Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All-Aught Indians--The Tribe Team of the Decade

With the end of the decade only a day away, it's time to take a look back over the past ten years and the Cleveland Indians' players that helped shape it. Bringing Back Boudreau will take a look at the top player at each position, including the key infield and outfield backups, as well as the top five starters and relievers.

Ten years ago, the Indians were a veteran club who had played in two World Series in the previous five years. The Tribe had all-stars at nearly every position, a fairly deep rotation, and still had dreams of ending the 52-year championship drought. John Hart had stripped the minor leagues searching for the right mix of players to bring a title to Cleveland, but you could sense the end was near. Contracts were coming to an end, and the sands in the hourglass were quickly trickling away.

It's Funny how different ten years makes.

Today, the Indians major league club is far from a title contender, having been dismantled in yet another rebuilding effort. The minor league system is stocked full after several trades involving their best major league players, but the Tribe is far from able to contend with the moneyed giants in Boston and New York. The Indians have entered the new realm of the baseball world that pays off for big market clubs and leaves the rest in the dust.

It's hard to know where the Indians will go over the next ten years. Will the window open up long enough for a perfect storm of talent to hit, allowing the Indians to return to the playoffs, or will the money-laden teams strip the Tribe barren before their time?

The All-Aught Indians will paint a picture of a roller coaster ride over the past ten years, winding up to nearly the highest heights, and down to the lowest of lows. It will show you the foundation for why it was and will be extremely difficult for the Indians to compete for any length of time.

Tomorrow, we'll start with the man behind the plate, as our quest for the Tribe Team of the Decade begins with the catcher.

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