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MLB announces "Franchise Four" for Cleveland Indians

Well, they got Rapid Robert right, so there's that.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

MLB held voting to determine a "Franchise Four" for each of its 30 teams, what might be referred to as each team's Mount Rushmore, if the discussion were held in a bar between people who love America. It should be no surprise that things got screwed up.

The Tribe four:

  • Bob Feller
  • Tris Speaker
  • Jim Thome
  • Omar Vizquel

Okay, Feller was a gimme, but even great NBA shooters sometimes miss the freebies, so I guess we should be glad Feller was rightfully included.

After him come a couple guys I don't have any beef with, but one could certainly argue are holding spots that could have belonged to someone else. This process wasn't quite about naming the four "best" players in each team's history, though that was obviously meant to be a major component. I think it makes sense to try and hit different eras with the different players.

If I were choosing someone from the pre-Feller years, I'd probably have gone with Nap Lajoie, who was roughly as good as Speaker, and had the team named after him for quite a while. Speaker is an entirely reasonable choice though. He was the star player and manager for the team's first World Series crown, after all.

The 1990s were an incredibly successful era for the Indians (yes, I know they never actually won the dang World Series), and it makes sense to represent those teams, especially since most tribe fans don't remember the earlier good teams. Thome would be my choice for that era, so I think they got that right. I understand there's a decent case to me made for some other guys too though.

Not one of those guys? Omar Vizquel. There's no way to say this without coming across as somewhat insulting to a really good player, but Vizquel wasn't even one of the four best players on the Tribe teams. Even if you want to give him a lot of extra credit for having been with the team longer than many of his contemporaries, I can't even squint and get him into deserving a spot in the "Four."

You know who would have been a great choice? Larry Doby, who broke the color barrier in the American League and was an excellent player. There's a guy who would be a great representative of the team's history, and it's role as the most progressive AL team during the most important era in league history. Lou Boudreau also would have been a better choice. Kenny Lofton would have bene better. Going with Speaker and Lajoie would have been better.

I mean, it's not like this really matters, so I probably shouldn't let it keep me up tonight, but I appreciate you letting me get it off my chest.

I look forward to Omar's biggest supporters telling me what an idiot I am.