Be thankful for meaningful baseball in Cleveland (and Terry Francona)

Your Cleveland Indians will wrap up a thoroughly disappointing 2015 campaign against the Boston Red Sox this afternoon. After last season’s this:


and this:


on top of this,


we hoped that a little bit of this:


would help make this come true:


It didn’t. And that sucked.

But for the third year in a row, Terry Francona had the Indians battling for a playoff spot until the bitter end. There’s something to be said for that.

Put away all your disdain for Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, the Dolans, Mark Shapiro and any other of your go-to scapegoats when it comes to Cleveland baseball for a second. The goal of every team in baseball at the beginning of the year is to make the playoffs. Every game you play counts towards your record, which ultimately decides whether or not you will reach your goal. Therefore, every single game you play has the potential to determine whether or not you  do reach your goal, until you’re mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.

The Indians were finally mathematically eliminated from the American League Wild Card on Wednesday, September 30th this year. They had four games left to play. So four of the 162 games in their 2015 season were pointless. They had a chance to try and reach their goal of the playoffs 98% of the times they took the field.

In 2014, the Indians were eliminated from playoff contention on September 23rd, with four games left to play. 98% of their games were meaningful.

And they obviously reached their goal in 2013 when Terry Francona led them to a Wild Card berth in his first year at the helm. So in three years in Cleveland, Francona’s team has played a total of 8 meaningless games. I know missing the playoffs is disappointing. I’m as pissed about this year as anyone. But look at the three years before Tito:

  • 2012 – Eliminated on September 15, 16 games left
  • 2011 – September 19th, 11 games
  • 2010 – September 3rd, 28 games

(don’t check those)


The goal is to make the playoffs, and we failed. But believe it or not there are a couple steps in between the throne of success  and the pit of failure. And number 12 is standing on Tito’s shoulders with one hand touching the top.



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