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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Indians early exit shouldnt overshadow season | MLB.com

Of course it should.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 12, 2017 at 07:07 AM | 43 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: indians

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   1. No longer interested in this website Posted: October 12, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5550935)
I was not high on the Indians, as most observers here are aware. Of course their early exit sours the season. A few thoughts on their team going forward:

-- It's not a given that the Indians will win for years to come. Several pieces of their lineup are on the other side of 30: there's Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Bruce, and Encarnacion. Other than Encarnacion, several of those players were basically replacement level in 2017.

-- This team received an unexpected level of production from their bench, which is likely to not happen again. Jackson and Chisenhall had magic years that are very unlikely to be repeated. Both are free agents. I'm reminded of the 1984 Tigers, another 100+ win team that got an amazing season from their bench and the following year sank. It wasn't the regulars that caused their regression, it was a huge dropoff from the bench.

-- They better bolster their offensive production in the outfield. It's woeful in a league where several teams are now hitting over 200 homers per year. Maybe they'll go after JD Martinez, but they also have to keep an eye on the future big contracts that Lindor will demand.

-- Jason Kipnis is doing what most middle infielders do after they turn 30: age rapidly. What are their plans at that position?

-- For a second consecutive season the team got tremendous production from their pitching staff. How long can that continue before you see the natural ups and downs that pitching arms can bring? The bullpen is obviously fantastic, and the core is under team control for a few more years. But is 32-year old Corey Kluber going to have a hiccup season, like even the best pitchers usually have in their 30s? Carrasco is 31, and they'll have to replace the 26 starts Josh Tomlin made, since he'll leave via free agency. You have to love their rotation going forward long-term with Bauer, Clevinger, Kluber, and Ryan Merritt. But as we've seen in recent years when "super staffs" have been assembled, things don't always go as you plan.

The Indians have the core group (especially pitching) that can likely win 85 games next year in their sleep. However, baseball is a tough game, and better teams have missed their chance at a ring when previously held plans went awry. Since their only immediate competition in their division will be the Twins, I think they will get into the postseason dance pretty easily in the next year or two. But given their lineup holes, 2018 will be interesting.
   2. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 09:21 AM (#5550961)
Look, if the 2001 Mariners and the 1906 Cubs and every other favored "juggernaut" team, including the 1954 Indians and all those Tribe teams from the 1990's have to deal with the, "Yeah, but they couldn't win when it counted!" BS, then the 2017 Indians do too.

You know what makes that go away? Winning one. The Braves, for all their consecutive division titles, managed only one WS win, but they got one, and nobody really talks about how their legacy is diminished because they couldn't win more than one. Same for the A's of the late 80's early 90's. Sure, they lost to the Dodgers in 1988 and got swept by the Reds in 1990, but they won one, which is one more than most teams ever win.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 09:26 AM (#5550968)
Of course it should.

Yup. Even when there was only the World Series, failure to win it was a major blemish on a great team. No one waxes poetic about the 1960 Yankees.
   4. ajnrules Posted: October 12, 2017 at 11:28 AM (#5551125)
I'm sure in nine years there will be movies made about this team, but yes right now their loss will overshadow everything.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: October 12, 2017 at 11:33 AM (#5551136)
Well, it will still go down in history as one of the best and most exciting seasons in Cleveland in living memory. I think that's the point.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:17 PM (#5551192)
I don't know about anyone else, but I spend hours and hours reminiscing about the salad days of the 99-win '96 Indians. Their loss in the ALDS doesn't overshadow the regular season.

(Except it does.)
   7. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:32 PM (#5551212)
-- Jason Kipnis is doing what most middle infielders do after they turn 30: age rapidly. What are their plans at that position?


Probably Ramirez for the near future. Ramirez could also play 3B if they keep Kipnis at the keystone. CF probably isn't any better for his health than 2B, and his fielding numbers aren't awful, but his bat has really fallen off.
   8. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:38 PM (#5551216)
Jason Kipnis is doing what most middle infielders do after they turn 30: age rapidly. What are their plans at that position?
Jose Ramirez, I would imagine. Hopefully Yandy Diaz (and not the Gio Urshela Experience featuring The .280 OBP Dancers) at third base. An outfield made up of some combination of Zimmer/Brantley/Chisenhall/Kipnis/Naquin/Allen. Bruce is a free agent, so it's anybody's guess if he's back.

In the near term, I feel like this roster is going to be largely static. Francisco Mejia could end up playing 1B/DH if Santana leaves this offseason as a free agent. Otherwise, what you see is what you're going to get in 2018 from the position players. I'd like for them to be in on J.D. Martinez, but I'm not certain the budget would allow that if they're planning to make a run at a Lindor extension.
   9. Batman Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:42 PM (#5551221)
When I grew up in Chicago in the early '80's, people were still talking about the 1969 Cubs and the 1977 White Sox, two teams that didn't even make the postseason. Spoiled kids nowadays with their adequately-run baseball teams.
   10. Esoteric Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:53 PM (#5551232)
The 1989 Orioles are still held in high esteem by old-timers (it hurts to have to say that...I was 8 years old at the time) in the Baltimore and DC metro areas. And they didn't even make the playoffs. Obviously a big part of that was the turnaround from the legendary 1988 disaster. But still -- I was eight years old and I can still name most of the players on that team! Craig Worthington! Brady Anderson! Mike Devereaux! Phil Bradley! Ripkens Cal and Bill! Gregg Olson and Bob Milacki! The OTHER Jose Bautista!
   11. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:57 PM (#5551235)
When the team you've rooted for has made 13 postseason appearances in the past 17 years with up to now only one measly World Series win to talk about, you can then start complaining about your team's postseasons. Only the 1991-2005 Braves could compete with that run for misery. (/ducks)
   12. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 12:59 PM (#5551237)
The 1989 Orioles are still held in high esteem by old-timers (it hurts to have to say that...I was 8 years old at the time) in the Baltimore and DC metro areas. And they didn't even make the playoffs. Obviously a big part of that was the turnaround from the legendary 1988 disaster. But still -- I was eight years old and I can still name most of the players on that team! Craig Worthington! Brady Anderson! Mike Devereaux! Phil Bradley! Ripkens Cal and Bill! Gregg Olson and Bob Milacki! The OTHER Jose Bautista!

Now how in the hell could you forget the mighty "Joltin' Joe" Orsulak?
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:04 PM (#5551244)
Actually the Yankees season that ranks right near the top in my memory book is 1974, when they took the mighty Orioles right down to the wire with a team whose best player was Elliott Maddox. Hell, they're not only a forgotten team, they were stuck playing their home games as tenants to the ####### Mets.
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:11 PM (#5551257)
It dampens the perception of the season, sure. But no, it shouldn't "overshadow" it. They won 102 games, and they won more games in a row than any previous team in baseball history. That should definitely be the greater story about the 2017 Indians than the fact they lost 2 out of 5 in October.
   15. Batman Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:13 PM (#5551260)
Wikipedia says two important things happened during the 1974 Yankees season: Nolan Ryan got his 1500th strikeout against them and Graig Nettles broke his bat, sending superballs all over the infield.
   16. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:23 PM (#5551276)
Actually the Yankees season that ranks right near the top in my memory book is 1974, when they took the mighty Orioles right down to the wire with a team whose best player was Elliott Maddox.


That's more than a little bit of an oversell. That team had Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Roy White, Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, and Chris Chambliss. They weren't a bunch of nobodies led by Elliot Maddox. It's just that Maddox had perhaps the best year, half a win better than Nettles.
   17. Ithaca2323 Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:39 PM (#5551294)
Look, I get that the ultimate goal is to win the Series. And yes, a crushing loss will always suck. I'm a Falcons fan, so believe me, I get it.

But this mentality of "Well, you didn't win so how much can you enjoy the season?"...it's just dumb to me.

To take my Atlanta example, I loved watching the 2017 Falcons. It was great watching the offense shred the league for 18 (and a half) games. Julio's 300-yard game was an epic performance. It never gets old sending a mouthy, arrogant team like Seattle home for the season. It was awesome watching the media spend the week of the NFC title game obsessing over how dangerous Aaron Rodgers could be and then watching him sitting helplessly on the sidelines while Ryan and Jones just laid waste to Green Bay's secondary. And, even though they lost, the look on Tom Brady's face when Julio made that unreal 4th quarter catch was simply priceless.

I'm not going to forget all that just because someone threw "28-3" on a t-shirt and came up with an internet meme about it
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:44 PM (#5551302)
That should definitely be the greater story about the 2017 Indians than the fact they lost 2 out of 5 in October.

Losing 2 of 5 hardly matters, but 3 . . .

   19. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:47 PM (#5551304)
Losing 2 of 5 hardly matters, but 3 . . .


Yes, unfortunate typo.
   20. Nasty Nate Posted: October 12, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5551307)
Whatever Indians fans choose to think about the season as time passes, let's remember that it's less than 24 hours since a painful playoff exit. I can sympathize if it's not all sunshine and memories of the winning streak at the moment.
   21. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2017 at 02:14 PM (#5551344)
It dampens the perception of the season, sure. But no, it shouldn't "overshadow" it. They won 102 games, and they won more games in a row than any previous team in baseball history. That should definitely be the greater story about the 2017 Indians than the fact they lost 2 out of 5 in October.

Did you feel this way in 2003*? I definitely didn't. It's a lot easier for me to think the 2017 Red Sox season was a good one, despite the playoff flameout, because of 04 and 07 and 13. So I can imagine a Cleveland fan with no experience of cheering for a World Series winner might lack the ability to have that perspective.

*EDIT: Okay so the obvious rejoinder is that the 2003 Red Sox were just a Wild Card team, which is totally fair, but I think the general question/point remains.
   22. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 12, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5551377)
Whatever Indians fans choose to think about the season as time passes, let's remember that it's less than 24 hours since a painful playoff exit. I can sympathize if it's not all sunshine and memories of the winning streak at the moment.


Exactly. Last night and today are tough. Fans are mentally preparing for 2018.

But hey, at least "Mr. Robot" is back!
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5551403)
Did you feel this way in 2003*? I definitely didn't. It's a lot easier for me to think the 2017 Red Sox season was a good one, despite the playoff flameout, because of 04 and 07 and 13. So I can imagine a Cleveland fan with no experience of cheering for a World Series winner might lack the ability to have that perspective.


I don't think the two are all that similar, as you note. Besides the fact the Red Sox were just a crappy wild card entrant, the final series loss was much more self-inflicted than the the Indians THIS YEAR*. And that changes things. Even so, I don't think the Red Sox 2003 season should be remembered solely for Grady Little's act of serial idiocy either.

Obviously, the loss is going to hurt today for Tribe fans, and for a while. But I hope it doesn't truly "overshadow" the 2017 season for Indians fans. That would be a shame.

Then again, I'm not simply talking about how the season is perceived by Indians fans. The 2017 Indians had a tremendous season (I've never seen my team win 100 games, for instance), including a should-have-been record-setting win streak. I don't think all of that success over 162 games should take a backseat to an ALDS loss over five. Postseason fetishization is a blight on a sport, though a natural byproduct of American culture and the expanded playoffs, I suppose.


* Tribe fans had a little more reason to be pissed at Tito after last year's series loss.
   24. stanmvp48 Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5551405)
By sheer coincidence, the winning streak almost exactly corresponded with the absence of Kipnis from the lineup.
   25. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5551410)
Back when the Dodgers went 44-7 earlier people here were saying how it didn't matter unless the won the world series. Looks like people here are being consistent at least.
   26. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:16 PM (#5551422)
Look, if the 2001 Mariners and the 1906 Cubs and every other favored "juggernaut" team, including the 1954 Indians and all those Tribe teams from the 1990's have to deal with the, "Yeah, but they couldn't win when it counted!" BS, then the 2017 Indians do too.

Fans of the 2001 Mariners or 2017 Indians can look back fondly at those teams, while wishing postseason had been kinder, but they can't ignore that the postseason defeat changes the perception of the team and its place in baseball history. Fans of the 1906 Cubs have even fewer options.
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:20 PM (#5551425)
Actually the Yankees season that ranks right near the top in my memory book is 1974, when they took the mighty Orioles right down to the wire with a team whose best player was Elliott Maddox.

That's more than a little bit of an oversell. That team had Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Roy White, Bobby Murcer, Lou Piniella, and Chris Chambliss. They weren't a bunch of nobodies led by Elliot Maddox. It's just that Maddox had perhaps the best year, half a win better than Nettles.


Of course all those other players had better careers than Maddox, but those other years didn't help them in 1974, which is the only year I was referring to when I said Maddox was their best player.

And in terms of narrative, Maddox stole the show, as he was the Man Bites Dog story on that roster. If he hadn't wrecked his knee the next year, when he'd already accumulated 2.5 WAR in just 55 games, he might well have been their Bronx Zoo centerfielder instead of Mickey Rivers.
   28. ajnrules Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5551426)
I don't know about anyone else, but I spend hours and hours reminiscing about the salad days of the 99-win '96 Indians. Their loss in the ALDS doesn't overshadow the regular season.

Which means that if history is going to repeat itself, the Indians will win the pennant again next year, and then lose in heartbreaking fashion!
   29. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5551427)
Fans of the 2001 Mariners or 2017 Indians can look back fondly at those teams, while wishing postseason had been kinder, but they can't ignore that the postseason defeat changes the perception of the team and its place in baseball history. Fans of the 1906 Cubs have even fewer options.

To show just how true that last sentence is, imagine what Mets fans would feel like if their pets had won 116 games in the regular season, crushed the Cubs and the Dodgers in the DS and the LCS, and then lost the World Series in 6 games-----to the Yankees.
   30. jmurph Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:28 PM (#5551434)
Postseason fetishization is a blight on a sport, though a natural byproduct of American culture and the expanded playoffs, I suppose.

I agree with the first part entirely, and hate that it's a thing, especially in baseball with such a long regular season being negated by a 5 game or even 1 game post-season. But it is. And I'm just saying I think it's easier to break out of that way of thinking once your team gets a little more post-season success.
   31. Dingbat_Charlie Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:33 PM (#5551440)
The 1989 O's season hurt at the end, but it was so unexpected and goofy, and followed a long stretch of such misery that I don't remember being too disappointed (I was also a college freshman that September, so maybe a little distracted).

1997 really hurt though; that team was stacked.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: October 12, 2017 at 03:37 PM (#5551443)
But it is. And I'm just saying I think it's easier to break out of that way of thinking once your team gets a little more post-season success.


It doesn't have to be. I didn't think being a Red Sox fan was difficult prior to 2004. I went into every season optimistic they could contend*, and most seasons I was rewarded with a team that contended for at least part of the year. I absolutely wanted them to win it all, and cherished 2004 appropriately, but '75, '86 and '88 weren't hard to look back upon with fondness even before Tito and the boys cashed in.

* In retrospect, I was a little too doe-eyed during the miasma that was the Hobson era.
   33. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: October 12, 2017 at 04:09 PM (#5551485)
The 1989 Orioles are still held in high esteem by old-timers (it hurts to have to say that...I was 8 years old at the time) in the Baltimore and DC metro areas. And they didn't even make the playoffs. Obviously a big part of that was the turnaround from the legendary 1988 disaster. But still -- I was eight years old and I can still name most of the players on that team!

I listened to every game on AM radio with lots of static. Adds to the nostalgia.

Still hate the Blue Jays.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 04:18 PM (#5551496)
But this mentality of "Well, you didn't win so how much can you enjoy the season?"...it's just dumb to me.

I agree. But the enjoyment is had along the way, not ex post. I enjoyed the 2002-2008 Yankee seasons a lot at the time, but I don't much enjoy looking back on them.

Ex post, you'd rather miss the playoffs 9 years of 10 and win a World Series, but ex ante, I'd certainly take 10 playoff seasons and no World Series in terms of total enjoyment.

   35. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 12, 2017 at 04:44 PM (#5551525)
Which means that if history is going to repeat itself, the Indians will win the pennant again next year, and then lose in heartbreaking fashion!
I had this exact thought earlier today. I can't wait.
   36. Walt Davis Posted: October 12, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5551550)
The future: sure, pitchers will break your heart. But they have control of Kluber for 4 more years and Carrasco, Bauer and Salazar for three more years. There's no team in better shape with the pitching. (They also have control over Tomlin for 2018 so no worries there.)

They do have a lot of holes to fill in the field. Kipnis should be low on their list of concerns -- 2/$28 left, it's probably just an off-year (he's had a similar year before). The OF and 1B are more pressing problems. If Kipnis tanks again in 2018 then obviously you make some changes.
   37. . . . . . . . . . . Posted: October 12, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5551567)
My favorite team is probably the 1993 Yankees, and they didn't win ####. But they were good and they were the first good team in ages and they had some castoff players having good, surprising seasons (Stanley, O'Neill, Boggs) and some homegrown guys finding success (Leyritz, Velarde, Bernie).
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: October 12, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5551609)
Postseason fetishization is a blight on a sport, though a natural byproduct of American culture and the expanded playoffs, I suppose.

If so, then that fetishization long pre-dates expanded playoffs, since the World Series had a far greater impact on American culture before 1969 than all the playoffs put together have today. When was the last time you saw the World Series featured as the top front page story of the day in any newspaper?
   39. Dr. Vaux Posted: October 12, 2017 at 07:12 PM (#5551616)
There's a difference between thinking the World Series matters and thinking only the World Series matters.
   40. DFA Posted: October 13, 2017 at 02:03 AM (#5552959)
The 1989 Orioles are still held in high esteem by old-timers (it hurts to have to say that...I was 8 years old at the time) in the Baltimore and DC metro areas. And they didn't even make the playoffs. Obviously a big part of that was the turnaround from the legendary 1988 disaster.


When I wanted to share my memories of Tom Petty last week, I found Runnin Down a Dream on the why not video to play for my kids. I was 13 in 1989, and that is by far my favorite baseball season. I was in tears in at GBMC watching that series in Toronto. That season was cathartic for me, baseball wise.
   41. cmd600 Posted: October 13, 2017 at 03:28 AM (#5552962)
there's Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Bruce, and Encarnacion. Other than Encarnacion, several of those players were basically replacement level in 2017.


Only Kipnis was near replacement level of that group. And that was because of an injury plagued year following two four win seasons. Far more a concern are that Santana and Bruce are FAs.

This team received an unexpected level of production from their bench, which is likely to not happen again. Jackson and Chisenhall


These two were third ans fourth in PAs among OF, so not exactly bench guys. They probably won't get three WAR from the same spots on the roster next year, but three wins isn't sinking a season either.
   42. Jay Z Posted: October 13, 2017 at 08:53 AM (#5552983)
My favorite team is probably the 1993 Yankees, and they didn't win ####. But they were good and they were the first good team in ages and they had some castoff players having good, surprising seasons (Stanley, O'Neill, Boggs) and some homegrown guys finding success (Leyritz, Velarde, Bernie).


Yeah, no one is going to feel bad when it's the first time in years your team is good.

As others have said, if a team is good for years and win one of them all is generally forgiven. Otherwise not.

Pre 2004 the Red Sox never were good enough for long enough. Yes you have the four Game Sevens. Though that doesn't really count, because 1986 LCS was a miracle and a Game 7 as well. 1967 last day of season. Anyway, Dodgers and Indians were better than the Red Sox in the 1940s-50s and they only won once each. 1940s Red Sox were good for a few years, then faded. Not enough. Same in the late 1970s. 1978 was galling because the team stupidly gave away some players and they needed them. But the farm system was bare after 1978 and the team faded. Boggs and co. came a bit too late. Late 80s Red Sox were never a great team.

Two worst cases of teams never winning were the 1960s Giants and 1950s-60s White Sox. Giants had multiple HOFers, won the most games of anyone in the 1960s. They didn't have a GM, Stoneham did the dickering and they paid for it. Bad trade after bad trade, couldn't put the pieces together to win. Cardinals and Dodgers were managed better with inferior talent.

White Sox lacked a little star power, were always around a 90 win team. Finally in 1959 they get a break and win. Then they get a golden opportunity, play the 1959 Dodgers in the Series, and can't cash in. Veeck mortgages the future for some vets to put the team over the top in 1960 and it didn't happen. Those guys would have been useful as the team replenished but finished just short in '64 and '67.
   43. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: October 13, 2017 at 09:08 AM (#5552986)
Veeck mortgages the future for some vets to put the team over the top in 1960 and it didn't happen. Those guys would have been useful as the team replenished but finished just short in '64 and '67.


Specifically, Norm Cash, Johnny Romano, Earl Battey, and Johnny Callison.

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