2016: Only Here, Only in Cleveland
It is entirely possible we’ve seen Jason Kipnis in an Indians uniform for the last time.
Sadly, it’s more than possible.
Kipnis was lifted from Sunday’s game with wrist soreness. An MRI revealed a broken hamate, one of the carpal bones in his right wrist. The break will require surgery, shelving him for 4-6 weeks, which means even if the Indians make a deep postseason run – which seems less probable by the day – he probably won’t be able to return for the Indians this year.
When I heard they were making a movie about Game 7 of last year’s World Series, I said … well, I said lots of things, most unfit for public consumption.
Of course, this comes the day after David Ross – whose forthcoming book “Teammate: My Journey in Baseball and a World Series For the Ages” will serve as the basis for the book – made his appearance on the “Dancing With the Stars” season opener. (As a child of the 80s, I feel obligated to root for Mr. T.)
I can’t even bring myself to hate-watch this movie, and you’d be surprised at the movies I’ve hate-watched. (Hellooooo, “Spice World!”)
While I was out – and while Terry Francona was working his magic – at some point in October, I was asked by someone who is neither a Cleveland native nor an Indians fan, “How did Francona end up in Cleveland?”
It’s a fair question. When Francona was hired in 2012, he was held in high esteem after two World Series wins with the Red Sox, but the Indians weren’t a plum job, far removed from their 2007 season when they were one win away from a trip to the World Series.
Manny Acta had been fired with six games left in an abysmal 2012 season (when he returned to Cleveland this year as a coach with the Mariners, he said, “Hey, if you’re going to get Tito, I’ll fire myself too). The only good part of the 2012 season was that the Indians hadn’t lost 100 games (just 94). They’d put together losing streaks of nine and eleven games, and their 5-24 record in August that year tied for the worst in team history.
I felt the ghosts of 1997 come out Wednesday.
The Indians now have the dubious distinction of playing in the two most recent World Series Game 7s to go into extra innings – and losing them both. The Indians succumbed last week in the 10th, giving the Cubs their first World Series win since the Theodore Roosevelt administration. In 1997, they lost in the 11th to the Marlins, who were all of four years old – and the first wild card team to win a World Series.
The 1997 World Series remains a blur to me. It was a weird time in my life (which has always been fairly weird, so that should tell you something). I actually had a date the night of the first game. Such scheduling might seem like apostasy now, but it had only been two years since the Indians previously appeared in the World Series. My dating dry spell had been a little longer – and a little more fruitless.
Major League Baseball announced its finalists for its top seasonal awards on Monday, with three members of the Cleveland Indians’ organization finding their names among the candidates for some end of the year hardware.
Three candidates were announced from each league for Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, Manager of the Year, and Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
The tears had barely dried from Game 7 of the World Series, but the Cleveland Indians were already hard at work on Thursday looking ahead to their defense of the American League pennant. The first step in that process was taken care of as designated hitter, first baseman, and even occasional left fielder Carlos Santana will return to the team in 2017, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian.
In a move that seemed a near guarantee all season long, the Indians will exercise the $12 million team option on Santana for the 2017 season, bringing back one of the team’s top offensive weapons during their magical run to the playoffs that ended with a loss in the club’s first World Series trip in 19 years.
The 2016 Major League Baseball season is over and the Chicago Cubs are World Champions as they defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in a dramatic Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night from Progressive Field.
It’s heartbreak time in Cleveland once again as the Indians were up three games to one before the effects of an injury-depleted starting rotation finally surfaced against the top team in baseball. The Indians battled down to the wire with the Cubs in a Game 7 that will go down as one of the all-time greatest games in the history of the national pastime.
For the Cubs, their 108-year title drought is over. For the Indians, the void in the baseball championship landscape will grow to a 69th year.
The Major League Baseball season comes to its close Wednesday night in one of the most dramatic events in professional sports – Game 7 of the World Series.
The Cleveland Indians, losers of two straight, will host the Chicago Cubs in the finale of the Fall Classic. Everything is on the line, with the bulk of the focus on the long droughts sustained by both organizations and their respective fan bases. The Indians look to win their first championship since 1948, while the Cubs look to end a dry spell dating back to the 1908 title match.
The Indians have the benefit of being at home, where nine of the last ten teams to host a Game 7 came away victorious. But they have their work cut out for them, facing a scary Cubs lineup that won 103 games during the regular season and has performed well on the road all year.
There is no tomorrow. The season will be over. Only one can claim the crown. Everything is at stake as these two storied franchises battle to be named the best team of 2016. Thanks to both for a memorable World Series and an incredible season.
Six RBI from shortstop Addison Russell and another strong pitching performance from Chicago’s Jake Arrieta helped the Cubs force a Game 7 in the World Series with a 9-3 win over the Indians at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
A return home for the Indians was not enough to clinch the club’s first title since 1948, even with the last living member of that season’s team, Eddie Robinson, in attendance at Game 6 of the World Series. Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin was rocked for six runs in the first three innings and the Indians once again failed to answer the call when opportunity knocked.
The Chicago win forces a winner-takes-all showdown on Wednesday night for the title of World Champions.
After taking two of three in Chicago at Wrigley Field over the weekend, the Cleveland Indians returned home needing just one more win in the final two games of the Fall Classic to give the Tribe their first World Series title since 1948 while ending the hopes of the Cubs’ faithful for their first championship since 1908.
The Indians will look to give the Cubs another year of agony and torment on Tuesday night as the two clubs meet up in Game 6 of the World Series. The Cubs avoided a dreaded sweep on their home field on Sunday night, holding on for a 3-2 win by taking a page out of Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason playbook and using closer Aroldis Chapman for two and two-thirds innings to secure the one-run win. Backs against the wall, Chicago manager Joe Maddon pulled out all the stops and made a three-run fourth inning stand up, despite several scoring opportunities squandered by the Indians.
Now, the American League’s best home team will host the Cubs, who won 46 games on the road during the regular season for the second-best mark in the Majors. The Indians are 5-1 at home in the playoffs, while the Cubs are 4-3 on the road. Cleveland will look for more dominant pitching at home, bringing in a 1.50 ERA and 1.06 WHIP to match an offense that boasts the top home run hitting numbers at home in the postseason.
The World Series gives baseball fans across the country the opportunity to watch teams they never see. This is particularly true for the Indians, a team that rarely gets games on national television. The Fall Classic teaches fans of other teams the stories behind the two league champions’ players. Tribe fans watch in wonder as the rest of the country finally figures out why there is always a party at Napoli’s and how many times Jose Ramirez’s helmet falls off.
There’s one story that if the casual fan didn’t know already, they do know now. And that is the story of current superstar Francisco Lindor. Notice I didn’t say future superstar. The promising future of the former top prospect is right now, and he’s been showcasing that on the national stage.
Sometimes, it’s a matter of perspective.
There was disappointment on Sunday night when the Cleveland Indians dropped a nail biter to the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, at Wrigley Field in Game 5 of the World Series. The win prevented the Indians from ending its 68-year title drought and forced the series to return back to Cleveland for the final two games of the Fall Classic.
While it would have been satisfying to clinch the championship and not worry about any potential collapses, it is important to take a few things into account.