Time is the king of all men, he is their parent and their grave, and gives them what he will and not what they crave.
- Pericles, De Facto leader of Athens during the Peloponnesian war.
We have not journeyed across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.
- Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, 1940-1945, 1951-1955
We probably need a better manager. That would be my first answer.
- Terry “Tito” Francona, Manager of the Cleveland Guardians.
I thought we had a World Series one time and deserved it another. For that reason, I am not here to talk about fairness again. What a ludicrous notion.
If it is true that the job of a manager is to take the players that he is given and assemble the best possible lineup every night, then it is also true that it is the job of a front office to give that manager a team of players that he is best able to manage. It is not as if the front office in Cleveland did not know who would be coaching the team any given season. They had conversations and everything.
I do not bring this up in an attempt to shift blame away from Terry Francona or to pile it on organizational leadership. It is also true that not every baseball player will play his best in every town nor for every manager. We are all flawed in this way, and how dare we let environments or circumstances outside of our control impact our performance? Such selfishness is shown when we allow injury or illness to hamper us! Those spreadsheets won’t fill themselves out! Yet.
There is no reason to harbor animosity toward the players, either. I point all of this out to emphasize that baseball is absolute, pure chaos. All that can be done is to assemble a seaworthy group of players and coaches because you cannot plan for an unexpected squall or particular wave.
If you want the Guardians to win — and aren’t just out to wiggle for some eyeballs — being a fan means rooting for the home team. We can be analytical, incisive, and critical without sailing into the personal. We used to do a pretty good job at making some light of the doldrums too, but things feel nastier around the entire game than they did when I started writing here.
Don’t you dare tell me that you didn’t have a great time watching the Indians and the Guardians under Terry Francona. I know that no one was a better fit for these Cleveland teams.