World Series hangover was a real thing for the Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Terry Francona
CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Terry Francona /

The Cleveland Indians didn’t want to talk about a possible World Series hang over, but it turns out, it was a very real thing.

If you haven’t read ESPN The Magazine’s behind the scenes look at the Cleveland Indians win streak, do your self a favor and do it now.

It’s a long read, but Wright Thompson’s words are worth every second.

If you’re going to stay on board for the musings of Nick Dudukovich, it’s appreciated.

One of the most interesting things to me in the Thompson piece was Jason Kipnis‘ candidness over losing the World Series and how the defeat impacted the Tribe to start the year.

If you think back to the end of Spring Training, no one wanted to talk about a World Series hangover. Last year was last year, and this year was this year was the gist of the cliches both the players and manager Terry Francona fed to the media.

But as the Tribe slogged through inconsistent play, especially earlier in the season, fans couldn’t help but wonder about a World Series hangover.

Turns out it was real. It happened. And fortunately, the Tribe put it behind them.

Thompson wrote:

"“At the beginning of the season, the team did suffer from a hangover. Kluber says the starters were slow and sluggish. Kipnis says the games didn’t seem to matter as much. Francona called a rare meeting early in the summer, feeling his team caught in the back draft of last season, not living day to day, breaking the code. The players say things turned around after that, and the winning streak is the clearest and most outward example. There are others.”"

No, Kluber and Kipnis didn’t come out and say, “World Series hangover,” but the events they described were a result from playing in a seven-game series that stretched into November.

As for Kipnis talking about the games mattering, just think of it from the perspective you had watching on your couch. You watching a game in late April. It was a far cry from Rajai Davis hitting one of the most memorable games in World Series history.

Reading Kipnis’ first-hand accounts of losing the Series were tough, especially for someone who was at Game 7 and won’t watch a replay, highlights and who’s heart sinks into his stomach everytime it’s mentioned.

With Thompson listening, Kipnis recalled that almost-double he almost hit during the bottom of the ninth.

"“‘Fraction of an inch,’ he says, then demonstrating with his hand the slight bat angle that would have changed their lives. His hand doesn’t seem to move at all. It’s a tiny difference. ‘The following month you’re at home in your boxers eating pizza,’ he says, ‘and you’re watching Rizzo and Bryant on late-night television and on SNL and you’re like, the fork in the road.'”"

The Tribe now owns the longest World Series championship drought in baseball, but will get the chance to erase the years of misery with 11 wins this October.

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The national conscious, usually reserved the Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals and Dodgers has now zeroed in on the Tribe as its Cinderella team, with some oddsmakers listing Cleveland as the favorite to win it all.