February 27, 2013
The 2012 version of the Cleveland Indians was a disaster. Only the wretched Minnesota Twins saved them from the worst record in the American League. Nobody gave up more runs in the AL than the Tribe's dismal staff. Across all of MLB only the Colorado Rockies allowed more runners to cross home plate. And when that's the company you keep, it's time for a change.
GM Chris Antonetti conducted his version of an extreme home makeover this offseason. New bodies suiting up by the lake this season include Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs, Nick Swisher, Mike Aviles, Ryan Raburn (gasp!), Brett Myers, Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers, and Bryan Shaw. That is potentially more than 40% of the roster turning over, and rightfully so.
Perhaps the biggest 'get' by Antonetti wasn't a player at all, it was luring Manager Terry Francona out of the broadcast booth and back into the dugout. Francona is one of the best around, is beloved by his players, and has a track record of winning a lot of baseball...