The Tribe, Cleveland Indians fan misery may be over in 2020.
A century of misery may come to an end.
Being a Cleveland fan in general is upsetting, the Cavaliers are the only team in the past twenty years from Cleveland who have even contented for a title. The Browns are upsetting and in the case of this past season, overhyped. That leaves the Indians. If you have read one of my previous articles I predicted that the Indians will be a team to watch in 2020. However, we are going to rewind the clock back on the Indians to figure out the misery of the Indians.
In 1915 the Indians were founded as a member of the American League. At best, the Indians were a mediocre winning one World Series title in 1920 and not winning a pennant for another 28 years. The Indians luck appeared to change in the postwar years after World War II. In 1948 the Indians won the World Series again. This would be the last time that the Indians would even come close to winning the World Series for yet another 50 years. They won a pennant in 1954, and then in 1995 and 1997. Each time they lost dramatically. Most recently, they are known for blowing a 3-1 series lead over the eventual champion Chicago Cubs who had a drought of their own longer than any other franchise in baseball. However, the Indians World Series drought may end this upcoming season and their are three reasons for it.
Reason 1: Yasiel Puig
For whatever reason MLB does not see a long-term value in outfielder Yasiel Puig. He has played with three different franchises in two seasons. The Dodgers felt a move away from Puig was a decisive option and the Cincinnati Reds, only several games outside of 1st place in the NL Central. In my opinion trading Puig was a huge mistake as he wasn't exactly playing great but well enough to keep a good pace for the Reds potentially achieving a Wild Card spot. Puig is a key hitter in a lineup for the Indians this season that has potential to take over a very strong American League and Puig is a part of it. Puig has also had several off-the-field issues with his time with other franchises but that should not be a problem.
Reason 2: Mike Clevinger
Clevinger is now going to be the number one in the Indians pitching rotation with the trade for Yasiel Puig sending Trevor Bauer to the Reds. Clevinger needs to be an absolutely unstoppable leader in order for the Indians to keep hopes alive for a potential World Series. Finishing 2019 with a 2.71 ERA gives the Indians hope that Clevinger can improve even further in 2020. He is the solid rotational leader in a rather unrecognizable position for the Indians. Clevinger is looking for his first chance to shine in the post-season and the Indians are looking for him to make a splash as well. As I mentioned earlier the absence of Trevor Bauer is going to hurt the Indians but it should not be a difficult recovery if all goes well on other ends of the Indians lineup.
Reason 3: Francisco Lindor
The Indians prized possession it seems is looking elsewhere but for the time being he will remain in Cleveland. The Indians need their best out of the All-Star shortstop and it would seem that Lindor is aiming to personally improve and take the Indians to the ultimate prize in 2020. Lindor's number make a strong case that he is in the top three best shortstops in all of baseball but the Indians lack depth elsewhere in the roster which has led them to mediocrity in the playoffs. Lindor's play appears to affect the rest of the roster as the Indians need to be pushed and Terry Francona is the skipper who can get the job done as he lead a curse ridden Boston Red Sox to a World Series victory in 2004. Lindor though needs to be the catalyst in the talent filled lineup.
Why the Indians won't win the World Series in 2020?
So as for now we've been positive about the Indians playoff hopes and potential. The reality is that everything is just speculation and the Indians NEED to do well this year in order for Francona to keep his job. They won't win the World Series as the American League promotes the Yankees and Astros as frontrunners in the league and either one is capable of handling the Indians. Their needs to be some moves made to bring more talent to Cleveland trading away Trevor Bauer mid-season was not a favorable move as the Indians had two strong pitchers in a rotation that otherwise is nameless. With Spring Training coming in two weeks time the Indians need to move quickly to find some talent to build around Lindor before he decides that the Indians and he need to part ways.