WIth fans now able to watch the Cleveland Indians on color TV, the Indians provided a colorless performance finishing 75-87.
The Indians, again, were a lackluster hitting team, with the 12th best wRC+ as a team out of twenty teams. They were 10th in ERA and 8th in FIP, led by an excellent starting pitching staff of Sonny Siebert (139 ERA+), Steve Hargan (126 ERA+), Luis Tiant (121 ERA+) and John O’Donoghue (102 ERA+). Sam McDowell had a down year (86 ERA+), and Rocky Colavito was, again, traded, having officially hit the steep aging cliff sluggers often do, so it wasn’t a great year for Cleveland baseball folk legends.
It was the only season managing the team for Joe Adcock, whose no-nonsense approach didn’t produce any solid results. He was replaced by Al Dark, who had been fired in San Francisco after saying African-American and Latino players were “just not able to perform up to the level of white players when it comes to mental alertness.” Needless to say, that move wasn’t to turn out well for Cleveland, either.
First baseman Tony Horton was the best hitter on the team with a 117 OPS+ but suffered from mental health troubles and would be out of baseball by August 1970, sadly.
The Indians, again, had the lowest attendance in the league with around 600,000 fans coming to Municipal Stadium to see the below average team.