Monday, October 5, 2009


Thankfully, it's finally over. The Indians' 2009 season sputtered to a predictable conclusion Sunday, with another loss in Boston, capping a four-game sweep by the Red Sox. All you need to know about the Indians' season is the lineup lame duck manager Eric Wedge ran out there for game number 162. The last three batters in the Indians' lineup had batting averages of .176, .144, and .143. Six of the nine players in the Indians' lineup were rookies.

So the Indians finished the season with a record of 65-97. It's the seventh highest loss total in franchise history, the most since they lost a club record 105 games in 1991. In a season-long collapse, the Indians out-did themselves at the end. They lost their last five in a row. They lost 17 of their last 21 games. They finished the season losing a team-record 15 consecutive road games. Their last win on the road came on Aug. 30. Since that date their overall record was 7-26.

Going back to Aug. 27, if you eliminate the games they played against Baltimore, the only team in the league with a worse record than the Indians, the Tribe's record through the end of the season was 4-28.

I think an argument could be made that, given the expectations for the team going into the sesaon, and given the reality of its final record, that this is the most disappointing season in franchise history. Certainly it's one of the most embarrassing.

From mid to late August through the end of the season the Indians ceased to be competitive. They played four, five, and sometimes six rookies in most of the games over the last six weeks of the season. The manager and all the coaches were fired. Home attendance was the second lowest in 18 years. The 2009 season has been a complete and utter disaster.

Going forward, there are some promising young players on the roster, and a handful more _ acquired, naturally, from other teams, not home-grown _ in the minor league system. But it's going to be a long time before the Indians have a season as sour as this one.

In 1991, nobody expected the Indians to be any good, and they weren't _ they lost 105games. In 2009 almost everybody expected the Indians to be very good _ and they were horrible, losing 97 games.

It was a season of embarrassment for an organization that has a long way to go to re-establish itself as a competitive team in the American League.


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