The Indians players in Major League 1 & 2 ranked from worst to best

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Now that we’re midway through the baseball season, it’s time to ask, who are the real All-Stars on the roster of the first two Major League movies? We’ve ranked every notable player from worst to best!

Hi all! Dave here. While you probably know about my Back to the Future fandom by now, you might not know of the other movie I watch pretty much annually. That would be Major League, the 1989 hit that kickstarted many a sports comedy in the 1990s. The chumps-to-champs Cinderella story has rarely been done so well (and so hilariously), and I make it a point to watch it at the beginning of every baseball season in order to get excited for another year of New York Mets baseball.

As a kid who would obsessively pore over the league leader stats in the newspaper and track my own team’s numbers in MLBPA Baseball on the Super Nintendo, determining the best players on a particular team was always a fun pastime of mine. Between the original classic and its diminishing-returns sequel, this fictional version of the Cleveland Indians had plenty of major players on the field, and I’m going to rank them from worst to best!

Just a few ground (ball) rules first. I’m only ranking players who have dialogue, as so many players are briefly mentioned throwing a single pitch or on-base once during the series without any context of their ability. Also, since Major League: Back to the Minors didn’t focus on the Indians or have any redeeming value, nobody from that movie will be listed. Now, without further ado, your Cleveland Indians!

jaketaylor

9 – JAKE TAYLOR

WEAKNESS: Is terrible at throwing out runners and lacks knees.
BEST PLAY: Lying to the world and bunting.
SCOUTING REPORT: Tom Berenger may have been the actual star of the original Major League, but what did his character really bring to the team? Heart?! I’m sure they could have gotten a locker-room leader that could actually throw out runners or hit with any regularity. I also must fault the Indians for keeping a guy with bum knees as catcher (where you have to pop a squat for hours per day) when they could have used Taylor as a DH and had someone with an arm behind the plate.

pedrocerrano

8 – PEDRO CERRANO

WEAKNESS: Is initially bad at hitting curveballs, then is too peaceful.
BEST PLAY: Hitting a homerun after cursing out his deity.
SCOUTING REPORT: Pedro Cerrano’s only success comes because the rest of the teams in Major League are just as stupid as the Indians. In reality, the complete inability to hit curveballs would probably keep a player off of any team (he doesn’t seem to have any notable fielding skills, since he never makes a noteworthy play in any of the movies), but Cerrano is given an entire 162 game season to work out the kinks. He does so at the best possible moment, but is again a dud at the beginning of Major League II due to his newfound peaceful nature. He once again drags down his team for an extended period, performing decently once the Indians start winning. Again; why did they keep him on the main roster for such extended periods of mediocrity?

rickvaugh

7 – RICK VAUGHN

WEAKNESS: Initially has bad vision, then is too wealthy.
BEST PLAY: Striking out the main villain in both movies.
SCOUTING REPORT: Yeah, Charlie Sheen’s character is probably the one people associate most with Major League, but he really had a half-season of brilliance within the two full seasons shown in the series. He starts out as a fast but wild pitcher who can’t maintain control because of his poor vision. That’s a bit insane, since you’d expect a vision test to be part of a professional baseball team’s physicals, but whatever. He gets some glasses and is one of the cornerstones of the Indians’ success. If I was making this list solely based on the first movie, he’d be near the top. However, if you take into account that the “Wild Thing” didn’t have any positive contribution to the team in Major League II until the very last play in the final game of the ALCS, it’s tough to consider the face of the movie franchise one of the series’ best players.

rodgerdorn

6 – ROGER DORN

WEAKNESS: Hates getting hit by the ball.
BEST PLAY: Gets hit by the ball.
SCOUTING REPORT: Honestly, Corbin Bernsen’s character should be higher on this list, but Jake Taylor’s pettiness held Roger Dorn down. Taylor was right to call out Dorn’s lack of heart on the field early in the season, but he went on to become a good fielder and great hitter (.271 with 86 RBIs). He retired to become owner of the Indians but then re-activated himself as a player when he sold the team and was busted down to General Manager. While I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, what’s even more criminal is the fact that new manager Taylor wouldn’t put Dorn in, despite coming off a pretty great year. When he did put him in to take a hit-by-pitch and then immediately pulled him he made the right call, so basically Jake Taylor sandwiched two good moves with months and months of passive-aggression.

Where does Wesley Snipes and the rest of the Major League cast rank? Read on to the next page to find out!

13 thoughts on “The Indians players in Major League 1 & 2 ranked from worst to best

  1. Oh. Oh my. No no no no no no no, this will not do.

    9, Dorn – Dorn’s batting average is mentioned, but his OBP and power numbers are not, and I suspect with good reason. He lacks range at a premium defensive position and doesn’t have the pop to make up for it. On a better team he’s probably moved off short, but on a better team his offense doesn’t play anywhere besides short, which is why he’s no longer a respected player in Major League 2.

    8. Harris – The wily sinker-baller is a relic, and a poor fit for the up-the-middle defense sorely lacking on the Indians, and he’s an even bigger risk to miss games due to both ball-doctoring and age.

    7. Tanaka – That kind of reckless, Eric Byrnesian defense may show hustle and be entertaining as all hell, but it also serves to cover up offensive deficiencies in a corner OF (with Hayes still manning CF). Maybe he’s a glue guy, but that’s also what Taylor is for. MAybe he made a clutch play in Major League 2, but also, see Talyor in ML1. Tanaka’s not a bad player, but he’d be more useful if they moved Hayes for prospects.

    6. Vaughn – Dave, you make a good point about ML2. Vaughn is hot garbage for most of it. And he should be docked for, of all things, trying to ease the pressure on his arm with off-speed stuff. The curve and slider are, if anything, tougher on your arm than a fastball. The training staff should have talked sense into him immediately. BUT, Vaughn is the staff workhorse in ML1 after getting glasses. A gas-throwing beast who acts as a starter in the regular season and is unselfish enough to come out of the pen in the most important game of the season and retire former Brewer pitcher Pete Vukovich (Clu Haywood) on three fastballs.

    5. Hayes – Hayes is a good, if not great center fielder. While a thief among thieves on the basepaths, and a defensive star, his lack of any kind of power means pitcher need not challege him, his OBP will suffer, and he will rely mostly on an empty batting average. His contact skills are solid which makes him something of a better Billy Hamilton. That has real value. But there are Mike Trouts and Andrew McCutchen’s out there

    4. Cerrano – The Milwaukee Brewers used to have a very underrated RF named Corey Hart, who also couldn’t hit a curveball for shit. He simply learned to lay off off-speed stuff that was down in the zone and mash hangers and fastballs. Cerrano may struggle with a good curve, but most big leaguers do. The fact that he’s a power bat who can take a walk, isn’t limited to 1st base, and understands his weaknesses, even if he can’t necessarily “fix” them, makes him an extremely valuable piece who could age into a power-hitting 1st baseman as he ages. He is the shining offensive star for the Indians on a team full of grinders.

    3. Baker – Catcher is the most valuable position in baseball, if you’re good at it. The clues we’re given indicate that Baker is a defensive whiz with a tinge of Steve Blasse disease, who can hit at least a bit. Modern SABRmetric analysis shows that an elite offensive catcher can his his way to 6-8 wins (Piazza, Posey, Posada, etc), a good pitch framer can add another 4-5, and a good game caller another 1-2. Baker looks sharp, the pitching staff improves when he takes over for Parkman and that’s not a fluke. He’s probably a 2 win hitter, 3 win framer, and 1 win game caller. That’s a valuable player and a smart pickup. He’s a future star that nobobdy has noticed yet.

    2. Taylor

    Taylor can’t hit much anymore, but he’s seen still making solid contact in the Jason Kendall-era of his career. But while no better than a 1-win offensive player, we get to see his AJ Pierzynski-esque calling work up close. He’s easily a 2-win catcher in this regard, and possibly one of the best of all time. Moreover, his framing with Harris and Vaughn is sublime as he continuously steals strikes and baits hitters. An underrated veteran glue-guy who both calls and executes on the greatest play in Indians history.

    1. Parkman – He may be a jerk and it’s fair to knock him down a peg over chemistry, but elite offensive catchers are nothing to sneeze at. Moreover, Parkman appears more than competent behind the plate, especially in his framing. His game-calling is shit, but he’s still easily an 8-win player, perennial MVP candidate, and should have returned more than Tanaka.

    0. Harry Doyle – Of course the real MVP of the Indians is Milwaukee Brewer radio play-by-play man Bob Uecker, after Vin Scully, the greatest baseball voice of all time.

    1. +1 This is good stuff. I respect your picks.

      In terms of personnel, Doyle is tops, then Charlie Donovan (for covertly creating the best team with no budget), then Lou Brown, then Jake as a manager, then Monte the shy color commentator, then Rachel Phelps, then the grounds crew that lacks any team spirit.

      Shit, I may delete my comment if this list does well and I need a sequel.

      1. Couldn’t agree more on the front office. I’d totally read a moneyball style book written from the perspective of Donovan. Brown is amazing too. Love his response at the tire shop more than anything else.

    2. Ok, im going to agree with badger on 94% of what he says, especially the Corey Hart stuff, and the fact that catcher is undoubtedly the most important position, since the two catchers essentially run the ballgame. However, fuck AJ Pierzynski, hes a dick. you a sox fan?

      1. Nah, Brewers. Born in Milwaukee, live in Chicago. Agree with your Fuck AJ sentiment, but he did have certain annoying skills.

        Also, growing up in Milwaukee where Major League was filmed, everyone I know is either an extra or claims to have been one, especially in the final game.

      2. You guys are all wrong; Scot Bakula is the number one draft pick yall! Thats right, im talking about mutha f$&@!?g Major League 3: Back to the Minors Yo! All honesty this is an amazing article Dave and reminded me that my local Supercuts gave away Major League 2 posters as part of some promotion back in the day. Had that poster on my bedroom door for years……till I discovered women that is! Holla!!!!!

      3. As an Angels fan I second your position on Perzensky Lt. Humphrey! Screwed my dudes in that playoff game back in the day on that third strike that never hit the dirt! 2005 was a rough season for me and my dad since we were season ticket holders that year.

  2. So Milwaukee has a weird relationship with this movie in which the city of Milwaukee stood in for the city of Cleveland. It’s honestly hard to know how to feel about that, but it’s not often that a movie shoots on location in Milwaukee, WI and I think it made for a weird experience for everyone involved. I can’t find the awesome SI oral history of the movie, but this gives the gist.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Top-10-revelations-from-SI-8217-s-oral-history-?urn=mlb-wp11122

    But what I really want to talk about is the strange incident of April 11th, 2007. The midwest, and Cleveland in particular experienced some horrendous early season weather and a bunch of teams got seriously behind in their schedules. The Brewers play in one of the only domed stadiums in the Midwest, and in order to get Cleveland’s games in, MLB moved a home series against the Angels from Cleveland to Milwaukee. This is a weird thing to do. Except, Milwaukee had pretended to be Cleveland before for this purpose. Here’s the writeup for the game. Before it started, Miller Park officialy decided not to sell seats for the upper deck which means capacity for these games was about 20K and they sold tickets for 10 bucks each. They also said in advance they’s use all the stadium graphics from Major League for the game, which they did.

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/brewers/29358269.html

    “It actually felt like a home game,” Borowski said. “It was definitely fortunate for us. We were all taking bets on how many people might come out: 500, 1,000, 1,500. Then we heard early that it was going to be between 10,000 and 12,000, and then they said a bunch of people walked up and almost got to 20,000.” – Indians Closer Joe Borowski.

    Here’s a bad video of Borowski entering the game to Wild Thing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV1B2yRL2LU

    And the crowd was into it:

    “First the wave went clockwise, then reversed to counter-clockwise. On the third time around, in brilliantly coordinated fashion, it went in slow motion, and the fourth time around went as though it was being fast-forwarded on a VCR.

    “That locked me up a little bit,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “I’ve never seen the slow wave before. That locked me up a little bit. Then they sped it up.”

    Then he had to point out, “I was watching the game. But I did see that,” he said, laughing.

    Borowski also took note of the crowd’s antics.

    “I did a triple-take,” Borowski said of the slow-motion wave. “I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I was, like, ‘What’s going on?’ It was a lot of fun.”

    It was nice they let Milwaukee pretended to be Cleveland one last time.

  3. This made want to grab a copy of the original and watch it again, it’s been several years. I would say Hayes, Cerrano, and Vaughn where the top three if you only consider the first movie. I don’t really care for either of the sequels. However, I’ve never seen Back to the minors the whole way through.

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