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Around The American League: Seattle Mariners And Texas Rangers: Former Tribe Hand Led To Success In Texas, Is Seattle Next In Line?

One team adding ex-Indians, another losing them

SEATTLE - OCTOBER 19:  New manager Eric Wedge of the Seattle Mariners is introduced to the media at Safeco Field on October 19 2010 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
SEATTLE - OCTOBER 19: New manager Eric Wedge of the Seattle Mariners is introduced to the media at Safeco Field on October 19 2010 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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It is clear that some teams in the Major Leagues like their former Indians, whether they are players or managers. In fact, almost half of one team's coaches had something to do with the Indians during their career. Their success in Cleveland was nearly extraneous, but somehow found their way back into the managerial field.

It's hard for anybody not to like former Tribe hand Cliff Lee. It was a one man show during the 2009 World Series, and was comparable to his 2010 post season performance. He was a member of both clubs in 2010, having been traded from Seattle down south for prospects, including touted first basemen Justin Smoak.

Lee was the X-factor that got Texas over the hump and into the playoffs as AL West Champions. Without him, the Rangers current pitching staff is young (with three pitchers under the age of 26) but most importantly, vulnerable. They will have at least one former closer in the rotation come opening day, C.J. Wilson looks to be the lead candidate for the first start. With his departure, the Rangers rotation lacks stability and a reasonable track record.

Also lacking a decent track record is third basemen Adrian Beltre , more specifically, his post contract year performances. When a big contract is on the line, he usually steps up his game; but for not much more than that. He will essentially be replacing Michael Young, the long time face of the franchise at the hot corner. Young moves to DH where his gold glove winning left hand will not be properly utilized. Beltre and Young are similar in ability and capability, so in a way, the Rangers only off season pick up was a mood point. Their fiscal muscle would have been more wisely spent on an arm.

The Mariners, on the other hand, are reloading their team with former Tribe players and managers. That must make star right fielder Ichiro comfortable, seeing his distaste for Clevelanders. New Manager Eric Wedge, a former Indian, recruited ex-tribe pitching coach Carl Willis, third base coach Jeff Datz, to their same positions. Batting coach Chris Chambliss, born in Dayton, was a member of the Indians as a player from 1971-74 where he won the rookie of the year award. Past Indians position players Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Aaron Laffey, and Chris Gimenez load up the M's roster. Whether or not that will translate to success from one organization to another is yet to be seen.

But with Cleveland's luck, most players who leave this town generally do well, and with the current Mariners team banning together, it could make for an interesting AL West race come 2011.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.