Pity Party: The Top Disappointments of the Decade

I was bored and feeling sorry for myself, and decided to write something up that would just make Indians fans feel miserable. The criteria for being on this list is simple  – the event or incident needs to have happened between January 1st, 2000 and December 31st, 2009. Other than that, it’s purely subjective – disappointment can range from soul-crushing heartbreak to just, “oh man, that really sucked.”

So here we go, the first half of the disappointments of the past decade –

10. January 26th, 2006 – Coco Crisp, David Riske, and Josh Bard Traded to Boston for Andy Marte, Guillermo Mota, and Kelly Shoppach

Before you jump all over me after I just defended Andy Marte, let me explain. The Indians traded Crisp with the expectation that Marte was supposed to be a stud. That obviously hasn’t happened. Really, the deal fell flat for both sides. On the Tribe’s side, Marte hasn’t panned out, Mota was a train wreck with the Tribe, and Shoppach put together a couple up and down seasons before being shipped out to Tampa Bay this offsesason. This trade was all hype and no reward. There’s still hope for Marte, but it will never be the slam dunk of a deal we were hoodwinked into thinking it would be.

9. December 7, 2005 – Trevor Hoffman re-signs with San Diego Padres

Yes, I know this technically has nothing to do with the Indians. But whenever a free agent is signed, there’s usually a team spurned, and the Indians played the role of the bridesmaid this time. The Indians made a serious run at Hoffman for their closer’s role only to be rejected because Hoffman wasn’t ready to leave San Diego. I’m fully convinced that with Hoffman in the fold, 2006 and 2007 would have turned out differently, for the better. How? Hoffman = fewer blown saves than Joe Borowski = better record in 2007 = home field advantage in playoffs. This prevents Fausto from ever having to pitch a crucial game 6 in Boston. Wishful thinking? Maybe, but from the sounds of the reports, Hoffman to Cleveland was a lot closer than most people think.

8. December 10, 2008 – Kerry Wood Signs 2-year deal with Tribe

I will be the first one to admit I was thrilled by the signing of Wood, who I felt was the best available closer on the market last winter. Wood was looked on as the savior for a bullpen that clearly needed some help. But Wood wasn’t getting enough consistent work and it was showing. His numbers ended up decent, a pedestrian 20 saves in 26 chances, 4.25 ERA in 55 innings pitched. Now the Tribe is on the hook for at least 10 million more unless they can find a team that really needs a closer. As it stands, the Tribe has a really expensive one-inning pitcher.

7. April 3rd, 2004 – Milton Bradley is traded to Los Angeles for Franklin Gutierrez and Andrew Brown.

The fact that he was traded wasn’t the disappointment. The disappointment was that he HAD to be traded. Bradley was a walking time bomb, and after Bradley failed to run out a fly ball in Spring Training, Wedge had him shipped out to LA, creating a hole in the outfield that wasn’t truly filled until Shin-Shoo Choo arrived for good in 2008.

6. April 7, 2006 – Brandon Phillips traded to Reds in exchange for a PTBNL (Jeff Stevens).

Another one of those big, “what if” questions that have dogged the Indians this decade.  What if Brandon Phillips and Eric Wedge could have swallowed their pride long enough to see if Phillips could actually hit (guess what? He can!) Theoretically, the Indians could have had an infield made up of Phillips at second, Drubs at short, Peralta at third, and a warm body at first and this still would have been a ridiculously productive infield. Instead, Phillips was out of options and Wedge didn’t think he’d take to the utility role, so he was shipped out for pennies on the dollar. Stevens was later dealt to the Cubs for Mark DeRosa.

There’s the first half, I’ll have the second half up tomorrow. Feel free to post any comments on any of the disappointments I’ve listed so far, but remember, we got five more coming along that will crush your spirits. Have fun and go Tribe.

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