97 losses will not win you a championship. But it will get you traded to a team that might.
In the midst of the trade-frenzy that ensued this season many Cleveland players were traded to teams that needed an extra boost to win a playoff spot. The winners in these deals (everyone except Ryan Garko and the dark cloud that followed him) got to leave a team headed for 97 losses to a team that made the postseason. Two disappointing seasons in a row for Cleveland resulted in a phenomenon similar to the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in that every team in the post season, with the exception of the Angels, has at least one representative that connects them to the 2008 or 2009 Cleveland Indians. Some even have a few Tribe relics from prior seasons.
· Twins– Carl Pavano
· Yankees– CC Sabathia
· Red Sox– Victor Martinez, Paul Byrd, Fernando Cabrera
· Dodgers– Casey Blake, Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Ronnie Belliard, Guillermo Mota (Hello, MoTA!)
· Cardinals– Mark DeRosa, Ryan Ludwick
· Phillies– Cliff Lee, Ben Francisco
· Rockies– Rafael Betancourt
Based on this info, the Indians have a good chance of winning the World Series! (by proxy)
Not the real thing, but with the results of the 2009 season, I’ll take it.
If you look at it this way, Shapiro was just hedging his bets. The mission statement of the Tribe is, in part, to “create a championship caliber team”, he never said where that team would win the championship. So if he was hedging his bets that some of these Indians had to be championship caliber individually, when one is on the World Series champion’s team, he can say, “That guy was part of my organization. Look what a great job we do shaping this talent. What an excellent organization we have in Cleveland!” (I don’t think anyone really talks that way, but play along) If you look at it that way, rather than him just dumping payroll, he looks like a genius rather than fiscally irresponsible or managerially inept. Brilliant! (channel the Guinness guys when you read that.)
So enjoy the post season and hopefully the ex-Tribe guys can make us Tribe fans proud.
How great would a CC vs. Lee World Series Game 7 be?
Quote Note: This USA Today article quotes Jhonny Peralta on the Indians’ current situation. Not exactly Shakespeare, but his words are so true:
“When they traded those guys like that, good players, it’s hard to win every day,” third baseman Jhonny Peralta said. “The Indians, that’s what they do all the time. They get good players that are doing good and they trade them every time. I don’t think they like to spend a lot money and stuff. They like to try and work in the young players.”