Jack Torry, Bureau Chief of the Columbus Dispatch, met with the Club at the National Press Club on May 22, mainly to report about an expertise of his, the Cleveland Indians. Torry believes it is one of the best managed teams in professional baseball today and does a particularly good job of working its minor league teams and developing young talent. He dismisses the attendance problems in the early spring to bad weather and predicts total attendance for the year will fall between 1.7 and 2.1 million.
Other strengths he pointed out were lots of statistics research and a very good scouting staff. He says that young talented and aggressive persons wanting to get into baseball management favor coming to Cleveland. On the down side, he believes the present team cannot deal with injuries well and that it needs better offense in some positions. He predicted that Detroit would be the strongest contender in the division.
Turning to politics, Torry said that Ohio was one of nine states that would decide the presidential election in November. This was not because Ohio has been changing but rather that other states have been, taking themselves out of contention in the process (for example, California to the Democrats and Texas to the Republicans). He believes the auto bailout issue is hurting Romney in the state but that overall Ohio tends to the right of center.
Torry said that he believed the Kucinich-Kaptur race was essentially decided on how the new district was drawn, and that he believed the Senate race would likely be very close, tilting to Sherrod Brown depending on how President Obama performs between now and the election.
The “Rust Belt” concept is over, Torry said. Manufacturing is coming back to Cleveland; it is more efficient than it used to be and employs fewer workers but produces as much as several decades ago.
Finally, Torry said that he believes Senator Portman is one of the strong favorites for being picked to be Mitt Romney’s running mate this fall.