Tribe checks in at #4 on ESPN’s first Power Rankings

Nestled in between the New Yorks (Yankees at #3 and Mets at #5) on ESPN’s first MLB Power Rankings for the 2006 season are the Cleveland Indians:

Overcoming last September’s stretch-drive failures early will be key. How much will they miss Coco Crisp?

If anything, I see last season’s late-season collapse as a positive for this team. They’re young and hungry, and coming so close last year before falling on their faces is only going to make them hungrier. Sure, the loss of Coco will be a factor, as will the losses of Kevin Millwood and Bob Howry, but this is still a very good team and, if the rotation and Bob Wickman stay relatively healthy, they should again be in the thick of things. Do I think they have a chance to knock off the White Sox? Absolutely. Anything can happen in baseball. But they’ll have to make some moves at the trade deadline to shore up any weaknesses if they want to make a legitimate run.

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