The Cleveland Indians second base position has all but been a position carousel since the 2001 season. As a matter of fact, Ron Belliard is the only player that has played in more than 100 games in back-to-back seasons since then (2004 and 2005), at least in the Aught seasons. Belliard was a solid player, but his defensive shortcomings and rather average bat keep him off anyone’s all-anything team.
The best player at the position since the Aught-One season had been Asdrubal Cabrera, a true shortstop. Cabrera never played 100 games at second, and has since been moved back to short. Top prospect Brandon Phillips and Josh Barfield both logged singular 100+ game seasons at the position, which traumatized both so much that they were sent down to the minors the following year. Ricky Gutierrez was signed in 2002, but a severe neck injury kept him from ever being an effective player on the reservation. To find the best player of the decade, you had to look prior to 2002.
The All-Aught Indians second baseman is Roberto Alomar.
Alomar’s career with the Indians began in 1999, but there was some scuttlebutt that he might come to Cleveland as a free agent after the 1995 season. Roberto had played winter ball with his brother Sandy Jr. and Carlos Baerga. Baerga moved to third during these winter excursions between friends, while Alomar manned second base. There was some thought that the same could happen in Cleveland if Alomar took a pay-cut, but Alomar signed with the Orioles instead.
Alomar went on to infamously spit in John Hirschbeck’s face during the last series of that season (which marred a spectacular season, and up until recently, a sensational career). Thanks to the union, Alomar wasn’t suspended until the start of the 1997 season, allowing him to play against the Tribe in the playoffs. Alomar eventually hit the deciding game-four home run against Jose Mesa and the Indians to eliminate them from the 1996 playoffs.
Boy, it makes you wonder what would have happened to the Indians and Alomar had they signed him instead of Baltimore.