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75 Years and Counting: The Story of the 2010 Cleveland Indians

The review you had on ‘Shark Sandwich,’ which was merely a two-word review, just said ‘S*** sandwich

Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images

And there you have it folks, the offseason leading up to 2010, summarized completely and accurately in one photo.

2010 was the first year in a while that didn’t at least have some expectations associated with it. The 2009 Indians were bad, really bad. Eric Wedge had been fired, Manny Acta was brought in to replace him. Travis Hafner was the only regular from 2007 to play more than 100 games. Grady Sizemore tore his ACL and was never the same from then on, Jake Westbrook was traded for Corey Kluber, and I was told every 15 freaking minutes during the broadcasts that Frank Hermann went to Harvard. That’s, as far as I can remember, everything that happened in 2010. Well, not really, but it might as well be.

2010 was much more about giving the new crop of prospects a chance to establish themselves. Much like 2003 that saw guys like Jody Gerut, Coco Crisp, and Jake Westbrook get extended looks, 2010 brought us the first extended action for Lou Marson, Matt Laporta, Luis Valbuena, and Michael Brantley as well as the long awaited debut of Carlos Santana. Shin-Soo Choo was emerging as one of the most underrated players in the game and Shelley “Drop to One Knee When You Swing” Duncan quietly had a really good year.

2010, at least to me, was a lot of waiting for 2009 first rounder Alex White to get called up, trying to convince myself that “this Jeanmar Gomez kid might be something” and being told every 15 minutes that Frank Hermann went to Harvard on the broadcast. Did I mention that already? Yeah? Well guess what, so did Matt Underwood. Every. 15. Minutes.

How did the actual games and such go? Not particularly well. They were just kind of bad from day one, and stayed bad the whole way, finishing at 69 (nice) and 93, fourth place in the AL Central.

The really nice core they’d built of Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, and Victor Martinez plus Sabathia, Lee, and Westbrook had materialized into exactly one playoff appearance. I don’t know that I fully appreciated how well we truly did less with more than anyone else in that era. There were tons of incredibly talented players on those teams and it just never turned into anything.

The good news is, 2011 was actually kind of a fun year, and one of my favorite seasons of Cleveland Baseball ever. It was also the start of the building process towards the next mini dynasty of the mid-late 2010’s. Join us tomorrow for that one.