Tribe braces for arms race, former faces
Pitching should star in ALCS replete with former Indians
NEW YORK -- Who do these Indians think they are, messing with the previously scripted Red Sox-Yankees drama?This wasn't how the ALCS was to look. The series was to be another painstaking, titanic struggle between the game's most free-spending clubs. Somehow, the team with the $70 million payroll snuck into the party. Then again, the Indians certainly earned their way to the door. "You don't get to this point in the American League by accident," said general manager Mark Shapiro, after the Tribe had wrapped up a 3-1 win over the Yankees in the ALDS. "The last two teams standing in the American League are both going to be very good teams." If nothing else, the Indians have already done a fine service to those who want to be spared from the media salivation over another Red Sox-Yankees ALCS. "I can't say I'm tired of it, because those guys play hard all year," Tribe ace C.C. Sabathia said. "But it's definitely nice to see us in it." Simply getting here isn't the Indians' only goal, of course. They will be gunning for the organization's first World Series appearance since 1997 and third since 1995. And having finished off the Yanks in Game 4 on Monday night, the Indians have afforded themselves the luxury of having both Sabathia and fellow 19-game winner Fausto Carmona fully rested and ready to roll in Games 1 and 2, respectively. "We've got two big horses at the top," Shapiro said. "We're going to put up a fight. You can bet on that." And this is one fight that will include quite a bit of friendly fire. For one, the series will reunite the Indians with former outfielder Coco Crisp -- the man shipped off in a controversial trade before the 2006 season that has yet to bring about the intended results for either club.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.