Cleveland Sports Insiders

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All-Aught Indians: Right Field: Manny Ramirez (2000)

Right Field has been a position of power and pain for the Cleveland Indians over the past ten years. Manny Ramirez started off the decade with a monster year before leaving the Tribe for the greener monsters of Boston. Juan Gonzalez appeared for a year to take Manny’s place, relaunched his stuttering career with a big season of his own, then left for Detroit. That’s when the mashers left, and the deteriation of right field began.

What followed were middling seasons from the likes of Matt Lawton, Jody Gerut, Trot Nixon and Franklin Gutierrez. All showed promise in one form or another, but couldn’t even reach the first rung of the ladder built by ManRam and JuanGone. The fact that Casey Blake had the longest tenure during the aughts in right field should let you know just how “interesting” things got in the hunt for stability at the position. The light at the end of the tunnel closing out the decade has been Shin-Soo Choo, who surely has a head start on the All-Teens team.

With that said, the All-Aught Indians Right Fielder is Manny Ramirez.
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All-Aught Indians: Utility: Jolbert Cabrera (2000-2002)

Jolbert Cabrera

Jolbert Cabrera

Utility infielders and utility outfielders have become extremely valuable resources in the game of baseball. For the Indians over the years, players such as John McDonald and Jamey Carroll have established themselves as key bench players. Players such as ex-Detroit Tiger’s uber-utility players Tony Phillips and ex-Angel and current Mariner Chone Figgins have re-invented the position.

Phillips became the first player to start ten games at five different positions, while Figgins started 35+ games at third base, centerfield and second all in the same season. The Indians have utilized several players in a similar fashion over the years. Most recently, Jamey Carroll had found time at second and third base right and left field. Prior to Carroll, Casey Blake carried the uber-utility slot for the Tribe, playing third and first base, right and left field, as well as DH during his tenure with the Tribe. He started at third base for the Tribe in 2003 and 2004, moved to the outfield for 2005 and 2006, then moved back to third base for 2007 and most of 2008.

Throughout his tenure, he periodically started at the other positions. Unfortunately for Blake, he doesn’t qualify for the All-Aught slot because he started most games at one position from year to year. Even though Carroll should qualify, I’m excluding him because he didn’t play much outfield, and really didn’t play much outfield in his tenure with the Tribe. Besides, Carroll is already a part of this team.

So I’m going all homer on this one.

The All-Aught Indians utility player is Jolbert Cabrera.
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All-Aught Indians: Third Base: Casey Blake (2003-2008)

Casey Blake

Casey Blake

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…

Choosing the Cleveland Indians All-Aught third baseman was no easy task. The decade started off promising when the 31-year-old Travis Fryman had the finest season of his career. In 155 games, the Tribe third-sacker rolled out a shiny .321 average with 22 homers, 106 RBI and 93 runs. He also won the gold glove that year, and it looked like the Indians had found a guy that would anchor their positions for years to come.

Unfortunately for Fryman and the Indians, he would struggle through two injury-filled seasons in 2001 and 2002, and would never come close to that impressive decade starter.

From that point on, the Indians filled third base with a hodgepodge of players, ranging from the multi-position Casey Blake, to the oft-injured Aaron Boone, to the overhyped Andy Marte, to short-timer Mark DeRosa, to the former shortstop, Jhonny Peralta. With Fryman’s numbers diminished by injury, and the rest of the lot bargain ballplayers…

…backing into the team of the decade as the All-Aught Indians third baseman is Casey Blake.
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