The Cleveland Indians are back in the MLB postseason. Enjoy the run, Tribe Town!
“Cleveland, this one’s for you!” No, LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t won another NBA Championship, the Cleveland Indians are back to playing playoff baseball! After a magical season, let’s enjoy October. Bonfires, hay rides, apple cider, and cool crisp nights paired with the Indians pursuit of a World Series Championship. It means watching guys like Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis, Corey Kluber, and Andrew Miller in clutch situations on the biggest stage. It’s watching manager Terry Francona go head-to-head against other managers to out strategize each other. Quite frankly, there’s nothing like playoff baseball!
For many Indians fans, there is a sour taste in our mouth when it comes to the playoffs. The late 90’s teams were among the best in MLB history, yet none of those teams brought home a World Series championship. The 2007 the Indians led the Boston Red Sox 3-1 in the ALCS, but let Boston rally back and win the series. More recently, the 2013 Indians rallied to win the wild card, only to succumb to the Tampa Bay Rays and miss getting into the Division Series.
So for Cleveland, a city fresh off ending a 52-year championship drought, there is excitement for the Indians and October baseball. The Indians won the American League Central Division for the first time since 2007. The offense is among the best in the league, and so is the pitching staff. Yet the excitement goes beyond the numbers and the standings. It goes deeper.
It goes down to the players on this team. The guys who made the 2016 season special. There are the grizzled veterans, the young talented players who make up its core, and the versatile pitching staff. Let’s take a look at how each of these groups have players made this season so magical, and will make October fun, too.