All posts by Ai

Twitter reactions to Indians signing Edwin Encarnacion

I happened to be scrolling through Twitter when Jon Heyman dropped this beautiful bitch at 8:46 last night:

I proceeded to calmly lie down on my dining room floor and not move for a solid half hour.

Once I came to, I scrolled through my timeline some more and saw some fantastic reactions to the news. Here’s some of them. First, from the team:

#IndiansTwitter had plenty to say as well.

And just so, so, so, so many of these:


If you haven’t seen Nacho Libre yet, you basically have no choice now. There’s no getting around it.


Indians sign Edwin Encarnacion, and I am dead I think


Heading into this winter, MLB Trade Rumors had Edwin Encarnacion ranked as the 2nd best free agent available, pitcher or hitter.

Yahoo Sports had him 2nd as well.

Jon Heyman of Fanrag Sports, who broke the news of the signing last night on Twitter, also had him 2nd.

Bleacher Report? 2nd.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports? 2nd.

USA Today had him 1st.

And now the Cleveland Indians have him.

The deal is reportedly worth $60 million over 3 years, with a team option of $20 million for a fourth. That option carries a $5 million buyout if the Indians don’t exercise it, so the Dolans are guaranteed to be on the hook for at least $65 million for Encarnacion’s services.

For the only player in Major League Baseball that hit 30 or more home runs in each of the past 5 seasons, that doesn’t seem too expensive. For the Indians, it most certainly does.

Before last night, Jason Kipnis was the owner of the most expensive contract on the Indians books at $52.5 million. His is spread over 6 years, putting his average annual value at nearly $9 million.

Encarnacion’s AAV is $20 million. Or, in other words, the largest contract in franchise history.

Maybe it was the additional revenue the club made from its World Series run that convinced the Dolans it was time to open up the wallets for the first time since the Brohio incident. Maybe it’s the new minority owner ponying up some cash. Maybe the front office thinks this is our window and it’s time to go for it.

Who knows. And who cares. We’ve got one of the premier power hitters in all of baseball hitting cleanup now.

One thing we do know is that the Indians front office played this whole situation masterfully. Going back to last year when we brought Mike Napoli in on a one year deal, they knew there would be a saturated market for power hitters in 2016 and that they would have the chance to score big on someone like Encarnacion. They waited out the storm and everything shook out exactly like they predicted.

We’ll tell our grand children some day where we were and what we were doing when we saw the 14 characters that changed our lives forever.

What a difference a year makes. This was our Opening Day lineup in 2016:


Compared to what it potentially could be in 2017, barring any other additions:


I just can’t stop staring at it.

The free agent bat didn’t go to the Red Sox. Or Yankees. Or Dodgers. Or Giants.

He went to Cleveland.

I could get used to this.


The Indians lost in the World Series, and I don’t feel like I thought I would

This feels different than I thought it would.

Without any context, if you would have told me at the beginning of the year the Indians would lose in extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series, this is not how I would have imagined I’d feel.

You think about all those pictures and memes of losing teams fans with their heads in their hands, tears in their eyes. Staring out into the abyss, trying to process the heartbreak they just witnessed play out over an agonizing 4+ hours. Walking out of the stadium staring at the shoes they’re barely managing to drag across the ground.

We were going to lose the biggest event in our sport, a do-or-die Game 7, by 1 run, at home, in 10 innings? Basically the most soul crushing loss a professional baseball team can possibly endure? That was gonna be us?

Hello darkness, my old friend.

I will admit, I did some staring and dragging myself last night. Like rubbing your thigh after getting hit with a pitch, you know you’re not supposed to do it, but it helps with the pain and that’s all you care about in the moment.

Like it was queued up on a playlist, I was almost immediately surrounded by a raucus chorus of Go Cubs Go in the bleachers following the final out. I stood there a while and listened. And watched. And waited.

I wasn’t anything at that point. I wasn’t mad, sad, depressed, angry, anything. I was simply there, existing in my body, watching a team and a fanbase celebrate the most crushing defeat I can remember experiencing as a fan. I was waiting for that darkness that I expected I would feel.

Funny thing – it never came.

Of course I was sad we lost. If I could choose between winning and losing Game 7 of the World Series, I’d obviously pick the former. But I didn’t feel that crippling depression that I thought I would. It was a weird feeling of vindicaton, that we did the best we could with the hand we were dealt.

We were without two of our top three starting pitchers and our left fielder. We weren’t supposed to win the ALDS. We swept the Red Sox. We weren’t supposed to win the ALCS. We did, on the shoulders of a 24-year-old rookie pitcher with 11 major league innings under his belt. We weren’t supposed to compete with the Cubs. We went up 3-1 and won two games at Wrigley Field. We had one of the best pitchers in baseball throwing for us in Game 7, with a fully rested bullpen. Our veteran platoon outfielder who led the league in stolen bases, tied the game with a two run homer in the 8th inning off the hardest thrower in baseball.

Then it rained.

Then we lost.

I love baseball.

I felt a lot of things immedately after the game, and I feel a lot of things now. Misery isn’t one of them.

Also I certainly didn’t feel embarassed, like some people are trying to tell us we should feel because we let Cubs fans into our stadium. This is a team with one of the largest fanbases in baseball, from the third largest city in the country, with the richest suburbs in the Midwest, playing for their first World Series in 108 years.

This series could have been played on fucking Mars and it would have been impossible to find a hotel room. I have a hard time imaginging it would have been any different had 4 games been played in Toronto or Arlington or Baltimore.

(I had mostly good experiences with Cubs fans during this whole thing. There were some jackasses, sure (comes with the territory – season tickets in the bleachers), but for the most part they were cordial and respectful. I shook hands with the old men sitting in front of us last night and told them to enjoy it when I left.  I don’t think I’ve ever shook hands with an opposing fan after a game, especially not after his team just beat mine to win a championship.)

So why then, these feelings of completion and finality instead of depression and sadness?

It’s like in Fantasy Football when you’re strugging to decide who to play that week. You set a lineup with some regret, the games play out, and you lose. But even if you had played the guys you decided to bench, you would have lost anyway. There’s literally nothing else you could have done. There’s a weird sense of acceptance after those types of weeks. Not so much the weeks when you leave a guy on your bench that puts up 30 points.

The Indians didn’t leave any 30 point scorers on their bench.

They exhaused all options. The over-worked starting pitching staff and, consequentially, the over-worked bullpen finally caught up to them at the worst possible time. Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller gave up 6 runs. David Ross hit a homer off Andrew Miller. That’s when you know it’s not your night.

You had your ace taking the mound or Game 7 of the World Series at home, with your bullpen fully rested. Previous events caused that matchup to not turn out the way we wanted. Nothing more we could have done.

Tito did the abosolute best he could with the hand we were dealt. He got the most out of every single player. He almost pulled off the impossibe. But the impossible is called the impossible for a reason.

Looking towards next year helps quite a bit too. It’s not like we pulled off some blockbuster trades at the deadline to pick up rentals to “go for it” like so many teams do. We went for it, but on our terms. Our core is locked up. Our pitching staff will be healthy. Anything you get out of Michael Brantley is a bonus. Young guys have another year under their belts, and everybody has the experience of a deep postseason run. You have no glaring holes to fill. Next year has a chance to be what this year could have been. And the year after that. And the year after that.

I’m excited to watch a team next year that knows they can get to the World Series.

We all knew the 3-1 jokes would come early and often if we ended up losing to the Cubs. So far, spot on. They don’t really phase me for two reasons.

One, they’re not accurate. I understand the people slinging the jokes aren’t necessarily worried about accuracy, but when you say the Indians blew a 3-1 lead, that’s just not right. The Indians operated at capacity for all 7 games. That’s all they had. The Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit. That’s accurate. Not all comebacks by one team are blown opportunities by the other.

And two, if they really do believe the Tribe blew a 3-1 lead, that’s actually a huge compliment to the Cavs. If you’re gonna say the situations are the same, than you’re comparing our basketball team to a baseball team that just put together one of the greatest seasons in baseball history. And they’re poised to do it again and again for, oh, about a decade.

I’ll take that as a Cavs fan.

Maybe I’m still numb, and this loss will hit me in the coming days or weeks. It’s possible. But I’m enjoying this little bit of clarity and optimism while it lasts.

Gonna go sleep for three straight weeks and rev up the Cavs engine.


Hell of a season.