Tribe could rebound in a big way in '09
One of the stories that got somewhat lost in the 2008 season was the strong finish of the Cleveland Indians. The Indians went 44-28 after July 9, the second-best record in the American League during that stretch. They finished with 81 wins -- one fewer than the Diamondbacks -- and finished seven games out of first place in the American League Central, closer than the Yankees or Brewers finished in their divisions.Granted, a terrible May and June effectively ended the season early for the Indians, who had come within one victory of the World Series in 2007. And, yes, it can be misleading to judge a team that got hot when the games didn't mean as much. "But it was very important for our organization," said Indians general manager Mark Shapiro. "The players knew they were capable of winning even without a great pitcher and great team leader like CC [Sabathia]. It gave credibility for our fan base. The second half was meaningful for our club."
|Read Tim Kurkjian's piece on the Cleveland Indians in Spanish on ESPNdeportes.com.|