Ten short years ago before the start of a fire sale two guys powered Cleveland’s return to prominence. Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez shared good times and bad and each had good qualities as well as not so good.
Manny has recently been quoted saying his time in Cleveland was a joke. He remembers his last home run in his final at-bat with the Tribe. Funny how he probably doesn’t remember much else. Manny had some really big years and could hit in the clutch. On the other side of the coin, he is still trying to figure out how to run the bases and will never grow up. He needs a haircut, an attitude adjustment, and most of all – a reality check. He thinks he can play nine more seasons (until he is 45) because he feels good now. Wait until he gets sore trying to burn off that last roleno he ate before reporting.
Albert Belle was probably the unnamed captain of the Indians until he split for basically a few extra bucks to wear a White Sox uniform. What I wouldn’t have given to be out there in the bleachers when Belle returned as a White Sox player. It was great, people throwing one dollar bills at him. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the guy as an Indian. His intensity assured me that we were trying to win. Then he did stupid things. Kids egg his house on Halloween and he fires up the blazer to give chase through a wooded area? I know he was given anger management therapy.
Who do you think was more important to the success of the 1990’s Indians? Belle or Ramirez? Im going to say Belle. He was better in the field, a better baserunner, a smarter hitter, and definitely wore the leadership badge with pride.