Today your author is AK-47.
2008 Record: 81-81, 3rd place in A.L. Central
2008 as an Allegory: You just learned to cook last week. You graduated from your weekly cooking class and you feel like a master chef. You invite your girlfriend over for the big "first meal". The table is set, the candles are lit, the music is soft and the lights are low. She comes over, looking great, and you know that if you nail this meal, there's no doubt that you're getting lucky tonight! However, when the grand moment hits, and you lift that silver platter cover exposing the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese that you "whipped up", the look on her face says it all.
Offseason Moves: Signed Kerry Wood and Carl Pavano (I know, I know...), traded for Mark DeRosa and Joe Smith, and lost Franklin Gutierrez
State of the Union
Last year was a tale of two seasons for the Tribe. I'm not going to bore you with too many of the details, because it's the Indians and even if you're reading this I'm sure you're not that interested. Long story short: Travis Hafner was on 'roids and crapped out, Victor Martinez was on 'roids and crapped out, Fausto Carmona was on 'roids in 2007 (the only reason he was good) but then he crapped out, C.C. Sabathia is on 'roids and didn't crap out but eventually got traded (which coincidentally coincided with the Tribe's resurgence...go figure) and Cliff Lee went on 'roids after he was demoted to the minors in 2007 and won the Cy Young. Does that sum it up? Sorry, but get used to it, John Q. Public. The explanation for EVERYTHING is now "he was on 'roids". Good, bad, indifferent. Need an answer? It was 'roids.
Either team from last year could show up again this year - the shitty first-half version or the hot-to-trot second-half remix. They haven't made many changes at all, aside from replacing "Jersey" Joe Borowski with Kerry "Morning" Wood. But that's not a bad thing, though. They were a talented team last year that just F'd up early, and came together late, mostly due to injuries. If they can heal up (Carmona, Hafner, Martinez) and stay healthy (Wood) they could easily be in the thick of things in the Central. They could also easily finish dead last.
Carl Pavano will instantly begin dating the hottest celebrity that calls Cleveland home (I obviously can't name one). He'll make his first three starts of the season, then get into a car accident due to his girlfriend "dropping her lip gloss on the driver's side by the pedals and was just down there for a while trying to find it" while Carl was driving, causing him to inadvertently close his eyes for about 30 seconds and hit a telephone pole. He'll be on the D.L. for the rest of the season and only make a half-assed attempt to come back.