Oct 13, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs fans including Joe Downs (right) celebrate outside of Wrigley Field after game four of the NLDS against the St. Louis Cardinals. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Down the Factory Lines with the Cleveland Indians…
If the Cubs Can Do It, Why Not Us?
It took Theo Epstein all of three seasons, but the Chicago Cubs are in the NLCS. That’s right, the lovable losers are legitimate World Series contenders. Who saw this coming? Okay, sure Back to the Future Part 2 might have, but that was a movie written almost 30 years ago. The fact is that like the Cleveland Indians, or the city of Cleveland in general, the Chicago Cubs are the epitome of losers. While we are fighting against 60+ years of futility as a city, the Cubs are facing 100+ years.
So how did they get to where they are now? How did the Cubs turn it around? Could the Cleveland Indians follow the same model? If the Indians want to get back to the playoffs and become a threat like the Cubs, maybe the Dolans should take note. Sure, it’s great to have the consistency in the front office with John Hart handing the keys to Mark Shapiro, then Shapiro to Chris Antonetti and now Antonetti to Mike Chernoff, but the one thing we’re missing is a voice outside the organization.
The Cubs and Red Sox took a chance on the boldness of a young up and coming GM like Epstein. Let’s face it, while the team has had success, the business model has stayed the same, and the team only sniffed being a real World Series contender in 2007. Perhaps hiring a new young executive from outside the organization could infuse the front office with fresh ideas and point the scouts in different directions? It’s just a thought, but hey it worked for the Red Sox and the Cubs, the Indians wouldn’t hurt to take note.
Apr 4, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; A fan holds a Chief Wahoo sign during a game between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins at Progressive Field. Cleveland won 7-2. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
Should Indians fans root for the Cubs?
There are a few teams that stand out in the battle of championship drought futility. The leader in the clubhouse? The Chicago Cubs at 100+ years since their last title. Yet as a Cleveland fan I have to ask myself what’s worse, a 100+ year drought for one team or a 60+ year drought for an entire city? While I see a Cubs fans plight, no Cleveland team has won a modern championship. Chicago has championships with the White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks to tout all within recent memory.
So should we root for them? I for one am rooting for the Cubs, but the realization is also there that if the Cubs do win, the city of Cleveland is alone at the top of the lovable losers list. That means more emphasis on the 60+ year drought, more clips of Cleveland team blunders on ESPN, and increased pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers to win a title while LeBron James is still in his prime.
Last year proved that even with the best player in the game, ending the Cleveland curse isn’t going to be easy. Do we want that pressure? Should we root for the Cubbies? Sure, what have we got to lose? If teams like the Red Sox, Golden State, and the Chicago Cubs can come off the list surely the city of Cleveland can right? Just think, what if the Cubs win the World Series and the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA Title? Que the end of the world talk.
Sep 6, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (middle) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Could Francisco Lindor be the next Derek Jeter?
Okay, calm down Yankees fans, I’m not saying it will happen, but it’s possible. There are a lot of similarities in the way Francisco Lindor plays compared to “The Captain.” Sure it’s just a small sample size, but if Lindor hits about .280, hits 15-20 home runs, and drives in 70+ runs a year in addition to maintaining his stellar defensive play, is it such a stretch that he could be the next Derek Jeter? In 99 games, Lindor hit .313 with 12 HR’s and drove in 51 runs, he was also clutch in hitting a team best .350 with runners in scoring position. Don’t those numbers sound a little Jeter like? It was also after his call-up that the team started to rally and turn the season around from disappointing to contending. It seemed like this team rallied around him much like the Yankees did with Jeter. Again it’s just a small sample size, but if Lindor even comes close to being the player Jeter was, it’ll go a long way towards turning the Indians from pretenders to contenders in 2016.
Next: Preseason Struggles, Reason to Worry?
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