Alright, Time to Shake Hands with the Postseason
Traditionally, teams not in the MLB Playoffs shy away from making big headline news-type announcements during the MLB Playoffs. Out of respect for the game and the teams still playing, let the games being played on the field garner the headlines.
Of course that doesn't stop us from making small talk about our Tribe team, because behind the scenes, they are talking, and after their exit a little over a week ago, they have done a little bit of shaking up.
And trust me, there are plenty of storylines that are worth laying out before the offseason officially begins, because as we've learned in the past few years, this team is pretty quick to strike. Whether it is trading for Derek Lowe or trading for Yan Gomes and Mike Aviles, if this team identifies something they want to do, they do it quickly.
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I'm incredibly amped for 2014, don't get me wrong. It cannot get here soon enough. The way that this team finished their season, I wish April Fool's day was tomorrow and baseball was right around the corner, even though there are still teams playing.
And postseason baseball. How can you not be incredibly enthralled with the games on Saturday. Two 1-0 games, with four incredible pitching performances and a margin of error for both teams that was virtually at zero. Granted, two teams in the American League are none that people in Cleveland generally enjoy and the common answer to the question "Who would you prefer won?" is "Option 3".
I haven't been able to get into any of the games. Not since the Pirates/Reds game have I watched a game in it's entirety, Cleveland/Tampa included. Having had to work, I taped the game and planned on going back to watch it. But it became too painful. I watched parts. You saw me recap things as normal, but quite frankly, I couldn't make it.
And since that game, I've watched some postseason baseball, mainly the Pirates/Cardinals series out of rooting interest for the Pirates. I know, you probably hate anything Pittsburgh. But they've been having a miserable time just as much as we have. It's no 64 year drought that will soon turn to 65 at the end of the month, but they haven't had a lot to cheer about lately. Not to mention, with family that has a rooting interest in the Pirates, I feel like if there was anything that was going to save the postseason for me, it would have been the Pirates.
Not that it would have completely been saved, but at least a reason to watch. Now, do I care about Boston and Detroit? I mean, if you forced my hand, Boston is the lesser of two evils, and in the NL, I could probably care less.
The Dodgers are an uninteresting team to me, and the Cardinals? I mean, I guess you have the makings of a dynasty the way they are going.
Look, there's some awesome baseball being played. I've watched religiously in years past. Quite frankly though, it is hard to watch since Cleveland's exit. It has been hard for me to get into it and what I simply need is a clean slate. A clean slate that is months away.
Sure, offseason chatter is a clean slate, but it just feels too fresh. Last week! The Indians were playing postseason baseball last week. And this week, they aren't.
I've been pretty quiet in that time. Both here on the blog and on Twitter. As I've said, it just hasn't struck me to say something. But perhaps it is time to try and break out of that funk. There are some things I can spin the wheels on if I give myself the push. So let's try this with the help of some good reading material.
I've read some pretty awesome things in the past week. The debate on Chief Wahoo has been picking up a new-found steam with some political comments involving the Washington Redskins, and therefore, guilt by association, the Cleveland Indians comes up. Not to mention, the consistent showing of the fans that painted their faces to look like Chief Wahoo on national television, that might have spurred just a little bit of conversation before hand.
Chief Wahoo is something I've shied away from getting involved in. I'm a fan of the Block C. If it were to suddenly become the logo that represents the Cleveland franchise and Chief Wahoo went away forever, I'm not going to be one of the people that pitches a fit. I'm more concerned with the product on the field, so taking away a logo that offends people isn't going to make me upset. Regardless of what your opinion is, you cannot deny facts and facts are, it is offensive to some group of people, legitimately.
A wonderfully written piece was penned over at WFNY, so if that debate is your scene, I'd usher you to read it. If things move in a direction, a real direction, with the team making a choice to change or what not, you know I'll touch up on it. But for now, the debate is just that, a debate. It has been a debate for years now and likely, people's opinions have not and will not change. Of course, time has progressed that has only intensified things, but again, that's not really my scene. Maybe it will be at some point, but not right now.
Last week was really a fun week in Cleveland because it was one of the few times there was a real buzz about both the Indians and the Browns. Of course there is going to be more buzz about the football team because it is a football town, even though I noted the incredible buzz around the Indians. But really, the Browns playing on Thursday and the Indians the night before. Both winners? The Browns had a chance to move into first place, the Indians, move onto the next round. I'm no Browns fan, but Cleveland people had every right to be giddy.
Grantland's Andrew Sharp visited, attended both games, and gave a bit of an outsider's insider perspective. And while you should read the article and can find other opinions on his piece, I have just one thing I need to point out and rant about.
"As far as I can tell, 50,000 people cut out of work early Wednesday, threw on some Indians gear, and went down to get drunk and celebrate playoff baseball. By 5 p.m. Wednesday, all of the bars downtown were full in the kind of way that can't possibly be up to fire code."
Don't tell me the economy sucks, that fans have no money, and that people have better things to spend their money on. You want to know why? Because I don't have never bought that argument. Fans are there, fans want to cheer on a winner and fans will support a winner. This proves it.
We have no excuses anymore. Opening Day will be sold out, it always is. But the day after better be pretty full too. Some random game against the Twins on a Tuesday night in April doesn't have to have 25,000, that isn't what I'm saying. But things better get better. There are no more excuses when you have a team that has proven they have staying power. This team has committed to winning and should have another offseason that shows they are doing everything possible within their capabilities.
Step up Cleveland. Because the Indians have stepped up for Cleveland, it is time to step up for them next year. If you followed this team from the very start all the way through to the end, you know how real this team can be.
Of course 2007 taught us a lot. And that you can't stick with the same formula for 2008 because that just won't work. But as noted, there is already some looking ahead to 2014. One of those is Jason Giambi's status. The Indians have now joined Giambi in publicly stating feelings. They'd like him back. And they'd like him around for a long time, not just next year. Of course not in a playing capacity, but in another fashion. That is a different bridge to cross though after you get across this one and travel the road after it.
Next year's coaching staff isn't even complete, because while it is, it isn't. Sandy Alomar Jr. is making the rounds for yet another year and if this isn't the year for him, shoot, when will it be? He's up for a Cubs job he lost out on a few years ago, and so is former Indians manager Manny Acta.
But if Sandy doesn't find anything anywhere, he'll be back in Cleveland and he'll be shuffled over to first base. That's right, the Indians are replacing him as bench coach with Brad Mills. Sarbaugh will be at third. That of course would have been the natural progression had the Indians lost Alomar outright and hadn't made these switches.
Some will look at is as a demotion because first base isn't as crucial as third base and of course bench coach is likely "second in command" but it doesn't appear to be that way. This was made pretty quickly, so it leads me to believe it had already been kind of going on.
We'll be talking much about the Ubaldo Jimenez storyline, which I'm sure will be picking up steam at some point and is probably the most intriguing aspect to this team's offseason. Ubaldo took home the September Bro of the Month though to no one's surprise. We will commence Bro of the YEAR voting this week.
Here's the plan in the next month. The postseason will wind down, which means activity will wind up on the coaching front. Then the moves are going to start happening. There will be no regular schedule around these parts, but I figure it to be active and there will be at least a post a week. I'm going to try and do two shorter posts a week rather than one long one, so keep looking out.
You can do that the best by liking the Facebook page, following on Twitter, or subscribing to the RSS Feed. (which may or may not be on the fritz again, damnit!). A bookmark is also encouraged of course. One of those methods will let you stay up to date with my latest happenings.
I hope to have other things set in motion and going so there's a little more content than usual offseasons. I feel like I can't make promises though, because with two job and school, one can get overworked.