Thursday, October 28

One more thing about the Indians before you totally forget about baseball

With the World Series starting, I felt compelled to write an Indians season recap before the baseball season had completely left us. I didn't write a preseason story quite like last year but I did address a few preseason events and had this to say about the Indians:

I don't know about all that but the 2010 Indians are going to be downright better and more fun to watch than the 2009 ever were or could hope to be. 2010 is all sunshine and warm breezes if you ask me.

2009: 65-97 Pythagorean 73-89 Attendance: 1,766,242
2010: 69-93 Pythagorean 70-92 Attendance: 1,391,644

While I can't be anything but happy about the way the season turned out in the win-loss department, that attendance figure is worrisome. I wonder what the attendance would have been if you only counted Indians fans. Probably under a million. Getting back to the overall record, though, any Indians fan will likely point out that losing Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo, and Asdrubal Cabrera to injuries for extended periods - in the case of Grady all year - didn't help this Indians team. Still I'm OK about how this season played out. However it would have been better without those previous injuries and Carlos Santana's too. This particular blogger thought the Indians might finish the season 57-105. I commend FCF writer Nick for coming closest on predicting the Indians record with a "bold" prediction of 71-91.

Following the All-Star break, the Indians did a lot of what might considered a best-case scenario for the organization. Things like making the correct trades (Kerry Wood, Austin Kearns, but not Slider) and beating teams that were of comparable talent (that sweep of the Tigers was especially sweet, and thanks for the revenue Tigers fans).

What 2010 taught us was Chris Perez is good - really good. Choo is easily one of the best outfielders in baseball. Carlos Santana is for real. Some of these young starters aren't bad.

I'm optimistic about 2011 already. A cynical fan might point to the gaps in the infield and lack of a team ace as shortcomings. 2011 isn't going to be about dominating the AL Central, but much more about seeing if these young players improve or regress. Is Jayson Nix as serviceable as he sometimes appears? Will Carlos Santana's injury slow his progression? Who on the rotation follows Carmona? Will Chris Perez cut his hair? Is Matt LaPorta worthy of FCF sponsorship?

Don't expect this winter or early spring to be too exciting. Maybe we might sign Russell Oles Branyan again, or at least someone we can flip at the deadline. Expect a few minor league deals for names you might recognize, but the Indians only go after the Kerry Woods of the free agency market when they really expect to compete, and 2011 isn't that sort of year. Still I expect an interesting year and maybe Manny Acta's best record as a manager yet.

Go Tribe!

(AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

1 comment:

Andy said...

Damn, Nick beat me by one game in predicting the Tribe's final record - I had them at 66-96, three games off. Still not a bad pick.

That sweep of the Tigres was on Tribe weekend, let's not forget. Tribe Weekend alone, plus the glorious half-season of Rusty makes 2010 >> 2009.

Is a 1st baseman with an OPS+ of 88and an awful Twitter handle worthy of FCF sponsorship? Not yet, son.

I'm cautiously optimistic about the 2011 Tribe, though I'm looking forward to watching the Browns and Cavs dispatch a few more defending conference/league champions first.