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View Full Version : Is Cleveland the team to beat in AL Central?


SoxFanTillDeath
11-16-2004, 08:27 AM
I believe the team to beat this year is not the Sox or the twins...I believe it is the Cleveland Indians. With less question marks than the Sox and better talent than the Twins, the Indians could be the surprise team of the league in 2005, and I think it would be hard to catch this team if they ever took over 1st place next year.

A signing that flew under the radar last year was the fact that the Indians signed Aaron Boone after the Yankees let him go. If he can return to even a fraction of what he was early 2003 (when he was an all-star) he would add an excellent bat to an already extremely dangerous lineup.

This team finished only 3 games behind the Sox last year for 2nd place, and if they can sign a decent closer they will be much improved this year. Their major weakness last year was their bullpen (I'd like to know how many games they gave away because of this). If they address that this offseason, they could be a very dangerous team this year.

Jjav829
11-16-2004, 08:33 AM
The Twins are the team to beat until someone actually beats them. We've fallen into this trap the past few years. The Twins are the best team in this division, and the team to beat. When someone actually beats them, then we can declare another team "The team to beat."

Brian26
11-16-2004, 09:35 AM
If the Tribe isn't the team to beat now, they will be very, very soon...and for a long time to come.

ode to veeck
11-16-2004, 11:39 AM
On paper, the Twinks haven't yet been the team to beat the last few years, yet they keep racking up the prestigious AL Central crown. They're the team to beat until they're beat

doublem23
11-16-2004, 12:01 PM
Honestly, I don't know what to make of the Tribe. They really could develop into an All-Star studded team in a few years, but they're equally as likely to completely fall apart. They have a nice little offense, but their pitching is really suspect, IMO, and last year could be the result of the combination of several career years and not indicative of future performance. Honestly, if you're looking for a team in the Cental that is building a strong foundation for the future in a much safer way, then you're looking at Detroit. They've got a good mix of youth and veterans, a pitching staff with a better upside, and a better manager, IMO.

Etownsox13
11-18-2004, 08:12 PM
The Team to beat is always the team that won the division the year before.
See last year in the NL East, everyone thought the Marlins and the Phils would be the teams to beat, and look who won, the same team who won the year before.

munchman33
11-18-2004, 08:15 PM
The Twins are losing a ton this year. While they do have a lot of talent in the minors, they're going to have WAY too many holes to replace this offseason. The division will come down to us and Cleveland.

Jjav829
11-18-2004, 08:23 PM
The Twins are losing a ton this year. While they do have a lot of talent in the minors, they're going to have WAY too many holes to replace this offseason. The division will come down to us and Cleveland.Sounds like last year. Just substitute in Kansas City for Cleveland.

munchman33
11-18-2004, 09:41 PM
Sounds like last year. Just substitute in Kansas City for Cleveland.The Twins look to go into next season without their starting 3B, SS, and 2B from last year. Also three of their more solid defensive players. Not to mention that they're losing Brad Radke as well.

So I hope you're right about Cleveland. Could be an easy trip to the playoffs for us.

Lip Man 1
11-18-2004, 10:22 PM
According to the Sports Editor of the Idaho State Journal who is a Twins fan from Minnesota and just returned from a week's vacation there, Minnesota has offered Radke a two year offer for I think he said twenty million.

Lip

StillMissOzzie
11-18-2004, 10:41 PM
The Twins are losing a ton this year. While they do have a lot of talent in the minors, they're going to have WAY too many holes to replace this offseason. The division will come down to us and Cleveland.
Didn't we hear this LAST year, when the Twinks lost Guardado, Hawkins, Pierjhfjhsdfski, and then had an outfielder and catcher Joe Mauer get hurt?

SMO
:gulp:

chisox06
11-18-2004, 11:02 PM
I say the Tribe has about 2 more years before there a force to be reckoned with. Other than Sabathia they just dont have a whole lot of pitching (especially the bullpen), thats something they need to work on. That offense is stellar though, Belliard is gonna be one of the best in the league in not to long.

munchman33
11-18-2004, 11:18 PM
Didn't we hear this LAST year, when the Twinks lost Guardado, Hawkins, Pierjhfjhsdfski, and then had an outfielder and catcher Joe Mauer get hurt?

SMO
:gulp:

Yes, but the Twins minor league system does not have a ready second baseman, shortstop, or third baseman.

munchman33
11-18-2004, 11:20 PM
According to the Sports Editor of the Idaho State Journal who is a Twins fan from Minnesota and just returned from a week's vacation there, Minnesota has offered Radke a two year offer for I think he said twenty million.

Lip

The St. Pioneer Press is reporting 2 years, $14 million, which Radke is balking at.

Mohoney
11-19-2004, 03:33 AM
Yes, but the Twins minor league system does not have a ready second baseman, shortstop, or third baseman.
They'll find at least one guy at one of those positions that will have a breakout season. They always do. If I see another Twins rookie hit over .300 with a .380 OBP in the first half, a la Lew Ford, I'm going to lose it.

WhiteSoxFan84
11-19-2004, 04:28 AM
I love the Indians lineup but half of that lineup needs to prove themselves before they can be deemed all-stars. although a few of them made the all-star team, they may have just had career years (at very young ages). i don't see victor martinez duplicating last years stats. travis hafner is a studd but i think he will slow down as well. besides, their starting pitchers and bullpen are very iffy.


i like the sox to finish ahead of cleveland. will they finish ahead of minnesota? i've said yes 3 years in a row and have been wrong. so i'll say no just because of the obvious pattern.

OEO Magglio
11-19-2004, 06:55 AM
The Indians will be worse this upcoming year then they were last year. :smile:

SOXSINCE'70
11-19-2004, 07:12 AM
If the Tribe isn't the team to beat now, they will be very, very soon...and for a long time to come.
Keep your eye on them.They don't look like a fluke to me.

SOXSINCE'70
11-19-2004, 07:17 AM
The Twins are the team to beat until someone actually beats them. We've fallen into this trap the past few years. The Twins are the best team in this division, and the team to beat. When someone actually beats them, then we can declare another team "The team to beat."
Agreed.The Twins continue to excel despite FA losses.Last year,they lost "Everyday" Eddie Guardado (who had a miserable year in Seattle.Is he availiable, Kenny?? ASK ANYWAY!) and La Choke Hawkins.They traded for
Joe Nathan and Johann Santana became a legit #1.They'll lose Radke and
Guzman this year,but their minor leagues continue to produce.

ma-gaga
11-19-2004, 09:14 AM
They'll find at least one guy at one of those positions that will have a breakout season. They always do. If I see another Twins rookie hit over .300 with a .380 OBP in the first half, a la Lew Ford, I'm going to lose it.
First half??? Lew finished with a 0.299/0.381/446 line. Anyways, he'll probably regress similar to what happened to Podsednik this year. Maybe not quite as dramatic of a drop.

However, you are lucky. Uber-prospect Jason Kubel tore up his knee in the AFL. He won't be back until 2006, and may not be the same hitter that he was. He was in line to take over the 'hole' in Right Field.

Yes, but the Twins minor league system does not have a ready second baseman, shortstop, or third baseman.I think it's funny that the loss of Guzman/Rivas has been cited as the deciding factor in the division here. Those two were terrible last year. Words cannot describe how bad they were. It was like watching a pitcher hit. It was worse.

If they have the balls to stick M.Cuddyer at second base full time, that position suddenly becomes a strength. They can platoon SS until J.Bartlett (minor league SS that will be "ready" sometime this year) can handle the position. Those positions won't be significantly weaker this year, most likely they will have upgraded by subtraction.

Koskie/Radke/J.Jones will have some negative affect on the team if/when they lose them. I don't think that the Twins will lose all three. They should have budget reserved for resigning at least two of them, but the Twins work in the most mysterious ways. They don't talk about what they are trying to do, so it looks like they are doing nothing, when I actually think that there is a lot going on.

Anyways. Whatever. Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota... it's hard to say with only a month gone by. We'll know better in 2 months how the teams stack up. I'm pretty sure KC will suck. But that's about all I know at this point.

:gulp:

munchman33
11-19-2004, 09:26 AM
I think it's funny that the loss of Guzman/Rivas has been cited as the deciding factor in the division here. Those two were terrible last year. Words cannot describe how bad they were. It was like watching a pitcher hit. It was worse.


But hitting isn't what made the Twins good. Not even close. The Twins were good because of pitching and defense. Flat out. You can't expect them to replace both positions up the middle and their number 2 starter without losing something. Generally, teams weak up the middle defensively and without two really good starters don't make the playoffs.

Lip Man 1
11-19-2004, 11:27 AM
The only thing that really matters unfortunately, is that it won't be the Sox will it?


Lip

ma-gaga
11-20-2004, 02:35 AM
But hitting isn't what made the Twins good. Not even close. The Twins were good because of pitching and defense. Flat out. You can't expect them to replace both positions up the middle and their number 2 starter without losing something. Generally, teams weak up the middle defensively and without two really good starters don't make the playoffs.This is a good argument. However, my eyes said that Guzman/Rivas were average, at best, defensively. The Twins party line was that they were "gold glovers", and since they (the Twins' announcers) were the media, the infielders were labeled as "gold glovers" and that was the message that was pushed.

Defense is an inexact science, and it's almost impossible to quantify, but I theorize that the Twins won DESPITE Guzman and Rivas, not because of them.

But I'm a FOBB. So I have my biases. :gulp:

If the Twins lose Radke, they will be in serious trouble. I'm also pissed off about Koskie. It sounds like the Twins are lowballing the guy for reasons I just can't understand. :angry:

munchman33
11-20-2004, 12:30 PM
I'm also pissed off about Koskie. It sounds like the Twins are lowballing the guy for reasons I just can't understand. :angry:
I know. It's not like his contract demands are unreasonable or something. And he doesn't want an exhorbitant number of years either.

munchman33
11-20-2004, 12:31 PM
The only thing that really matters unfortunately, is that it won't be the Sox will it?


LipWow Lip. At least wait until the offseason is over before declaring us losers next year.

Lip Man 1
11-20-2004, 12:35 PM
You mean like for the past 45 seasons?

And my comment was more towards the belief that barring a completely unexpected turn of events (like sudden new ownership) I don't think anyone is going to put the Sox at the top of the division going into 2005.

Lip

Foulke You
11-20-2004, 05:49 PM
The Twins are the AL Central Champs (again). I said it last year amidst "Royals-signed Matt Stairs and Juan Gonzalez mania" and I'll say it again this year. The Twins are king of the mountain until someone knocks them off.

The Tribe have a lot of talented position players and good hitting. Their starting pitching outside of CC Sabathia is pretty thin and their bullpen is one of the worst in the AL. Until they address those issues, I don't see them being there at the end.