Well, here I sit at my laptop on this, the night of the last Cleveland Indians game of the 2014 season. Six months ago, when the season started, I had high hopes for the team. Frankly, so did a number of the team’s fans.
I thought these guys were going to go to the playoffs again this season. Frankly, so did many of the team’s fans.
While most baseball writers thought otherwise, Jeff Bennett of ESPN’s statistics and information department predicted that the Indians were going to emerge as the world champions of baseball this year.
(For the record, Bennett also thought that the Boston Red Sox would repeat as champions of the American League Eastern Division, and that the Dodgers would win the National League Wild Card Game and parlay that into the National League championship.)
After 162 games, the 2014 Cleveland Indians are done, gone, finished, out the door, whatever expression you want to choose. While some fans are upset that the season is over too soon, I am not one of them.
I feel that despite the loss of several key players on the team, such as Justin Masterson and Asdrubal Cabrera from last year, there’s so much for fans to be proud of.
The fact that Terry Francona’s Indians were mathematically in contention for a postseason berth until as recently as this past Friday night– 160 games into the season– is absolutely incredible given all the trouble the team had gone through this season. In a word, it’s amazing.
I’m proud of what the team was able to do this season even with everything that happened over the course of the last six months.
An 85-77 record this season may not have gotten the Indians into the playoffs, but I still feel that it is a successful season by and large. The Indians exited the clubhouse on this last day of business in the 2014 season in third place in the American League Central Division, five games back of the four-time division champion Detroit Tigers.
364 days ago, the Indians flew back home from Minneapolis with a 92-70 record, second place in the division, one game back of Detroit. They were getting ready for the American League Wild Card Game against the Rays, a game which they dropped 4-0.
This year ended with the same opponent, but with much lower stakes and a different result. The Indians took 2-of-3 to end the second year of the Terry Francona era of Cleveland Indians baseball on a high note.
A postseason berth isn’t everything. I’m still quite happy with the way the Indians performed over the course of the year. The future looks bright for the Indians, a team which has only two players from this season’s roster not under a guaranteed contract for next season.
To quote singer Dr. John in the opening theme song to the early 1990’s teen sitcom Blossom:
“In my opinionation, the sun is gonna surely shine!”
A full recap of the 2014 Cleveland Indians season will be up on this blog in a few weeks’ time. Next Indians game: Monday, April 6 (just 190 days from now, kids) at the Houston Astros.