What If The Indians Were In A Different Division?
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a record of 76-71, good enough(I guess to led a division)the National League West.
Second in the NL West is the Arizona Diamondbacks, and their record is 72-74. Which in case you were wondering is the exact same numbers the Cleveland Indians have.
So lets pretend for a minute that the Indians were in the NL West. They would be 3.5 games back and riding on major momentum from Cliff Lee's remarkable season(He recorded his 22nd victory Friday September 12th. Becoming the fastest in MLB history to win 22 games. Based on decisions)
Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner have both returned from injury, and Shin Soo Choo is proving to be a reliable asset in the outfield.
In the recent past the Indians have proven that they get hot starting in September, but it doesn't matter what happens in September if you don't play in October.
If the Indians were in the NL West they would win the division, and would make the playoffs for the second consecutive year for the first time since 1998-99.
The fact is that the Tribe is not in the NL West, they are in the AL Central. A better division in a more superior league.
The same AL Central that they loved to play in because in the 90's they dominated the Central year in, year out. Unfortunately the AL Central has grown up and the Tribe got hurt so Mark Shapiro, Eric Wedge, and the players are looking at 2009 for another chance at the World Series.
There are many gaps in the Indians' roster. It starts with the pitching. The Indians have two starters set in stone(Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona), and Jake Westbrook won't return from Tommy John surgery until mid-season. the bullpen is a mess and they have no closer since Jo Borowski finally blew up.
The corners of the outfield and infield are a problem. The main problem being third base because Andy Marte has been given a chance and he has shown that he isn't cut out for the Major League.
All in all I say that the fans of the Cleveland Indians will have to wait until at least next year, but probably the year after for success.
As of now the Indians are now wishing they were in a less competitive division.
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