Dealing: The Cleveland Indians' New Ballgame (2000–2007)

Inside the Front Office and the Process of Rebuilding a Contender

Terry Pluto


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“Fair, honest and insightful throughout . . . The book is a compelling look at the Indians’ organizational thought process in what has become a challenging baseball market.” —

For Indians fans who want to know what goes on inside the front office, this book tells all. It’s an in-depth look at how the team was taken apart and rebuilt as a contender again in spite of Major League Baseball’s competitive imbalance.

Tribe fans grew accustomed to winning in the late 1990s. They had an owner with deep pockets, a brand-new ballpark, and a team of All-Stars who delivered a division championship nearly every year. Then, in 2002, the team’s new owners began a controversial plan to unload their popular but expensive stars and replace them with a steady stream of young prospects and veteran rehab projects. Critics scoffed, and fans stayed away.

But by 2005 the plan showed promise with a 95-win season. And in 2007 it paid off, as the Indians beat the top-dollar Yankees in the playoffs and came within one game of the World Series—with a payroll less than half that of their competition.

How did they do it? Veteran sportswriter Terry Pluto (who had unprecedented access to the Indians front office) carefully analyzes each big decision and tells which ones worked, which ones didn’t, and why. This rare behind-the-scenes look at a modern front office will intrigue any fan fascinated by baseball deal-making.

A wealth of baseball detail that will intrigue serious fans and fantasy leaguers.

Additional information

Weight0.62 lbs
Dimensions8.5 × 5.5 × 0.4 in

Table of Contents

Introduction: “No one knew what was coming.”

Facing a Scary New Ballgame

1. “Is this team for sale?” (Dick Jacobs Buys Low, Sells High)

2. “You can’t wait for the right time to buy the Indians.” (The Dolan Family Takes Over)

3. “Manny’s free agency was a circus.” (The Departure of Manny Ramirez)

4. “We didn’t have enough fingers for all the leaks.” (The Roberto Alomar Trade)

5. “Free-agent fascination” (Where Did All the Prospects Go?)

6. “We’re buying prospects.” (Reality Arrives, Bartolo Colon Goes)

7. “Fans were screaming at us.” (Taking Heat While Gathering Young Talent)

8. “If the Indians can’t keep this guy, they won’t keep anyone.” (Jim Thome Leaves)

9. “I never felt too young to manage.” (Eric Wedge Takes Charge)

10. “Do you want to stand for something?” (Vision and Values)

11. “What will it say to the other players?” (The Milton Bradley Dilemma)

12. “The fans didn’t come back.” (The End of the Era of Sellouts)

13. “A sense of relief” (The Tribe Contends in 2005)

14. There’s Always One More Deal (“I don’t just want to have a good year, I want to get to the playoffs every year.”)


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