In 2012 the Cleveland Indians started out the season strong only to falter down the stretch finishing double digits out of the playoff picture. Following the season many fans and media members complained that the team’s ownership was not willing to spend to make the team competitive. This off-season, to the surprise of many, ownership opened their wallets to sign multiple free agents and Manager Terry Francona. This season started out positively again with the hope of a Nick Swisher led Bro-Summer and competing down to the wire for a play off position. It is possible that the one thing that the fans and media forgot to complain about was the annual visit from ESPNs Mike & Mike in the Morning Radio Show. Just like last year the visit of Greeny and Golic, along with the other Golic boys, has been the turning point of the season.
So why should Indians fan have hope this year? How may this year end different then last year? The best way to predict future behaviors is to look at past behaviors. Last years squad was based on a group of everyday players either not yet established or those past their prime. These players were able to start off strong but either due to inability to be consistent due to adjustment from the other teams or due to injury they could not sustain it. The starting rotation hoped for a rebound season from Ubaldo Jiminez, a establishment of Justin Masterson and based on the hope of their younger prospects.
The hope this year comes from the off-season signing of in their prime veterans Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher and Mark Reynolds. While each of these players has had some struggles over the past 2 series, their history of consistency helps us predict a more positive outcome for the rest of the year. The pitching staff is still depending on Jiminez and Masterson at the top of their rotation but the additions of Scott Kazmir and Trevor Bauer to the pitching staff provides a veteran with something to prove and a top shelf talented prospect pushing to make the league. Both Kazmir and Bauer, who isn’t currently with the big league club, not only have shown the talent but also have the motivation needed to help push through the current struggles.
While these new additions don’t guarantee a turn around they do provide hope. The team’s core now can rely on talent and experience, not hope and youth. The pitching staff can look to the reinforcements and not pressurized by depending only on the top two pitchers. Hopefully the fans continue to support the team through their short term struggles. The only other thing the Indians can hope for is Mike & Mike return and take back whatever negative energy they brought in the first place, and then never return, ever.