Let us first set the scene. I am currently writing this Friday afternoon, this article will not be published until Tuesday, mostly because who the hell is going to read this on Friday afternoon (who the hell is gonna read it Tuesday? Good question as well). Regardless, I am writing this while I watch humans in Chicago disguised as baseball fans walk by my window draped in Cubs jerseys and “W” flags as they come and go from their World Series parade. I am not supposed to be writing this article. I am the one who is supposed to be coming and going from my World Series parade in Cleveland, Ohio.
At this point in the day (approximately 3:45pm), I would project myself to be passed out in an alley, likely broke, shirtless, and possibly a new carrier of the disease known as Hepatitis C because I imagine that is the type of thing you get when you sleep in a Cleveland alley after drinking for 48 hours. Let me be perfectly clear, I would willingly accept Hepatitis C in exchange for a World Series Championship – being a Cleveland fan is not for the weak, the timid, or the faint of heart, unless you sold your WS tickets to Cubs fans, but we will get to that later. Now I don’t actually know what Hepatitis C is but I don’t think its life threatening/Indians over everything so let’s make it happen (maybe).
As for the baseball itself. It was a wild and wonderful ride until the very end. We learned quite a bit along the way so let’s take a look at what we can take away from the 2016 Cleveland Indians.
Jose Ramirez: Poor English Speaker, Exceptional Baseball Player – Ramirez and Lindor combine to make up the best left side of an infield in all of baseball if you ask me. Jose Ramirez does not get enough credit for his defense at 3rd base. That is partly because he had bounced around so much at the beginning of his career but Jose found a home at 3rd towards the end of the year and I hope he stays there for a long time. He and Lindor both play gold glove defense and hit .300 from both sides of the plate. That is unheard of. Additionally, Jose Ramirez has the Miguel Cabrera fat gene where is fatness is unexplainable in proportion to his athletic ability.
J.R. Smith: The Truth – No coincidence that the minute they showed him rip his shirt off on the jumbotron during game 7, we get a couple of guys on base and Rajai goes deep. Keep that man in Cleveland longer than LeBron…
LeBron James: Selfish, Insecure, Teenage Girl – Now, I am not sure this is anything new, so maybe it shouldn’t be included in the “what we learned” section, but it sure as hell needs to be addressed. Bron Bron couldn’t fucking wait for his Halloween party where he would troll the Warriors with his 3-1 graveyard drum set.
You know he planned it months in advance and thought it would be hilarious. Now I am all for trolling the Warriors and anyone else in the league, the NBA is way too buddy-buddy these day’s and I like to see some good old fashion hate hate hate hate hate hate going in The Association again.
That being said, LeBron, get a fucking clue man, this shit aint all about you all the fucking time. You can’t troll someone for blowing a 3-1 lead THE SAME NIGHT THE INDIANS TAKE A 3-1 LEAD. Fucking christ man, you’re the highest paid player in the world, you have had non-stop attention since you were 15 years old, for one time in your life can’t you just shut the fuck up for five minutes? But no, nothing would ruin LeBron’s halloween party. Nothing but a 3-peat will make up for this, LeBron. Fuck.
Tyler Naquin: Not A Fan Of Postseason Baseball – Tyler Naquin was a huge surprise for the tribe. He is a ROTY candidate and I hope he wins it because man-oh-man am I worried about this guy’s psyche. He had a less than stellar post-season hitting just .174 down from .296 in the regular season and made an egregious play on a flyball in the first inning of game 6. I hope that does not carry over into next year and ruin the guy’s career because the “sophomore slump” is already looming. Gordon Beckham was supposed to be the cat’s pajamas. Sox bring him up too soon, his head was never the same and he stunk. I’m afraid if Naquin spends all off-season being a total headcase (and he strikes me as a guy who is kind of a headcase) then we may never see the same player again. Not gonna count a guy out in the second year of his career and I really like regular season Naquin, but if I made that play on that fly ball there would be little stopping me from marching my fatass straight into oncoming traffic. Guess that’s why he’s a pro ball player and I’m not.
Roberto Perez: Superb Catcher of Baseballs – I honestly had no idea how good this guy was behind the plate because he had really never had consistent opportunities to show us. Well that guy can catch/frame everything. How he handled our staff was remarkable and I would argue he stole 5-10 strikes for our guys on any given night. I’ll be very interested to see how this plays out with him and Yan Gomes, because Robo had a few big hits in the postseason, but couldn’t hit water if he fell off a boat in the regular season. In Tito we trust.
Terry Francona: GOAT Manager – Tito proved he is the GOAT. If you think the Cubs would’ve pushed extra innings in game 7 of the World Series after losing Bryant for the entire year, losing their starting catcher for essentially the entire year, then losing Arrieta and Hendricks (their 2 & 3 starters) for the playoffs you are high. But that’s exactly what Tito did. Brantley, our best player only saw action in 11 games all year. Gomes missed the entire second half of the season and appeared sparingly in the playoffs. Carrasco and Salazar both went down in September and left us with an ace, a 4 and a 5. Tito = GOAT and he is the reason I believe we will be back.
It was a special year for Cleveland baseball and I am so so sad to think we might not be able to catch that lightning in a bottle again next year. The loss still hurts and will haunt me until we beat the Cubs in the World Series next year and the year after that. At least we can say we learned something right? At least that’s what your mom always tells you when you fuck something up or lose a big game. Oh well, until next year…