CLEVELAND - Cleveland.com and Plain Dealer beat writer Paul Hoynes has covered the Cleveland Indians for decades.
But on Saturday, Hoynes penned a piece that's created more controversy than the Progressive Field press box has seen in those decades.
Saturday was the day Indians' pitcher Carlos Carrasco saw his season end with one pitch as Detroit second baseman Ian Kinsler shot a line drive off Carrasco's right wrist. Carrasco left the game immediately and by the end of the game (a 10-inning walk-off Indians win), the team announced Carrasco had suffered a pinky fracture that would end his season.
So despite Jose Ramirez's heroics and the bullpen's stellar performance for a victory over the main division rival, the gloomy news that the Indians must head into the postseason without their No. 2 and 3 starters (Danny Salazar remains out with a forearm strain) was a prevalent storyline.
As a result, Hoynes wrote a piece that left some confused and many furious.
The headline?: "Sept. 17: The day Cleveland Indians' postseason dreams ended before they began"
The lead?: "The Indians won a ballgame Saturday afternoon, but their postseason dreams ended." Hoynes followed that up with a second graf stating, "Write it down. On Sept. 17, the Indians were eliminated from serious postseason advancement before they even got there."
Indians fans had plenty to say:
I don't think it was 1 article that Hoynes wrote that caused this. I think its been yrs of negative takes/talking down the team to get here— jeff ellis (@jeffMLBdraft) September 19, 2016
I'm siding with the fans over Hoynes. Huge difference between saying Indians' chance decreased with injury and saying they don't have one.— Samantha Bunten (@samanthabunten) September 19, 2016
Hoynes' column is bad and deserves criticism. He should not lose access because of an opinion. I don't understand how he's still employed.— Josh Flagner (@RailbirdJ) September 18, 2016
The "negativity" doesn't bother me as much as a game recap rooted in a mixture of loose opinion and absolutism. https://t.co/aH3erhQoJA— Scott @ WFNY (@WFNYScott) September 18, 2016
But Indians players themselves also had strong responses to the article. Even the Indians' team Twitter account reacted:
But also when you wake up to you read the same "your season is over!" 🔥🔥🔥 you heard after Michael/Yan/Danny/etc. 😄 https://t.co/4AfkWW7qbY— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 18, 2016
Then don't bother showing up the rest of the way... Can write from home if you already know how this one plays out! https://t.co/RmjFCQeAcB— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) September 18, 2016
Bauer's tweets came as a result of Hoynes taking Sunday off, a scheduled off day and the day following publication of his controversial article. He also remained offline until Sunday evening until he tweeted:
I wrote what I wrote because that's what I believe. Had a scheduled day off Sunday and I took. I'll be there Tuesday.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) September 19, 2016
But the backlash has been so heavy, Hoynes is scheduled to discuss his article in a Facebook Live video Tuesday at 6 p.m. on Cleveland.com's Facebook page. Chris Quinn, vice president of content to Cleveland.com, also addressed the article in a piece published Tuesday morning, defending Hoynes' article.
Tuesday night's game against the Kansas City Royals marks Hoynes' first game since his piece was published. On Tuesday morning, he wrote a new piece, explaining why he wrote the original.
How do you think the players will react? Do you think Hoynes had a right to say the Indians' season is over? Head over to WKYC's Facebook page to comment with your opinion.