The Indians cleaned up the roster some on Monday morning, activating infielder Christian Arroyo, pitcher Corey Kluber, and outfielder Tyler Naquin from the 60-day injured list as part of typical front office post-season moves.
The other set of moves announced on the day, however, opened up some space on the club’s 40-man roster. Pitchers Cody Anderson, A.J. Cole, Tyler Olson, and Danny Salazar were activated from their stints on the injured list and subsequently outrighted to Triple-A Columbus. The four all elected to become free agents instead of accepting the assignments back to the minors.
Cleveland Indians radio announcer Tom Hamilton was named as one of eight finalists on Friday for the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s annual Ford C. Frick Award.
This year’s Ford C. Frick Award focuses on “Current Major League Markets” (team-specific announcers) after recognizing “Broadcasting Beginnings” last year and “National Voices” the fall before. Criteria for selection for the Ford C. Frick Award, as established by the Board of Directors, includes a “commitment to excellence, quality of broadcasting abilities, reverence within the game, popularity with fans, and recognition by peers.” To be eligible for consideration, the broadcaster (either active or retired) must have worked for ten continuous seasons with a club or network. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, more than 200 broadcasters fit those qualifications this year.
The 2019 Major League Baseball season is in the books and the Washington Nationals are first time World Series Champions, taking home an improbable title after entering the playoffs as a Wild Card contestant before later taking four road games from the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.
What may have been a surprising MLB season to some ended much the same way as a very veteran and older club in the Nationals knocked off the playoff-tested Astros, which had just won the title in 2017. The Nationals had to fight their way through the entire playoff bracket, entering as the top Wild Card club in the senior circuit before squeezing by the Milwaukee Brewers late in the play-in game. They defeated the reigning pennant winners in the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Despite taking a 2-0 series lead over the Astros by winning their first two World Series games ever, the Nationals went home and lost all three games in Washington, DC, before winning their fourth and fifth elimination games of the postseason back on the road in Texas.
Every year since 1971, Major League Baseball has recognized a player for his contributions to the community and for representing a philanthropic attitude with a desire for helping others. Each club nominates a player and the winner is picked annually during the World Series.
At least two former members of the Cleveland Indians organization will become World Series champions over the course of the next two weeks as the Houston Astros host the Washington Nationals in the 2019 Fall Classic, set to kick off Tuesday night, October 22, at 8:08 PM ET.
Two weeks ago marked the anniversary of the hiring of manager Terry Francona, whose return to the Indians organization was formally announced on October 6, 2012. He took over for interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr., who has remained on his staff throughout Francona’s tenure.
As Francona enters year eight at the helm in Cleveland, he still looks like the right man for the job, even with his flaws and occasional suspect moves on the diamond. Few have had the success that he has in the Cleveland dugout, and few around the game today can claim the resume that he has built over 19 years of big league managerial work. That body of work is why he is one of the longest tenured skippers currently at work.
Sometimes you have to take a step back and wait a few days before assessing situations. In this case, I needed a little more than that (but certainly not three weeks…) to reflect on the ups and downs of the Cleveland Indians’ 2019 season. (I also wasn’t helped any by an unrelenting work schedule for the job that pays the bills.)
A year that was expected by many to be a cake walk to a fourth straight divisional title turned into anything but as the Tribe had to fight all the way down to the wire in pursuit of a playoff spot, a battle the team ultimately fell short of in a disappointing end to a 162-game grind. The team managed to win 93 games (which given the hurdles of the year seems all the more impressive), but its inability to beat up better on some lesser opponents coupled with a slew of injuries did little to aid its cause as the Indians finished eight games in back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and three games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the final AL Wild Card spot. The 93 wins tied the second-highest win total posted by an Indians club which failed to make the playoffs (see the 1921 Tribe club which went 94-60 in its title defense but finished four and a half in back of the New York Yankees in the AL).
Cleveland’s Chris Antonetti shared with the media on Wednesday that the Indians will pick up the team option on right-hander Corey Kluber, bringing him back for the 2020 season.