Justice Is Served

March 3, 2010 10:07 PM

Not much to like in pool of Tribe talent


I wish the total numbered 10 instead of two. But on EPSN the Magazine's list of the 100 best ballplayers in the bigs, the Indians had Grady Sizemore (No. 27) and Shin-Soo Choo (No. 69) make it.

Two Indians, not 10.

It wasn't important that neither man made the Top 20. With a roster of players in Goodyear, Ariz., it would have been nice to see more than two current Indians and maybe one or two fewer former Indians on the list.

I guess this says something about talent evaluation the past decade - or, perhaps more precisely, the imbalance that money plays in the game. For it's hard to keep high-end talent in Cleveland, which puts greater burden on the organization to grow its own.

To lose talent like C.C. Sabathia, Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez and Manny Ramirez means the Indians front office has to replace them with high in prospects. None, really, is in the pipeline.

Aside from Sizemore, Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera, the Indians have no one who looks as if he's ready yet to become one of the shining stars the organization used to put on the diamond during the glorious '90s at Jacobs Field.

Theirs is a rebuilding, a rebuilding that has achieved little since general manager Mark Shapiro embarked on it midway into the 2002 season. He promised then to build an organization that would bring multiple championships - a franchise that would be a consistent winner, a franchise built with homegrown talent and astute trades.

The Indians have not been a consistent winner. They have no deep pool of talent - homegrown or otherwise - and they look no better today than they did when Shapiro make his promise. At least in 2002, the Tribe had Sabathia and a healthy Jake Westbrook to anchor its rotation.

It's hard to know what to make of the 2010 Indians. I do know the franchise has lost its luster among sports fans around town. The Indians aren't the darlings they once were. They don't sell out, and nobody is spending much time talking about them and what's happened in Spring Training.

To call the Indians an afterthought would be too suggest they were a thought at all these days. Aside from people who just love baseball period - admittedly, I'm in that group - I can't give anyone else a single reason to care about who will be on the manager Manny Acta's Opening Day roster.

All I can tell people is to enjoy the game, because if they are expecting to be caught up in Indians-mania, well ... save the cheering for the Cavaliers and pray that Mike Holmgren will bring some excitement to Browns Stadium.

There will be little of the latter in Progressive Field this summer.

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