasons. That said, the team–from players up to the top of the administration–should want to win and try to win. Shapiro’s stupid comment comes off as a whiny stupid excuse.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UH27ND62XS5HSAYBWOJHV6N6ZE browndog

    I agree with you regarding the nuances of the game and really laugh when some people say baseball is boring. But in all fairness most teams can’t afford the best players while the Yankees and Red Sox can. Baseball needs to level the playing field as far as payrolls. Baseball is slowly committing suicide. Nobody wants to lose ever year.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAZPNTH2NYMJFWWEAA336ZSCBU Ron

    No there will NOT be any openings anytime soon in light of this. The Indians have an approach of “us against the world” when it comes to these things and i fyou are not with them 110% you are viewed as part of the problem.