Let’s start with the man leading the squad, Terry Francona. His wealth of experience is instrumental right now in keeping this clubhouse persevering through the unfiltered fog. The players love him, the fans adore him, but charismatic features aside, he is the Gorilla Glue that keeps this machine together. Francona, leading Boston to two World Series titles as their manager, knows the tricks of the trade in how to stay the course. The players have their utmost confidence in him and the fanbase is starting to believe in his direction too. As fans, we can certainly see some flaws with the team this year, but I can guarantee you nobody notices them better than Tito himself, and little by little improvements are being made.
It’s time to take a trip back to April and May of this season and look at Carlos Santana and Nick Swisher. Some of you may have made your local liquor stores wealthy watching them struggle offensively and bungle one defensive play after another during this time. However, things are starting to change with these two. If you recall last season, Swisher had an almost identical problem offensively, but finished with stats that mimic almost every single season he has ever had in the bigs. As my fellow friend and Ohioan Chris said, we got exactly what we paid for, which a lot of people seem to forget. Swisher is not going to shell out 50 homers a year and he may have a problem or two defensively. Despite this, he is insurmountable to this clubhouse, bringing a positive vibe to the locker room and bringing off field entertainment to the fans. And he is still one of the better offensive options we have. Mr. BRO-HIO is here to help carry this team into the Promised Land in his own way. Now the focus shifts to Carlos Santana. First off, I’d like to say that he has certainly transitioned into third base probably better than any of us thought he could, and I have to give him major kudos for that. This also makes him a very versatile player, as we can plug him there, first base, catcher, and of course the designated hitter position. A lot of Tribe fans are giving him all sorts of grief because of his batting average being below .200 for most of the season and I think that is a bit unfair. Santana is currently SECOND in ALL of Major League Baseball in walks, with 55. His patience at the plate is unparalleled, and I can’t fault the man for not risking getting out. A walk still gets you on base as well as a single does. This also is not meant to overlook that he has the same amount of homeruns so far as Lonnie Chisenhall, you know, that guy who recently scored the most RBI an Indian had in one game since 1991 and is sitting on a spectacular .377 batting average? Yeah, that guy. A high batting average is great and all, but just because a lowly one is holding you down doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.
I didn’t mention our pitching staff this time around because I feel their actions speak louder than words right now. Just watching them in action is all you need to know about how well-off we are in their hands.
There are plenty of things to be excited about regarding the rest of the Indians season. The players seem to really have fun out there, enjoy being in our hood, and most of all are gaining experience for a competitive playoff endeavor. Other teams are starting to take notice that we are a club on the right path and not to be taken lightly.