Now It's the Cleveland Indians' Turn

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona won 2 World Series championships with Boston.
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While most of Northeast Ohio was focused on the championship season of the Cavaliers, the Cleveland Indians were quietly winning games.   Now it’s their turn.

The Tribe won their division with a lot of unlikely heroes and tonight begin their postseason playoffs by hosting the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field.  Ideastream’s Mark Urycki reports they’ll need more unlikely heroes to keep winning.

 

 

The last time the Indians won their division was 2007 when they were one win away from going to the World Series.  But Boston, under manager Terry Francona, beat them and went on to win it all.  Francona is still popular in Boston but now he manages Cleveland.  He says this 5 game series is about his players,  not him.

“Both teams have accomplished so much to get here it needs to be about the players. Whatever my personal feelings are need to stay just that.  

Francona did say it’s an honor to face one of his best friends, Boston manager John Farrell, a former Indians pitcher. 

The Tribe tied Texas for the best home record -53 wins- in the league this year.  11 wins came from last inning walk-off hits.  Young players like Francisco Lindor  and Tyler Naquin joined veterans like Mike Napoli Rajai Davis, and Carlos Santana to win 93 games.   One of the league’s best bullpens kept the Tribe winning.

Francona spent his first 5 years as a boy in Cleveland.  His father Tito played for the Indians.

The 2016 regular season success is not lost on the manager.

“I enjoyed the whole way pretty much.   I mean there are certain days that are longer than others.  I would guess I consider myself pretty lucky.  I get to come to a place work that I love, deal with people I really care about, and a team that it’s about the least amount of babysitting I’ve ever seen in my career.  So it’s been fun.”

 

Odds-makers say Cleveland will lose this series.  Their best hitter Michael Brantley has been out for the season.  Ace pitcher Corey Kluber has a thigh muscle strain, second best pitcher Carlos Carrasco is out with a broken hand, third best Danny Salazar will only play if the team gets to the second round.

So tonight they go to their 4th best starter Trevor Bauer. 

 

Does the skipper need to inspire his team?

“There’s no speech that’s gonna, you know,  we’ve been together since February,  I think I’m about out of stuff.  I didn’t have much to begin with.”

Tonight’s game starts at 8:00, Game 2 is Friday at 4:30.     Tito Francona will throw out the first pitch.

 

Indians ALDS Roster

No.         Player                 position

37           Cody Allen          RHP

56           Cody Anderson RHP

47           Trevor Bauer      RHP

52           Mike Clevinger  RHP

28           Corey Kluber      RHP

53           Jeff Manship      RHP

34           Zach McAllister RHP

24           Andrew Miller   LHP

61           Dan Otero           RHP

27           Bryan Shaw        RHP

43           Josh Tomlin        RHP

 

38           Chris Gimenez   C

10           Yan Gomes         C

55           Roberto Perez   C

22           Jason Kipnis        INF

12           Francisco Lindor         INF

1              Michael Martinez      UTL

26           Mike Napoli        INF

11           Jose Ramirez      INF

41           Carlos Santana  INF

8              Lonnie Chisenhall      OF

4              Coco Crisp           OF

20           Rajai Davis           OF

6              Brandon Guyer OF

30           Tyler Naquin      OF

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