Five years ago, the Indians embarked on a rebuilding project that was controversial in the eyes of many fans.
We didn't want to let go of the success of the 1990s. We didn't want to leave the certainty of the past for the uncertainty of the future. Yet that's exactly what GM Mark Shapiro did when he cut ties with Bartolo Colon in June 2002, trading him to Montreal for Lee Stevens, Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips and Cliff Lee.
Losing followed. A 68-94 record in 2003. A mid-August surge followed by a late-season swoon in 2004. Coming oh-so-painfully-close in 2005. The horrendous setback of 2006.
But today, it all came full circle. In 2001, an aging, veteran club Indians club clinched its sixth division title in seven years. In 2007, a much younger club has returned the Indians to the same place we left six years ago.
If that is the definition of rebuiding, consider the Indians rebuilt.