Now that they’ve succumbed to first place in the league of Longest Championship Droughts, the Cleveland Indians can honestly look back on arguably the most historic baseball season ever with skepticism.
Led by rising star shortstop Francisco Lindor and quiet sluggers Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis, the Tribe is set to make yearly runs at the closest thing to a baseball precipice. But what does the future look like for baseball’s, dare I say, new Cubbies?
Well aside from Lindor keeping himself fresh with the box of Lindor Chocolates he undoubtedly keeps in the top drawer of his armoire, the Cleveland Indians need to maintain the same chemistry they experienced this season. It’s not like the truffle chocolates offer the addition of wings like Red Bull..
I mean, let’s be real, this year was kind of a miracle for Cleveland (baseball wise).
Literally pulled from the lost and found, Rajai Davis led the AL in stolen bases. 35-year-old Mike Napoli shockingly slugged one homer shy of his age, Jose Ramirez came out of nowhere to hit .312, and untouted rookie Tyler Naquin (.296) will likely face some sophomore regression.
The potential return of injured outfielder Michael Brantley, who produced an MVP-level season in 2014, and catcher Yan Gomes will solidify the arsenal, but the team will have to elude being solely puppeteered by manager Terry Francona. Not to say he’s not a magician, but the former Red Sox curse breaker can only do so much.
For the emotionally shattered Indians, next year is everything.