What could be a better move for this team than signing Kenny Lofton to a contract for 2008?
Lofton drove in 4 runs in the 12-3 Tribe victory over the Yankees in game one of the AL division series. The 4 RBI are a playoff career high for him.
On a team filled with part-time outfielders (Jason Michaels, Trot Nixon and David Dellucci) Lofton emerged as the best. By far. At 40 years old.
Lofton's stolen base in the inning gave him 33 for his postseason career, tying him for the all-time postseason lead with...Rickey Henderson.
In his third tour of duty, Lofton is arguably the most popular Indian. Standing ovations are the norm.
His first hit was a first-inning slap up the middle that scored two runs and gave the Indians the lead for good.
Kenny Lofton is a good-luck charm. His teams get to the postseason--as in 11 times in the past 13 years.
His second hit was another RBI single to center. This one gave the Tribe a 4 run cushion.
At the age of 40, Lofton can still motor around the basepaths. He still hits and steals bases and scores runs. He can still chase down fly balls. He can still pull a ball over the right field fence. He is a veteran presence on a young team. Most importantly, he gets on base (.367 OBP in '07).
His third and final hit was an RBI double to center, chasing home Ryan Garko and the Tribe's 11th run of the game.
The Indians should just do it. Sign Kenny Lofton to a one year contract with an option year for 2009. Give him about 5 million dollars to hit and run and get fans to the park. The move makes sense. The Indians have two talented outfielders in waiting in Ben Francisco and Shin Soo-Choo. Let a Cleveland legend hold down the fort until they are ready.
PS. In 1993 the Seattle Mariners traded future Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel to the Indians in exchange for the no-hit, no-field Felix Fermin. 13 years later the Mariners wrapped up Asdrubal Cabrera with a bow and shipped him to Cleveland. The cost? The now retired Eduardo Perez. Thank you, Mariners, for sending us the second coming. In the second at bat of the first postseason game of his career, against the Yankees no less, Cabrera hit a huge solo home run in the third inning. Cabrera is batting SECOND in this series. Cabrera plays ball like a ten year veteran. Cabrera is 21 years old. Viva Venezuela.