Under .500, But Still Plenty To Smile About
By Matt Van Wormer
When the 2011 baseball season started, I think most Indians fans felt the same way: Stay competitive and we will be happy. Improve on last year and look forward to 2012. Don’t finish in the basement.
All those ideas were great, until the Tribe had one of the best April’s in their history. Our expectations went from 75-85 wins to 95-105 wins in a matter of weeks. While it was a nice run, I think too many people, myself included, thought that it would survive. Unfortunately, due to numerous injuries to key members of the team and a plague of inconsistencies, the large lead that the Tribe had built quickly diminished and we were left to wonder what could have been.
But guess what? This season was a success. Any way you slice it, the Indians had a better season than last year, exceeded many expectations and set themselves up nicely to have a productive winter which could lead to a Central Division Crown in 2012.
Granted, every team’s goal at the beginning of the year should be to win the World Series. If you’re not trying, then get out of the game. But the Indians gave us a fun ride for a while and stayed in the race into the beginning of September before the Tigers put on their invincibility shield and went on a tear at just the right time.
Finishing second in a very competitive division is nothing to frown about. So that’s why, starting tomorrow you will see a big smile on the DTTWLN? top banner. Chief Wahoo is happy and the fans should be too. We got to see some up and coming talent, including players who should end up being everyday starters when Spring Training begins.
Next year could be a great continuation for the Tribe, and I expect that it will be. There is no reason to be disappointed with the way the Indians played in 2011. To have expected them to remain at the insane level they were playing at in April for the whole season was just dumb, and I again include myself in the ranks of the “dumb.” So, be ready Tribe fans, because glory is around the corner and a smile will be the first thing you see here for the rest of the off season.
Photo: Barry Howe