Memo: This Year Is Not Last Year

It’s amazing how everyone is so quick to point out that the Indians started last year off with an 8-13 overall record. It’s the reasoning I’ve heard early this season to explain why the Indians record of 11-16 including 4-10 on the road isn’t something to worry about. It’s been used to explain the .236 team batting average that features our stars, players such as Carlos Santana, Nick Swisher and Asdrubal Cabrera. That team average drops to .219 with runners in scoring position.

Now in no way, shape or form am I saying that this season is over. This Cleveland Indians ball club is filled with talented players that have the ability to win the central division. It’s just that comparing this season to last season is completely ridiculous as the events moving forward have the potential to be very different.

Loyal Indians fans are quick to forget that the Tribe trailed the Tigers in the division, and the Rays/Rangers in the wild card race throughout 95% of the whole season. If not for a very generous September schedule, the Tribe wouldn’t have made it into the playoffs.

Currently, the 2014 Indians are in last place in the division at 4. 5 games back. Additionally, we don’t have that easy end to the season as September is filled with games against our now tough AL Central foes. Don’t get me wrong, at this stage in the season 4.5 games back is nothing to make up. But what if the Indians struggle for another two or three weeks and that number doubles to 9 games back? Then it’s a real dogfight to make it into the postseason.

That’s why I believe that comparing this season to last season doesn’t fix any of our problems, but in turn is just a petty excuse for the bad baseball we’re watching. The terrible batting average, the last-place defense and the pitching that is unable to hold any type of lead needs to be fixed now. I don’t give a damn about the fact that last year’s team made the playoffs. I don’t care that it’s early in the season. 162 games are played, and 162 games count in the standings.

We all know that each and every year is different, and it’s time for this year’s Indians team to fix this year’s problems and make a run for this year’s playoffs. And I know they will do it.

-Zach Shafron

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