Welcome to Tribe Talk, where Bleacher Report’s Cleveland Indians fans weigh in on the ups and downs of the club each week throughout the season.

This week, we present our final installment of Tribe Talk for 2010, handing out our end-of-season awards for the team and sharing our final thoughts on the 2010 Cleveland Indians. 

I would like to thank participants Dale Thomas, Nino Colla, Lewie Pollis, and The Coop for their outstanding contributions this week and throughout the season. 

This discussion is open to all, so please feel free to comment below and pitch in your thoughts on the questions we’re addressing this week. Enjoy the offseason, Tribe fans. Tribe Talk will return at the start of Spring Training in 2011.

Go Tribe!


1. 2010 Indians Offensive MVP:

Samantha Bunten: Shin-Soo Choo

Nino Colla: Shin-Soo Choo

The Coop: Shin-Soo Choo

Dale Thomas: Shin-Soo Choo


2. 2010 indians Defensive MVP: 

Samantha Bunten: Lou Marson

Nino Colla: Lou Marson

The Coop: Shin-Soo Choo

Dale Thomas: Shin-Soo Choo

Lewie Pollis: CHOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Honorable mention: Jhonny Peralta)

3. 2010 Indians Cy Young:

Samantha Bunten: Chris Perez

Nino Colla: Chris Perez

The Coop: Chris Perez

Dale Thomas: Fausto Carmona

Lewie Pollis: Chris Perez

4. 2010 Indians Player Who Was The Biggest Disappointment: 

Samantha Bunten: Nimartuena (not including Andy Marte’s amazing pitching performance). Or perhaps not so much the players themselves, but the organization’s complete and total failure to find anyone who could play third base at all at any point in the season. 

Nino Colla: Asdrubal Cabrera

The Coop: Grady Sizemore – unless you are required to play more than than 25 percent of the season. Then it’s Travis Hafner.

Dale Thomas: Luis Valbuena

Lewie Pollis: Grady Sizemore

5. 2010 Indians Player Who Was The Biggest Pleasant Surprise: 

Samantha Bunten: Fausto Carmona

Nino Colla: Jeanmar Gomez

The Coop: Fausto Carmona

Dale Thomas: Chris Perez

Lewie Pollis: Carlos Santana

6. 2010 Indians Most Improved Player: 

Samantha Bunten: Fausto Carmona

Nino Colla: Chris Perez

The Coop: Fausto Carmona

Dale Thomas: Michael Brantley

Lewie Pollis: Chris Perez

7. Which three players do you believe were most vital to the team’s success (however small that was) this season, and why? 

Samantha Bunten: Choo, Carmona, and Perez. These are the three players who came to the ballpark every day and did their job as they’re paid to do, and sometimes even a little better than that. 

These three (along with Santana) gave the Tribe something to build around for the future. In a season wracked with disappointment, these three stood out as the players who not only didn’t fail us, they gave us a reason to keep watching. 

Nino Colla: I think it is quite obvious who the three players are and there probably isn’t much debate. 

Shin-Soo Choo was this team’s rock in the lineup. Fausto Carmona‘s return to decent pitching was much needed. And of course Chris Perez’s dominance in the ninth inning was a breath of fresh air.

The Coop: Fausto Carmona, Chris Perez, and Shin-Soo Choo. Quite simply, without one or more of these guys, the season would have been over in May, much sooner than when it really ended (in June).

Dale Thomas: Choo, Carmona, and Chris Perez. These are the guys that did their jobs well. Without them, we may not have recorded a win in 2010. Okay, maybe that’s overstated, but I’m just sayin’…

Lewie Pollis: Gotta start with Choo here. Baseball-Reference.com has him at 7.3 WAR, good for second-best in all of baseball. His fantastic defense, plus power, and amazing plate discipline should have made him an MVP candidate. 

Next has got to be Carlos Santana. Who cares if he was up for only two months—he was absolutely amazing. Great power, a solid arm, and plate discipline well beyond his years. He’ll be a perennial All-Star, starting in 2011. 

I have to throw a bone to Chris Perez. He made a terrible first impression, but he put his early-season woes behind him quickly. Since April 17, he’s posted a 1.35 ERA, and opposing batters have hit .174 against him with a miniscule .556 OPS. He hasn’t given up a run since August 6 or taken a loss since May 5. That puts him on par with the best closers in the league.

8. Predict the Indians’ record in 2011:

Samantha Bunten: 80-82

Nino Colla: 80-82

The Coop: 75-87, 4th in the AL Central

Dale Thomas: 81-81

Lewie Pollis: 81-81

9. Please share your final thoughts on the Indians’ 2010 season in 200 words or less:

Samantha Bunten: Sadly, the overall impression the 2010 Indians left is that they managed to somehow still be completely disappointing despite the fact that no one expected a thing out of them. 

It’s easy to blame injuries to key players to make their failures as a team more palatable, but truthfully, can we really say they would have done significantly better without these bad breaks? I’m inclined to say yes, because we all have to find a reason to keep hoping, but the truth is, it’s impossible to say for sure. 

It was tough to watch this season: we had to endure those injuries, the perpetual disaster at third base, a lackluster offense, terrible infield defense, and Trevor. 

Luckily, the Tribe did give us a few reasons to keep hoping: Fausto Carmona rising from the ashes, and the better-than-expected rotation as a whole. Shin-Soo Choo continuing to prove that he’s an all-star-caliber player. 

Carlos Santana providing hope for the future. Watching Chris Perez’s pitching and his hair shine. And the young kids putting on a good show at the end of the season when we had nothing to lose. 

Nino Colla: Ah well, what can you say other than we did a lot of what we were expected to do? 

We found out about players we needed to find out about. We answered a lot of questions. 

Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco, Aaron Laffey, Michael Brantley, Matt LaPorta, Luis Valbuena, Jason Donald, Trevor Crowe, Carlos Santana, Lou Marson, and Tony Sipp answered a lot of questions for us. 

Sure, there are still more questions to be answered with some of those guys, but we now know a lot of things we didn’t know at the start of this season and the club is going to be better for it in the long run.

The Coop: The Indians’ 2010 season was pretty much a disaster. However, to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a few eggs, and I think that’s what the Indians are doing. 

Getting rid of overpaid, under-talented players like Kerry Wood and Jhonny Peralta opened the door for young guys to get some run and show what they can do. T

The starting rotation was a very unexpected surprise, particularly the reinvention of Fausto Carmona. They definitely have a staff to build around for the future. 

Chris Perez is nasty and is more than capable of being the closer in the near-term. 

The Indians biggest problem is their offense. The complete lack of power in the lineup would be okay if they had a bunch of .300 hitters who could run and advance runners. But they don’t. 

The pitching staff is only going to get better, but they’ll never reach their full potential if they get lackluster run support. 

A lot of position players also struggled in their first extended time up in The Show, so we can only hope that these growing pains manifest themselves into a team that is ready to break through in 2011 (or, realistically, 2012).

Dale Thomas: This was a team that was never seriously expected to contend. 

It was a game camp designed to develop young players. Watch them grow, so to say, under the tutelage of a few select veterans and a new manager who only really asked for two things: Don’t commit errors and don’t issue walks. This team did not subscribe to either. 

No blame, no shame for a team plagued by injury. Grady Sizemore, one of the Tribe’s most reliable players goes down with a knee injury and became one of the Tribe’s most injury-prone players in the last two years. 

Cabrera missed almost 50 games due to a broken forearm, and really never returned to his pre-injury form. Santana, our brightest prospect in eons goes down in a heap after an ugly collision at home plate with a knee injury. 

Hafner continued his part-time status, and it all adds up to a season of gloom. 

Still, there are bright spots: Choo’s 20-20 season, Perez establishing himself as a closer and the absolute sizzle that Santana showed before being injured. 

There are lots of questions yet to be answered, especially in the rotation. Was Talbot’s first half a fluke? Can Masterson pitch at all?

Lewie Pollis: I predicted in the spring that, while the Indians’ season would be filled with pain, frustration, and occasional nausea, we would see glimmers of hope for a brighter future as our tremendously talented young players begins their ascent to the Show. 

I didn’t expect much going into the season, yet I still came away disappointed. 

Valbuena and Marson took steps back, LaPorta and Brantley took longer than they should have to adjust to big-league pitching, and Sizemore and Hafner were complete wastes of money and roster space. 

And yet, we saw some great things, too. Choo took his game to a whole new level. LaPorta had the first hot streak of his career. Carmona improved, Masterson made strides, and Carrasco was terrific. 

Cabrera made some Omar-esque plays at shortstop, and Marson showed off his cannon arm. And, of course, Santana made us all believe again. 

Since I still have some word space left, I’d like to remind everyone that it’s too early to give up on Masterson. He finished the year with a 3.93 FIP, .332 BABIP, and 66.6 percent strand rate. So don’t start crying for him to be moved to the ‘pen because of his 4.70 ERA. 

CHOOOOOOOO! (exactly 200 words)

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