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Indians=Overatted in the 2006 Baseball Season
by Joseph Pancho Bradley
They lost 2 of their best players in ERA champ
Kevin Millwood and leadoff hitter Coco Crisp, and replaced them with Paul Byrd
and Jason Michaels, who are good in their own right (Byrd having a 3.74 ERA last
season and Michaels with a .399 OBP) but are not quite as dominating or game
changing as Millwood or Crisp were. Many people would say that they are young
and are only planning on getting better, but I don't believe that many can do
much better then they have.
Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner seem to be at
their prime, so I don't expect them to improve all that much, Ben Broussards
numbers don't indicate he is waiting to break out, and with the exception of
Jhonny Peltera and Grady Sizemore, I don't seen any players getting better, only
a few getting worse (especially Aaron Boone and Ronnie Belliard). As for the
staff, they are lead by "ace" C. C. Sabathia, who I believe is the most
overrated player on this overrated team. His ERA has only been under 4 one year
(2003) and isn't much of an innings eater.
Newby Jason Johnson has had 1 winning
seasons out of 7 (1999, 8-7 w/ a 5.46 ERA) and has had an ERA of 5.13 and 4.54
the last 2 years, respectively. The only bright spot in the rotation is Cliff
Lee who went 18-5 with a 3.79 ERA last season, but that has been his only good
season out of 4, and Cleveland better hope it's not a one-year-wonder. Their
bullpen, which was a strong point last season, seems a bit etchy to me at the
moment. Bob Wickman returns as the closer, but I know there are about 20 other
closers Id take over the 9 fingered madman.
Danny Graves and Guillermo Mota
both have fallen apart, and aside from Rafael Betancourt and Fernando Cabrera
there isn't someone I would trust to throw in there against even Doug
Mientkiewicz. While they seem to have digressed, the White Sox have added Javier
Vasquez and Jim Thome and still have arguably the best and deepest rotation in
the AL, and the Twins have the best pitching top to bottom, and with a little
help from Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer, they could be world champs. Sure the
Indians got hot at the end of last year (before falling apart) but they will
finish third, and the only thing that can save them is a crazy pitcher that goes
by the nickname of "Wild Thing".