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All-Aught Indians: Back-up Catcher: Kelly Shoppach (2006-2009)

Kelly Shoppach (Credit Image: © Cal Sport Media)

Kelly Shoppach (Credit Image: © Cal Sport Media)

When the Boston Red Sox came a-knockin’ in an attempt to acquire Coco Crisp, Cleveland immediately asked for top prospect Andy Marte, who had been acquired earlier in the offseason from the Braves. The Red Sox quickly agreed, but the Indians began working the Sox for another important player. Guillermo Mota was thrown in to help bolster the Indians pen, but the player the Tribe wanted was another top prospect in the Sox organization that was buried behind Jason Varitek. Boston was hesitant to give up their top catching prospect, and they turned out to be dead right. The All-Aught Indians back-up catcher was that player, Kelly Shoppach.

It’s really hard to look at Shoppach as a back-up since he was essentially the starting catcher for the Indians over the past two seasons. In 2008, he ascended to the top thanks to an injury that left Victor Martinez on the DL for much of the season. In 2009, Shoppach again filled in for VMart, after the starter was dealt to, ironically enough, Shoppach’s old team, the Boston Red Sox.
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All-Aught Indians: Catcher: Victor Martinez

The Cleveland Indians are known for either trading away or allowing their best players to leave via free agency. Over the years, the Indians have watched the likes of Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Bartola Colon, Cliff Lee and CC Sabathia all ride into the sunset. Nothing was as painful as watching the Indians deal away VMart. The All-Aught Indians catcher is El Capitan, Victor Martinez.

There may not have been an easier choice at any other position.

Victor Martinez bled Cleveland Indians baseball, and of all the players that have left Cleveland in recent memory, Martinez was the one guy that truly didn’t want to go, crying with his son in front of his locker after the trade had been announced. I had hoped that Martinez would retire on the reservation, but it wasn’t in the cards, even though that’s what VMart wanted more than anything.

Unfortunately for the Indians and for many fans, not winning and Carlos Santana made him expendable.

Expendable?

Victor Martinez?

Not a chance.
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