THE TRIBE HAS SPOKEN: A Multi-part Series (1)



A deep dive into the Season 2 Indians, and the franchise that turned a chaotic, ragtag, farcical group of memers into a Superteam.

A Multi-part series written by Kyle Corbett

Part I: The Dawn of the Tribe

When new members of Major League Redditball think about the league's 2nd season, I'm not really sure what comes to mind. Perhaps they think of Jayy's miraculous run to bring his Phillies their second straight Paper Cup. Perhaps they think of the Devil Rays, and the ultra-active super team that blubbed their way to a division crown. Maybe they think of the Lindros scandal, where nearly a dozen "players" were banned for, well, all being the same guy. Or, maybe, they think about when half of the league decided to take their bats and go home to create their own league. Regardless of what you think of when Season 2 comes to your mind, I can guarantee you one thing: You don't think of the Cleveland Indians.

I personally find it to be a travesty that this team is so criminally buried in people's memory. People remember this season for all the scandals, the ghosting, the alting, the fantastic moments, and everything in between, but what people forget is that the team that was involved in every single bit of that were the Cleveland Indians. This team had their scandals, their ghosting, and maybe even some alting along the way. Nonetheless, they pushed forth, and this team of memers and dreamers stumbled into a 10-8 record.

Now at this point, most of you reading this are probably wanting to send me a DM that says "Kyle, what are you talking about? A 10-8 record is nothing to celebrate. That's barely above average!". Yes, I understand your concerns, but on paper, this team should not have won anywhere near that amount of games. As we take a closer look at what all this team went through, they're lucky to have won a single game. Now to all of you rookies who recently became Indians, allow me to clarify something to you. The Season 2 Indians are not the same franchise that you are part of. In fact, following the conclusion of the Season 3 Paper Cup, the old Indians moved to Cincinnati to become the Reds, while a new expansion team was born in Cleveland that just so happened to be called the Indians. So current Indians: rest assured that you do not have to live in infamy because of your team's history. That's Zelk's job.

So anyways, most people don't really know the deep history of this franchise, and despite what appears to be a fairly mellow culture today was rooted in absolute chaos and anarchy. To better explain the tale along the way, I called upon some Major League Redditball veterans to give some insight into the Season 2 Indians. Here's what some of them had to say, when asked what all they remember about the team.
"Oh lord. Um, their first GM was a [redacted] who never showed up", said Mongster Mash, current Angels infielder. "Then BB came around".
"Mismanagement from the start, and absolute [redacted]", said former GM Jayson Burdwell. "They were the first unanimously disliked team, I would say."

"All in all I think of the Tampa Bay-Cleveland rivalry that could have been," said Robin Reynolds, current Mariners infielder and former Devil Rays player. "It could have been our Yankees-Red Sox or Barcelona-Madrid".

So let's begin the tale of Cleveland by going back to late October 2017. It's Halloween time, and at this point, the Philadelphia Phillies have claimed the Season 1 Paper Cup as the inaugural season has been cut short to make room for a plethora of new players coming in from /r/baseball. In doing so, commissioner Jayson Burdwell needed to expand the league. Many mainstays in the league took teams at this point. Whitt Bass took the Devil Rays, Geno Scaramucci took the Dodgers, and Jeff Steelflex took the Cardinals. However, the Indians weren't going to get a big name. There's no way this story could begin like that. In fact, they won't even get a small name. In honor of Halloween season, the Indians GM will be a ghost.

This ghost goes by the name of /u/MatthewC, otherwise known as Roger Dorn.

This Discord message screenshot from former MLR GM Doc JaAm is the only relevant message about Roger Dorn in the GM Lounge, the only remaining channel that would really have a lot of history about a guy like Dorn, because there's not much. I spoke to multiple active players, including former commissioners, about Dorn, and many don't even remember him. However, it is quite rude of me to call him a ghost this early on, but in reality, that's all he is. He's an apparition, with his hand still haunting the team over the season despite his brief tenure on top of the franchise.

However, Dorn did speak out in public a few times, one of which was to introduce himself, as you can see here:

While Dorn was quiet to start his tenure, he did set the team in motion by making draft selections and building his Opening Day lineup. There were 12 rounds in the MLR Draft back entering Season 2, and Dorn knew he needed to make a big splash early. So with the first selection in the draft, the Indians took B.B. Bambino Jr.!

Oh, BB. If you didn't know BB, you certainly missed out. Bambino was one of the most active players around at the beginning of Season 2, and he was quite vocal in main. He was actively anti-OOTC and called out guys like Osmosis Jones often for not doing their job correctly. Let me also add that Bambino was genuinely a great guy as well. He wasn't just some troll who yelled a lot in bold, he was very friendly and cared about both his team and the league. Yet, he had an edge. And he was remembered for such. Bambino plays an important role in the Indians tale, so we'll talk more about him later. The first round is over and we're onto the second, and this time, Dorn's splash will be even bigger. He's going to take...Cardith Buxton, otherwise known as /u/cardith_lorda.

This list look familiar to anyone? I sure hope it would! This is the frontpage list of moderators on /r/baseball, and Cardith is a member. Cardith was a major source of contact for the OOTC with /r/baseball, and Dorn drafting him should spell well for the franchise. However, Dorn quickly learned that the /r/baseball machine runs much better than the /r/fakebaseball corporation, and Cardith was vocal about it. In one instance, Cardith went into #game-discussion and pinged Jayy, complaining about the way umpires were working in game. This prompted Dorn to finally speak up in the GM Lounge, where he went to war against A.J. Preller:

This is the only portion of Dorn's brief existence in the league where we really see him care. In fact, you all have seen the bulk of his tenure as GM right here. He drafted a fake baseball legend and an /r/baseball mod, he defended that mod publicly against some of the league's most brute forces, and that was about it. He did do some other things though. He also would go on to draft a pair of quality arms in Norwood MacKenzie and Tommy Foxconn, the latter of which would go on to become an All-Star. He also selected Filthy Frank, Connor Carter, Jim Boeheim, as well as some other guys who would never sign. He signed some nice UDFAs, including Dick Woolridge, who still pitches today in MLR. After signing Fernando Trouble, his opening day lineup was essentially complete. It's time for his team to take the field against the Detroit Tigers for Opening Day!

The date is November 24, 2017. It's time for Roger Dorn's Indians to take the field against the Tigers. The Tigers were expected to be a competitive team in Season 2, on the back of GM Zum Boehner, who was one of the league's most important contributors at the time. Zum will be an important topic of conversation in other editions of this series, as he played a major role in helping the Indians be the dumpster fire that they were, so I won't spend much time on him or his team here. Nonetheless, the beauty of his team being the first to face the Indians is great. His team gets to be the first part of the story of this fabled season, and it certainly won't be the last time we hear from them either.

Tommy Foxconn got the start for the Indians on the mound. Things were rocky for him in the first two innings, giving up a couple of runs off of an RBI Single by Casey Nine, as well as a Sac Fly from Lightning Balls. However, Fernando Trouble would prove his worth by hitting a solo shot in the 3rd to cut the lead to just 1. Trouble, despite hitting the first homer in franchise history, would appear in just 1 more game after this before he too would ghost, never to be seen again. The game would continue with a solo home run for Morris Deratt, as well as an RBI double from Balls, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

I want to pause for a moment and mention something. Every member of the Tigers I have mentioned so far, as of the time of the publication of this article, is currently on an active MLR Roster. Balls plays for the Giants, Zum plays for the Yankees, and Deratt and Nine still play for the Tigers to this day. These four runs would be the only runs scored by the Tigers in this game, but that's not what matters. What matters is that the four Tigers who mattered in this game are all still playing in the MLR today. Yet, not a single Indian remains in the league. This stat right here is just a microcosm of what is to come between these two teams. The Tigers are like the Indians' mean, older brother. Throughout this season, they will rub stats like that in their face little by little to show who's superior. However, in every good tale, it's the underdog that gets the last laugh. And that's exactly what will happen in this game.

Foxconn would be replaced by Norwood MacKenzie, who did his part on the mound by pitching 1.2 innings of shutout, 1-hit baseball. But the offense needed to do their part too. The Top of the 5th got started with Cardith Buxton hitting a double to score Trouble, making the score 4-2. Bambino Jr. would follow at the plate, netting an RBI of his own as his base hit allowed Buxton to score, making the score 4-3. Two batters later, Stig Bond hits an RBI double that scores Bambino, making the score 4-4. We now head to the 6th inning, where the 4-4 game remains. Up to the plate comes Filthy Frank. Frank is one of three players to start and end Season 2 as a member of the Indians, so it is fitting that he have the first chance to make a mark in the history books. With the bases empty and 1 out, Frank stands in, looking to be the hero for the Indians. Bartholomew Masters fires at Frank with a slider, and Frank takes advantage, by filthily launching that ball 405 feet into left field! Frank's home run gives the Indians a 5-4 lead, and that would be the final score.

The Indians, in their first fake baseball game as a franchise, get a come from behind win over their big brother. Despite all odds, the underdog has shown what they are made of. It's a shame that what they're made of won't last for long.

After this game, Roger Dorn goes into GM Lounge. He sends a message, reading "@Zum GG". This would be the final discord message sent by Dorn in the main server. Dorn would still be the official GM entering into Session 2, but at this point, he has become nothing more than a phantom of his former self. 385 total discord messages later, he is an apparition. He is, finally, a ghost. At the end of session 2, Dorn would be removed as general manager, with B.B. Bambino Jr. becoming Interim GM beginning in Session 3.

Despite the lack of organized leadership, the Indians would still go on to win their home opener against the Oakland Athletics, 2-1. At this point, people were starting to come around on Cleveland. Suddenly, this team of nobodies and a GM people knew nothing about had set the league on fire. The team was about to face their biggest challenge yet, as they were about to head south to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who have been the talk of the MLR to start the year. This is a game everyone has their eyes on, and nearly 2.5 years since this game occurred, the league still looks back on it with a wide array of opinions.

Oh, by the way, there is one player I forgot to mention that was on the Indians. This player didn't really do a whole lot in their first two games with the team, going a combined 0-for-4 in the team's first two games. Overall, this player was somewhat quiet. Nonetheless, Dorn knew what he was doing when he drafted this player. He knew he wanted someone to be a voice. A source of fire and brimstone. A bringer of rain and hell amongst all heathens. A suppressor of the weak. A barbarian titan, with the sword of the tongue and the knuckles ready to bang on the keyboard in front of them. Dorn wanted an Autocrat. I don't know if he got exactly that, but he surely got someone to be a voice. Let's see who Dorn drafted. In the 4th round of the Season 2 MLR Expansion draft, the Cleveland Indians select...

To be continued...

© 2019 The Write-Up. All rights reserved.
Powered by Webnode
Create your website for free! This website was made with Webnode. Create your own for free today! Get started