As we round out the old year (no one ever calls it the old year, we all call the upcoming year the new year) I wanted to touch base with a new project. As you know, my more in-depth pieces about the Indians appear on Everybody Hates Cleveland, and my random mishmash stuff appears here.
I haven't had much of either as of late.
But, yesterday we kicked off a study of Indians fandom that I'm conducting. That sounds so official. Conducting a study.
That's what we're all thinking. But instead of worrying about it, let's celebrate the end. Let's all gather around and hold hands. Not really, but figuratively. Let's celebrate this sweep of the Boston Red Sox and ending of the season on a winning note. Let's rejoice in the fact that this team has a winning record yet again, for the third straight season.
Is it acceptable with one playoff appearance? I mean, who cares right at this point? There is a time to discuss that. That time is not now. The time now is to enjoy this. So let's do that, okay guys?
So it officially ends. The run for salvaging this season has ended. I think we all thought it was inevitable, but for it to not officially end until the final week is saying something. Is it what we were expecting when the season started? Of course not. But it also wasn't what we were expecting when the Indians were 10-some games under .500 and floundering for an identity.
So you take what you can and with there home games left and a chance to go above .500 if they sweep, there's pride and progress to play for.
The one thing that the Indians have done since their turn around? They've consistently won series. Yeah, they lost the one to the Twins, which ultimately will probably set them too far back to make a final-week run here for the postseason.
It just goes to show you that it is highly important to finish strong and to play your best baseball towards the end. Look at the Royals. I know one of those days was a celebration hangover, but even then, this Royals team? If I were the Indians and had the opportunity to play in the postseason, give me the Royals in the ALDS. I want no piece of Toronto, but the Royals? They're vulnerable.
Now, even though the Indians are playing the best most consistent baseball of their season, it probably won't be enough. If all this team could do is play a little more consistency earlier in the year, they'd be money. That isn't the case though and that sucks, because watching this team play the past few weeks has been a joy. I said it on Twitter, but perhaps the most frustrating part of this season has how it has felt like the season had ended time after time again, yet, it actually hasn't.
Perhaps it shouldn't be frustrating. Perhaps it should be more of a happier note that this team has fought hard and is fighting hard until the very end and doing everything humanly possible to remain in the race.
This is an usually long intro for the High & Low, but it's one of the last few I'll have the chance to do for the year in regards to games. I also missed one last week, so consider this the double intro. The Indians won this series. Yeah, lost that game on Sunday, but, two outta three.
And a big seven (maybe eight!) game home stand is upon us. I'll be present Saturday, so do this team a favor. If you have the means, go see one more game. Show them that you're still here with them as they fight hard to the very end. And now, the highs and lows of the Indians series against the AL Central Division Champion Kansas City Royals.
Here we go again. Two steps forward, one step back. I mean, you keep winning series though, you're going to go over that hump, so keep winning series boys. Things are shaping up really well as the Astros and Angels have a series and the Indians can set their sights and move ahead of the team directly in front of them with a trip to Minnesota. But first, let's see what was particularly high and particularly low about their series with Chicago.
I don't know if any of you have ever run the Warrior Dash or something like it. It's one of those 5K runs with obstacles that involve mud. There's always a really muddy hill/mound/wall that you have to climb over.
The Indians trying to get over .500 is like that muddy wall. You get a decent grip and you're so close to just climbing over, but then you miss and fall all the way back down. That being said, when you garner a split from the best team in the American League, despite the fact that they could have had three outta four (and even argue a sweep), I think you'll take that moving forward. And they're still only four back of a playoff spot.
I'll go ahead and answer the question, right off the bat. No. There, fielded that quicker than Greg Holland.
Following last night's poor excuse of "managing" the ninth inning, in which the Indians put two runners on with nobody out against a reliever who was clearly scuffling, and then proceeded to get nothing out of it, there was a massive uproar. An uproar that has resulted in people either rushing to the Indians' manager's defense or calling for his job.