Hey Tribe fans, welcome back to the pity party! We’re counting down the top five disappointments of the past decade. Click here to view numbers six through 10. As before, the criteria were simple: the event or person had to be involved with the Indians in this past decade. Other than that, it’s purely subjective. If you don’t agree with me, take it up in the comments section or feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
5. December 6, 2002 – Jim Thome signs six-year deal with Phillies
A disappointment more to the fans than anything else, I’m including it in this list because he was at one time the most popular athlete in Cleveland. The Indians actually recovered quite nicely from losing Thome. By the next year Travis Hafner was filling in Thome’s role as the power mashing first baseman. Really, this was just a blip on the radar for the Indians this decade but I’m including it because I know many Indians fans haven’t gotten over it.
4. Adam Miller
First, he was the ace of the future. Then, he was going to be a lights-out closer. Whatever the role, he was going to be good at it, just as soon as he got healthy. It never happened, and that is why the Adam Miller saga is one of the most disappointing of the decade. So much potential, and due to injuries, he never threw a pitch in the big leagues. There’s still a chance he may pitch in the big leagues, but it isn’t likely. Sorry Adam. Best of luck in the rest of your endeavors.
3. 2007 Postseason – CC’s Struggles
Our Cy Young winning ace couldn’t be one when it mattered most. Either due to overwork (which is extremely likely as Sabathia pitched a ML-high 241 IP in 2007) or just being too jacked up on his own emotions, CC fell apart like a house of cards in the 2007 postseason. Maybe he felt the pressure to do everything perfectly. Maybe it was being in the postseason for the first time in six years. Whatever it was, CC’s struggles are a huge reason the Indians did not make the World Series in 2007.
2. September 2005
Actually, it wasn’t even the entire month. The Indians completely folded over the last week and a half of a season, getting embarrassed by a bad Rays team and unable to finish off a White Sox team that had effectively choked. Gone were the postseason dreams, gone was quite possibly the chance for the hottest team in the league to make the playoffs, and gone were Kevin Millwood and a lock down bullpen. The bullpen would return in 2007, but the lack of a veteran starter with Millwood’s presence definitely hurt the 07 team (sorry Paul Byrd, you don’t count!)
1. 2007 American League Championship Series 3-1
Oh man, I don’t even know if I want to go here. So disappointing. I was at that game 5 when CC fell apart and it was like the whole ballpark knew what was going to happen. The atmosphere had changed. And then Ryan Garko had to open his mouth about the champagne tasting just as sweet on the road, giving the Red Sox some serious bulletin board fodder. For the uninitiated, the Indians had a 3-1 game lead on the Red Sox and proceeded to choke harder than anyone but the 2004 Yankees. The Tribe was outscored 30-5 in the last 3 games. Ouch.
Thanks for taking this painful trip down memory lane with me. Feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree with anything I’m saying. Or send me an e-mail. Either way, I’d love to hear from you.