Blyleven suggests he be traded. Paul says, "Bert isn't going anywhere. For two years we paid him a good salary, and he did nothing because he was hurt. Now he owes the Indians and the city of Cleveland something."
Sportswriter Pluto makes out a lineup for Corrales, and, with only a slight revision, the revamped Indians score six runs in the first inning against Seattle and go on to win 8-7.
The Indians trade Sutcliffe, Hassey and pitcher George Frazier to the Cubs for outfielders Mel Hall and Joe Carter and minor league pitchers Don Schulze and Darryl Banks. At the press conference announcing the trade, Blyleven shows up and asks, "Are you sure you didn't leave out a name?" The next day, Blyleven wears Sutcliffe's jersey during batting practice.
The Indians can't use Hall and Carter right away because the Cubs neglected to send them through waivers this year. That leaves Cleveland with only 23 players, which is illegal. Easterly is reinstated. Meanwhile, the Indians are staying at a hotel hosting a Norwegian elkhound convention. Any jokes about dogs are up to your conscience.
Hall and Carter clear waivers, but Carter runs into a wall and bangs up his knee in his second game as an Indian.
Nixon is finally sent down, having hit 154 in 91 at bats. He stole 12 bases.
Pitcher Dan Spillner, an Indian since 1978, which is saying something, is traded to the White Sox. The next day Blyleven wears Spillner's jersey in practice.
The Indians are sold—maybe. A New York lawyer, David LeFevre, who grew up in Cleveland, pays $16.5 million for the controlling interest in the team held by the estate of the late Steve O'Neill. LeFevre, who had to pledge to keep the Indians in Cleveland for at least 15 years, cannot be approved by the league owners until August, but the real snag is a suit filed by some of the Indians' minority owners, who thought LeFevre was given preferential treatment.
Maybe Elizabeth's witchcraft works on a delayed basis, because July has been unusually quiet in Cleveland. The other day Thornton hit his 200th career homer, and the fan who caught the ball wanted to ransom it for season tickets, but public relations director Bob DiBiasio managed to pry the ball loose with a Thornton bat, an autographed ball and four tickets to any four remaining home games.
In the meantime, the team is playing better, although it's still in last place, three games behind the Yankees. And they're changing the guard. Paul has said he'll retire once the transition in ownership is complete, and it's a shame he'll be leaving on a sour note, the villain of the fans, because he is a good and decent fellow. Through five different ownerships, Paul was the anchor that kept the Indians in Cleveland. Says Paul, "I think I had a lot to do with the club staying here. As to the record, well, the fellow in charge has to be responsible for the record. The only regret I have is that we didn't do what we're doing now." Still, the public perception of Paul is expressed by baseball statistician Bill James's line, "If Gabe was running a hospital, I'd invest in a mortuary."