Indians Reach Club's Best Home Sellout Mark Since '01; Dolan Pleased With Win Streak
The Indians clinched the AL Central on Saturday night when the Twins lost to the Blue Jays, and then "drew a crowd of 32,313" yesterday to mark the team's "12th sellout of the season," according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland PLAIN DEALER. Twelve sellouts is the most for the team since 34 in '01, when the team won 91 games. The recent four-game Royals-Indians series at Progressive Field also "drew 130,900." The Indians also now have won 24 of their last 25 games (CLEVELAND.com, 9/17). In Cleveland, Joe Noga noted the Indians' team shop at Progressive Field was "set to open late Saturday" with AL Central championship merchandise for sale. The shop prior to Saturday also had been "selling T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing the phrases 'Take 17' and 'Rally Together' after the team locked up a postseason berth on Thursday" (CLEVELAND.com, 9/16).
SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY: Indians Chair & CEO Paul Dolan said of the team's recent record winning streak, "That was sort of immaterial compared to our larger goals. But then the streak began to take on a life of its own. We're not just setting franchise records, we're setting Major League records. And that brought us national ... even international attention." In Cleveland, Terry Pluto noted the Indians last season had a $97M payroll and are "now close" to $130M. Pluto: "So is the statute of limitations finally up on the 'Dolans are cheap' narrative? Can ownership receive some credit for being patient and building a consistent winner?" Dolan is "pleased the Indians haven't suffered from 'World Series hangover.'" Dolan: "After you go to the World Series, people can start fighting to take credit. That hasn't happened here. ... We were clearly on a path to win our division, but this streak has affirmed we are one of best teams in baseball" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 9/17).