BY MICK TIDROW | BALL STATE SPORTS LINK | HOST OF THE HOT CORNER ON WCRD
One team this year will break a World Series drought at season’s end, but it remains to be seen which team it will be.
If the Cleveland Indians have the final say, they would bring the second title in major sports to Cleveland in the last four months.
With a series victory against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Indians are sitting pretty. However, the starting pitching situation is now even more of a revolving door for the Tribe. Trevor Bauer left Monday’s game with a bloody pinky, adding to the starters on the Indians shelf.
He joins Carlos Carrasco as starters that may miss extended time in the postseason. Carrasco is out for the year, while Bauer could return during the playoffs.
But none of that seems to bother the Indians. Each game they battle, they fight, and they make it interesting. Then they win.
Much of the credit could be given to the success of the bullpen and the acquisition of Andrew Miller from the Yankees at the deadline. The move has been unmatched, the best in baseball at the trade deadline. The lefty has not allowed a run this postseason in 11.2 innings whiles striking out a whopping 21 batters.
Maybe give the credit to the offense with Fransisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez knocking clutch base hits at will.
Or…the spotlight can be turned to Terry Francona, the head man in Cleveland. Francona managed the Boston Red Sox to its first title in 86 years back in 2004. He added two more along the way in Boston, then bolted for The Rock and Roll Capital of the World (which could be dubbed the sports capital of the world if the Tribe take it all this year).
Francona may have managed the best game of the postseason after Bauer had to leave after just two-thirds of an inning because of his finger on Monday. Francona played his bullpen hand as good as anyone could have over the last eight and two-thirds of a game.
And now they stroll to a World Series birth.
His players believe in him. They have the personnel. It is a team that plays as one, not for each individual. They are dangerous. They play with a swagger only the Cubs can match.
The Cubs not only play with similar swagger, they are the only team who can match the heartbreak Indians fan have felt… 67 years in Cleveland to 107 in Chicago. Both are glaring, both are ugly. Both teams want it to be over. “Make baseball fun again” is a motto currently slung around the game.
Baseball is fun with the Indians. Baseball is now fun in Cleveland again.
This is the year a drought in baseball comes to and end. Cleveland, your move.