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Recapping the 2014 Indians is a popular thing this week

Summarizing the summaries, rooting for the rooters, visiting old friends and pondering new directions.

We knew him when.
We knew him when.
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Perusing the various Indians outlets and blogs the day after the season ended, I can't help but notice a certain race to state all the obvious things all in one place (present company excepted of course, sort of, not entirely). Does anyone really need the links to five articles that all have the same season recap? I would think not. Maybe this season's storylines weren't particularly subtle or opaque. Maybe all the stories that are there to tell really are pretty obvious.

Marla Ridenour particularly seemed to struggle to come to grips with her own grasp of the obvious. "We need a big bat." Yes, we need a big bat. Everyone always needs a big bat. Even when we already had half the league's big bats, we still did weird things like trade for Harold Baines anyway. When we lost Manny Ramirez, articles appeared bemoaning the fact that Jim Thome — he of the eventual 600 home runs — wasn't really a "true" cleanup hitter, therefore, we need a big bat.

Just to get things rolling, let me throw out there a slightly more subtle and perhaps useful idea. On a roster that's already full heading into 2015, the club can't afford to stand pat on any starting position player who doesn't offer a potential upside on either offense or defense. It's OK to have guys who are just-OK at one or the other, but both? Better look for an upgrade. Given the manifestly unacceptable result we saw particularly in the second half — both an anemic offense and a historically bad defense — hardly anyone should be safe, regardless of how comfy the contractual situation looks. We have a window. This is no time to play it safe.

The Wild Card

Wild Card Preview: A battle royale versus Oakland - Royals Review — I personally am happy for Royals fans. They've suffered enough. Yes, it's too bad their SB Nation bloggers have at times been dumb and classless and ruined the regional innocence of Indians fans, but Royals fans deserve a little joy nonetheless.

A's Wild Card Game Viewing Parties - Athletics Nation — On the other hand, don't you kind of feel like finding a bunch of Athletics fans to watch the game with? Because I kind of do. If the Indians aren't in it, it's hard to think of anything that would please me more than Billy Beane getting his shot at a ring. Who in the game deserves that recognition more?

5 reasons to be optimistic about the Athletics playing the Royals in the Wild Card game - Athletics Nation — Somehow they miss the obvious, "It's the Royals."

The Indians(,) beat

"Chasing down a dream until it disappeared" " CastroTurf — Castrovince, no surprise, with by far the best of the end-of-season roundups. Thoughtful and pretty thorough.

Kluber-led staff fuels Indians' hopes for 2015 | indians.com — Bastian runs down the entire roster. Obvious stuff but worth the look anyway. It is almost eerie how they're all under contract. It's unnatural.

Marla Ridenour: Offensively challenged Cleveland Indians favor balanced lineup over big bat theory - Indians - Ohio — The aforementioned attempted think piece.

Michael Brantley selected as Cleveland Indians' nominee for Hank Aaron Award | cleveland.com — I don't know if anyone cares about this or why they would, but it seemed obligatory for me to include it.

Around the league

Who to root for in the postseason — American League | HardballTalk — Noteworthy mainly for the conclusion that the only conceivable reason to root for the Tigers is because Victor is cool. Attempts to come up with a second reason via rooting for a Joba comeback, which might be the lamest rhetorical Hail Mary I've ever seen.

Asdrubal Cabrera gives Washington Nationals a steady hand and stellar glove - The Washington Post — Miss me yet?

The Pittsburgh Pirates and building a perennial contender - Beyond the Box Score — Surveying the labors of our old pal Neal Huntington.

Fired by the Twins, Ron Gardenhire wants to manage again | HardballTalk — What fired manager has ever not wanted to manage again? I watched the press conference, which was a bit surreal. Gardenhire gave his full-throated support to his own firing. "Time for a new voice" was the cliche offered up by the club, and he agreed wholeheartedly. Then again, I guess Tito said much the same thing when Boston fired him. Anyway, I still think Gardenhire basically sucked. Honestly, averaging 66 wins over four seasons, how can you not fire him?

Yankees expect Alex Rodriguez to be their third baseman next season | HardballTalk — So do I. I am not betting against the guy.