Let's Go Tribe readers will be voting in a number of categories to determine some of the biggest moments and performances of the season for the Indians. Our winners will then have a chance at being nominated for league-wide SB Nation awards later this month.
- Funniest moment
- Most regrettable moment
- Best defensive play
- Most important hit
- Best pitching performance
Today we choose an MLB Team of the Year. The obvious answer is the San Francisco Giants, what with them winning the World Series, and winning the World Series being what it's all about, competitively speaking. The Giants were arguably one of the two or three worst postseason teams though, and while it's great (for them) that things came together at the right time, maybe Team of the Year should put more weight on the six months leading up to the postseason. Maybe Team of the Year doesn't even need to have much to do with winning games, maybe it should be about the best story, the most surprising success, or the best collection of facial hair.
One thing the MLB Team of the Year can't be at Let's Go Tribe is the Cleveland Indians, because no SB Nation site is allowed to nominate its own team. I suspect few of you would have been campaigning for the Tribe to win this anyway though.
The Orioles wen 96-66 in the regular season and won the AL East by 12 games, making millions of baseball fans happy in the process by beating both the Yankees and Red Sox, helping to give us a more enjoyable postseason. It was Baltimore's first division title since 1997, which was also the last time they advanced to the ALCS.
The Astros went 70-92 in the regular season, finishing in 4th place in the AL West. This may not sound like much, but Houston had finished with the very worst record in baseball in three consecutive seasons before this one, becoming only the fifth team in MLB history to do that. It was the worst three-year stretch by any team in fifty years. Snapping that streak and reaching a semi-respectable 70 wins... that's worth something.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals were a .500 team for much of the season, but they put together a very strong second half, built largely on the back of great defense and aggressive base running. They made the postseason for the first time since 1985, then swept their way through the ALDS and ALCS before reaching Game 7 of the World Series. If you vote based on the narrative, this is your team.
Los Angeles Angels
In the top European soccer leagues, there is no postseason. Here in America we love the playoffs, and the idea of crowning a champion solely based on regular season success is a turnoff to many. A 162-season tells us a lot more about a team than 15-20 games in October though, and if we're really looking to identify the top team, the one that finished with baseball's best record over 162 games has a strong case. This year that was the Angels, who went 98-64.
San Francisco Giants
They won the World Series. 'Nuff said.