The Indians needed to get off on the right foot to start spring training. Yet a series of unfortunate events have hindered that idea.
When news broke that Shane Beiber caught COVID-19 and was in quarantine away from the team, fans were admittedly a little concerned. After all, Cleveland fans saw firsthand how devastating the lingering effects of the virus had on the Browns’ very own Myles Garrett. That had to be the worst of it, right? Nope, manager Terry Francona is now dealing with a staph infection in his toe.
It doesn’t matter if it’s just his toe, a staph infection is a highly dangerous disease, that if it spreads, could be catastrophic. Thankfully for Francona, he’s currently on antibiotics to treat the disease, so hopefully, when they’ve run their course, he’s fine; but man, this is not how the Indians needed to start spring training.
Your ace is gone for the first part of it, and your manager had part of his toe-bone removed and replaced with cement. Weird start. If only that wasn’t the only negative buzz around the team currently.
The Indians are looking at a new era, one hopefully defined by Nolan Jones ascent from the minors into a future All-Star. A future the Indians are hoping to be flexible in. They cut a lot of their payroll this offseason in order to better position themselves in the coming, post-COVID, seasons.
A move that may work, as Francisco Lindor, the team’s former shortstop, will more than likely command an outrageous contract like Fernando Tatis Jr. got. Which is another thing that is marring the Indians’ spring training start. With San Diego being a mid-market team and signing Tatis to a 12 year, $400+ million contract, the conversation has surely been redirected toward the Dolans and their inability to over-invest in players.
To be clear, the Tatis deal is outrageous and destructive. The man hasn’t even played 162 games yet. Like the Giancarlo Stanton and Bryce Harper deals, the Tatis-deal will be a hard contract to deal with. Hopefully, he steps up, but who knows. He hasn’t played a full season yet.
Then of course is the continued frustration from a small, vocal part of the fandom, that still can’t accept the name change that’s forthcoming.
At least the Indians re-signed soon-to-be-40-year-old Oliver Perez. That’s not even a knock, Perez was stellar as a 39-year-old last year, and pitching out of the bullpen has allowed him to be used as needed.
Needless to say, this isn’t the best start to Spring Training for the Tribe. All of these things are spinning at the wrong time for the Indians, distracting fans from the obvious point that they should all be embracing;
Baseball is back.