This True Team idea is based off of a Twitter conversation with Jason Wojciechowski about True Teams. This past season, Grant Green - a prospect in the Oakland Athletics organization - was moved from shortstop to center field because his defense wasn't good enough. However, Billy Beane told Green that the purpose of this move was that Cliff Pennington was blocking him at short. I snarkily replied that "Cliff Pennington is a True Athletic. Can't move him from short."
We often hear about a player being a True Yankee, but what about the rest of the teams? I'll run through each team in alphabetical order.
Many of the players on these teams will be current players, just because they haven't had the opportunity to go elsewhere just yet. The average amount of current players per team is nine.
Here are the links to the previous posts in this series:
Angels | Astros | Athletics | Blue Jays | Braves | Brewers | Cardinals | Cubs | Diamondbacks | Dodgers | Giants
1. The player must have played for the team in question for their entire career, as found by the "C" column in the Franchise Encyclopedia on baseball-reference. The reason for this is simply to make the data gathering process as simple as possible. Unfortunately, this strict rule leads to the omissions of players such as Willie Mays and Hanley Ramirez.
2. Players are ranked based on fWAR for batters and rWAR for pitchers (this is based on the relative ability to gain these values. Plus, pitcher WAR is not available on Fangraphs as far back as it is on baseball-reference.)
3. Pitchers are defined as starting pitchers if they have started more than 60% their career appearances.
4. For hitters, the position they play on the All-True Team may not have been their main position in real life, but they must have played there at some point in their career.
5. If two players are similar in overall WAR, their length of career will be the deciding factor as to which one makes the team.
6. A 25-man roster will be chosen for each team. This includes a starting player for each defensive position, five starting pitchers, five relief pitchers and seven bench players. These bench players will be the seven best remaining players.
7. A Mr. Team may be chosen if their career WAR is greater than 30% of the total All-Team WAR. There will be nine Mr. Teams chosen.
|BENCH (1B)||Mickey Rocco||6.5|
|BENCH (C)||Carlos Santana||5.7|
|BENCH (OF)||Joe Birmingham||4.7|
|BENCH (3B)||Rube Lutzke||3.5|
|BENCH (SP)||Fausto Carmona||5.4|
|BENCH (SP)||Glenn Liebhardt||4.6|
|BENCH (SP)||George Kahler||3.1|
Team Established: 1901
Total Team WAR: 417.8
Total WAR Rank: 11/30 teams
Mr. Indian: N/A. The player with the highest WAR is Bob Feller, who only has 16% of the team total.
Team MVP: Bob Feller, 66.0 WAR.
Number of Active Players: 5. This is four fewer than the average for all true teams.
Free Agent: Grady Sizemore. Sizemore's option was declined by the Indians this offseason. He has been rumored to be moving to a "high-revenue team." He would be replaced on this team by Buddy Ryan, who has 1.8 career WAR.
Players That Just Missed (90% of Career on Team): Earl Averill (93% of PA, 54.3 WAR in CLE), Lou Boudreau (96% of PA, 68.1 WAR in CLE), Terry Turner (98% of PA, 37.7 WAR in CLE), Ken Keltner (99% of PA, 41.7 WAR in CLE), Willis Hudlin (98% of IP, 28.3 WAR in CLE), Charles Nagy (99% of IP, 22.9 WAR in CLE),Mike Garcia (98% of IP, 34.6 WAR in CLE)
Cleveland Indians history goes all the way back to 1901 when they were called the Cleveland Blues. In that time, 31 hall of fame players have been on the team. Feller is easily the best of the bunch, but the pitching staff has four players with over 40 career WAR.
There won't be many conclusions drawn here, but feel free to discuss this team in the comments. Anyone I missed, any surprises, any memories of specific players?
Read about the Indians on SBNation at Let's Go Tribe!
Follow me on Twitter at Steal of Home!