By Coach Ryan,
If you’re reading this than it’s not news what happened last night to the Tribe. To be honest even though you can blame a few player’s performances on not getting some runs in, that’s the life of a Wild Card team. Unfortunately for the Tribe they hit a pitcher who has been on a tear and a team who has been playing for their lives even more so than the Indians. The current Wild Card format is great, it adds excitement. The problem is you play six months and then have your season come down to one game. It’s great if you win, frustrating if you lose.
All in all this has been one AMAZING season of Indians baseball and I thoroughly enjoyed watching my 100+ games this year and being able to talk baseball with friends and other MLB fans each week. This season for myself started on a road trip to Tampa and ended seeing the Rays celebrate a win at the Jake. It involved a trip to Miami to see the new Marlins Park which included seats in ‘The Clevelander’ along with sitting a few rows behind home and seeing Jose Fernandez strike out 14 batters in one of the best pitching performances by a young pitcher I have ever seen. In between were sleepless nights, roommates woken up, and dogs freaking out after walk offs from players like Jason Giambi who originally I wondered why had even made the team.
This offseason brings questions of course as any does and will once again require aggressive moves by ownership. I expect Perez to be gone, that’s a given. I think Asdrúbal Cabrera will still be with the team due to his trade value being low and Fransisco Lindor not quite ready for prime time. I have hopes to resign Scott Kazmir, Ubaldo Jiménez, and Joe Smith. Unfortunately I think Smith will be the most likely to be wearing pin stripes next year with Ubaldo being TOP priority to sign to a multiyear deal. The Indians need to bring in a hitter to compliment Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher, one who elicits fear into the heart of pitchers. That costs money but I think that with the ownership it’s actually a possibility.
One thing is definitely for sure. The Indians have raised and brought on young pitchers who will add to an already impressive starting lineup. Salazar might have lost last night but the loss was not his. He pitched wonderfully and well beyond his age. Let’s be honest he started at AA and was given the ball by a manager who may be the best in the game and knows who he can trust and how far he can push. Francona managed an amazing season and a great game last night. Lonnie Chisenhall was the right decision at third. Unfortunately for us if Francona could play the Rays would resemble the dugout floor after Tito plows through a barrel of bubble gum and tobacco.
If anything it was absolutely remarkable to see the Jake rocking last night and although it will be hard to repeat what happened this year the Indians are a team that is making the right moves and with key signings from last year and hopefully this offseason will continue to bring excitement to the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. Speaking of which, thank you Tom Hamilton for once again giving my chills even after replaying your walk offs for the fifth time.
Unfortunately for now it is time to pack up my smiling Chief Wahoo and fully commit to the brown and orange who surprisingly also seem to have new life and excitement! Is Hoyer “the answer?” Not anymore than Marc Rzepczynski was for the Tribe. He’s young, he’s talented, he will eventually be replaced, BUT in the meantime I have a new sense of excitement about our Browns who have shown what a difference a quarterback can make. The coaching staff is talented, the offense is unselfish, they have an AMAZING tight end in Jordan Cameron, and a young defense not too different from another team who formally donned the orange and brown before they went on to win not one but TWO Super Bowls.
The future of the Tribe is bright but so is the future of the Browns. Thank you Indians for giving me joy far surpassed what I expected this year and yes thank you for the empty feeling that I had last night. Without 92 wins, I wouldn’t have been able to experience it! For the first time in years I was glued to my TV EVERY NIGHT in September watching INDIANS BASEBALL!
Browns, you’re up. Like the Indians you may not quite be there yet but I have faith that the organization is heading in the right direction and like the Indians, that’s a feeling I haven’t had in a long time. I for one remain Cleveland strong and Cleveland PROUD! Go Browns and as for the Indians? Only 129 days until their pitchers and catchers report, GO TRIBE!