The matchup between the National League West Division Champion San Francisco Giants and the Wild Card winning Atlanta Braves features six of the former Indianapolis players/coaches in the 2010 playoffs with both team's rosters featuring three former Indians apiece.
Sanchez, who was acquired by the Giants from the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2009 season, began the 2007 season on a rehab assignment with the Indians, just one season after he took home the National League batting title after hitting .344 with the Pirates in 2006. Meulens, who was the Indians hitting coach during the first four seasons of the affiliation with Pittsburgh (2005-2008) took over as the Giants hitting coach prior to this season, while Gardner, who pitched for the Tribe for parts of four seasons (1987-89, 1991), has been a coach in San Francisco since 2003.
Opposing the Giants is the Atlanta Braves, who also clinched a playoff berth on the final day of the regular season and also feature three former Indians in the persons of outfielder Nate McLouth, catcher David Ross and hitting coach Terry Pendleton.
McLouth played for the Indians during the 2005 season and later went on to win a gold glove and receive an All-Star selection as a member of the Pirates during the 2008 season. The outfielder was then traded by Pittsburgh to Atlanta on June 3, 2009 for RHP Charlie Morton, OF Gorkys Hernandez and LHP Jeff Locke. Along with McLouth, the journeyman catcher, Ross, also played with the Tribe during the 2005 season, while the Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton made an appearance with Indianapolis during the 1997 season.
Rounding out the former Indians representatives in the National League is Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee, who was a coach for the Tribe during the 1992 season and hopes to guide a strong Phillies pitching staff in search of their third straight World Series appearance.
Over in the American League, the Central Division champion Minnesota Twins feature a player from both the Indians affiliation with the Milwaukee Brewers (2000-2004) in infielder J.J. Hardy and the current Pittsburgh affiliation (2005-present) in closer Matt Capps.
Hardy, who spent part of the 2004 season with the Indians, was acquired by the Twins from the Milwaukee Brewers on November 6, 2009, while right handed reliever Matt Capps, who pitched for the Tribe during the 2005 season, is expected to hold down closing duties out of the Twins bullpen.
Finally, the matchup between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Texas Rangers will feature two former Indians teammates now in coaching roles as Tom Foley, who played for Indianapolis during the 1981 and 1982 seasons is the third base coach for the Rays, while Clint Hurdle, who played with Foley during the 1982 season, is the hitting coach for the Rangers. Along with Foley on the Tampa Bay coaching staff is former Tribe manager Don Zimmer, who coached the Indians during the 1968 season.
Neither the National League Central Division Champion Cincinnati Reds nor the American League Wild Card winning New York Yankees, feature a former Indians player or coach on their 2010 playoff roster.
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