2000s a 'decade of extremes' for Indians
Club wins two division titles, finishes below .500 five times
CLEVELAND -- The 2000s were a drastic decade for the Indians.The Tribe entered the decade riding the last wave of its 1990s renaissance period, when division titles became par for the course and record numbers of fans came through the turnstiles at Jacobs Field. By the end of the decade, it was Progressive Field, and the selling of the naming rights was just one of many changes. The team had undergone an overhaul, on the field and off. The Dolan family bought the organization from Dick Jacobs, Mark Shapiro took the general manager's reins from John Hart, and a total rebuild reinvented the way business was done at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. When all was said and done, the Tribe teams of the 2000s won 90 games or more four times and captured the American League Central crown in 2001 and '07. But they also fell below .500 five times. "It was," team radio voice Tom Hamilton said, "a decade of extremes." The decade was the topic of discussion during a bus trip to Columbus on the Tribe's winter Press Tour in January. Aboard the bus were Hamilton, vice president of public relations Bob DiBiasio and director of media relations Bart Swain, and MLB.com asked the three men to pore over a list of players at each position from 2000-09 and select the Indians' All-Decade Team. Two other men who watched this club, night in and night out, for the duration of the decade -- Shapiro and Plain Dealer beat reporter Paul Hoynes -- weren't on the bus but were surveyed separately. The goal was to come to a consensus. Which players' contributions within that 10-season period ranked above the rest at their position? We wanted to pick five starters, one setup man, one closer, three outfielders and one player at every other position, including DH. While the answers were fairly obvious at most spots, there were a few head-scratchers in the mix. Here's a full rundown, and keep in mind that only the 2000-09 seasons were taken into consideration:
Indians All-Decade team
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.