It’s October 21st, and the Indians are still playing baseball. Drink it in, man. I hope you guys are enjoying the hell out of this, because I certainly am. And as the Tribe gets some much-needed rest, the NLCS rages on. The Cubs are now one step closer to putting the Dodgers away and making the mega-drought showdown World Series a reality, but a big lanky lefty stands in the way of that. Get ready...
Indians news & notes
One potential matchup may favor Tribe in WS | Indians.com - The Cubs took a 3-2 lead in the NLCS Thursday, but Andrew Simon argues that Tribe fans should be rooting hard for the Dodgers to make a comeback. With the state of their rotation and the way that team hits lefties (or rather, doesn’t), the Indians would have a pretty significant advantage. At this point, the Dodgers seem like an unlikely opponent but you know what? Screw it. Bring on whoever.
So you want to beat Andrew Miller: a walkthrough | Fangraphs - August Fagerstrom provides a step-by-step guide on how to beat the “6’7” swamp monster” they call Andrew Miller. Let’s just hope no one from the Cubs or Dodgers knows how to read and/or comprehend what they’ve read.
Let’s all appreciate the dominance of Cody Allen | Waiting for Next Year - Sure, any reliever seems like a dud in comparison to Andrew Miller, but don’t sleep on Cody Allen. By traditional and “SABR”methods, he’s been one of the top relievers in baseball this year and has had a dominant postseason thus far. It’s time we give Allen his due.
Tomlin cherishes close relationship with dad | Indians.com - I challenge you to read this article and tell me your soft spot for Josh Tomlin didn’t grow. Adversity is nothing new for the Little Cowboy, but his struggles on the field pale in comparison to the challenges his father dealt with this summer after his body went numb from the chest down. Josh has a special relationship with his father, and their story will tug at the heartstrings of anyone who grew up watching baseball with their old man.
Indians’ ALCS celebration gives look inside their family-first clubhouse | Sports Illustrated - Part of what makes this team so special is their ability to play loose amidst even the highest pressure situations. Trevor Bauer celebrating despite his plastic-wrapped hand can attest to that:
At one point, Bauer grabbed a bottle and popped the cork. “Whoa!” said a handful of unsuspecting teammates. “Don’t worry, I aimed for the ceiling,” he assured them, and grinned, looking down at the plastic-wrapped bandage on his right hand. “I believe in safety first.”
Cleveland Indians fans are buying up Ryan Merritt's wedding registry, but you can still get him a pillow | Cleveland.com - Somehow people have found the rookie’s registry, and the good folks of Twitter have gone wild filling nearly every request. You might still be able to get him like, a cheese board or something.
It’s time for Major League Baseball to take a stand on Chief Wahoo | Hardball Talk - The subject has been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere, and Craig Calcaterra never shies away from an opportunity to get up on a soapbox. That said, I thought this was great, well-reasoned piece - worth a read for anyone on the fence about the issue.
With 'Wild Thing' not an option, who do Cleveland Indians fans think should get a World Series first pitch? | Cleveland.com - Despite the obvious potential of Charlie Sheen throwing out a first pitch, the Indians’ front office has firmly (and mercifully) decided against inviting Charlie out. With him off the table, there’s a list of far better options. Who’s your pick?
LeBron's lead: Tribe continues Cleveland's renaissance | Indians.com - The Tribe punched their ticket to the World Series exactly four months after LeBron James and the Cavaliers ended Cleveland’s 52-year championship drought. Love him or hate him, LeBron’s performance likely took at least a little pressure of other local athletes and helped open the door for a potential second Cleveland title in 2016.
Cubs' Jon Lester proving he's worth every bit of $155M mega contract | CBS Sports - Lester has outperformed sceptics’ expectations with a solid season and a sterling postseason, and it only cost Chicago roughly $70 million more than the Indians’ entire 2016 team payroll. Don’t you just love those poor, downtrodden Cubbies? (author’s note: **** the Cubs).
Jon Lester is the best $155 million the Cubs have ever spent | Fox Sports - People seem to be really interested in going out of their way to be apologists for Chicago’s ridiculous overspending. Wow, isn’t Lord Theo such a genius for overpaying a guy that used to play for him in Boston? Anyway, here’s another article just like that first one. So, enjoy, I guess.
Dodgers take obscene leads off base vs. Jon Lester, who refuses to throw over | CBS Sports - Despite being totally worth the price tag, Lester apparently is too lazy to keep runners on. Good thing the Dodgers didn’t bother to run.
Amid struggles, Heyward trying to help Cubs however he can in NLCS | Sports Illustrated - Try not to let the fact that the Cubs are paying $184 million for the trash fire formerly known as Jason Heyward distract you from how brilliant they were for paying Jon Lester $155 million.
Get to know your celebrity Cubs fans | Hardball Talk - Hey guys did you know super cool dudes like Bill Murray root for those lovable Cubbies?! And only big fat dummies like Drew Carry root for the Indians? LOLOLOL (author’s note: you’re rapidly approaching my ****list, Craig).
ALCS aftermath and other MLB tidbits (all from Fangraphs, I guess)
- The Indians and Blue Jays just completed the lowest-scoring ALCS in history (doesn’t matter; World Series)
- Despite the credit Tito and some other managers have gotten for unique reliever usage this postseason, it’s unlikely that a bullpen revolution is imminent
- The Blue Jays should probably rebuild; or, on second thought... maybe they shouldn’t