It’s been a rough start for the 2014 Cleveland Indians, but a somewhat predicable one at that. The front office did very little to improve this team, as their best signing was former Texas Rangers right fielder, David Murphy. Of course, fans cited that last year’s team made it all the way to the wild card game, winning a whopping 92 games. However, that team over-performed, had the easiest September schedule known to man and every single stroke of luck seemed to go their way.
Now I’ve always been a rather negative Indians fan, but when I said that the Indians may not do so well this year other fans got extremely angry and frustrated with my opinions. The easy way of thinking is that last year’s team won 92 games, so that must be what this year’s team will do as well, right? Unfortunately, life is filled with theoretical outcomes that are nowhere close to what actually happens. A baseball team is no different.
When making my season predictions, I gave the Indians a generous 85 wins this year. But that was in order to avoid being shot at by those Cleveland Indians die-hards. I knew that it would be very difficult to come even close to matching last year’s 92 wins because it’s more than just a number. Once you take into account the schedule, the luck and the over-performance by certain players, it’s not just as simple as “Oh, they did it last year, so it’s happening again this year.”
44 games into the 2014, and I’ve been completely right. Last year to this year looks like two completely different teams when surprisingly most of the players on the roster are the same. The Tribe’s 19-25 record puts them in dead-last, 10 games even behind the Tigers. For the first month of the season, I heard the BS about how last year’s team started off slow too. For the first month in the season, everyone had an excuse for what was happening and how it was going to change for the better moving forward.
Now everyone is starting to panic as I did weeks ago. Welcome, welcome aboard the panic train.
The 45 errors, the poor average and the mediocre pitching has made this year the most disappointing start (to this point) since 2008, when the Tribe failed to make the playoffs after winning the AL Central and making it a game away from the World Series the year prior.
So when do the Browns start?
Yeah, I said it. Over the first 45 games, this team has given me absolutely no reason to believe that they can make a comeback to even win a wild card spot. However, the Browns orchestrated a magical draft that brought in a top-notch corner in Justin Gilbert, and of course the great Johnny Manziel here to Cleveland.
Unlike the Indians, the Browns quickly made up for the loss of a player. Josh Gordon, likely to be suspended for the year for drug use, was replaced by the signings of wide receivers Miles Austin and Earl Bennett. Additionally, the Browns signed safety Donte Whitner and LB Karlos Dansby to make the defense better.
So while president Mark Shapiro and general manager Chris Antonetti were busy sitting on their rear ends all winter, owner Jimmy Haslam and general manager Ray Farmer have been making things happen in the offseason that will translate to wins come fall.
Of course, I’ll continue to follow the Indians throughout the summer. After all, it’s somewhat my job. But it’ll definitely be in a bitter fashion, as a disappointing offseason has led to a very disappointing and rather painful start to this season.
August 9th – Cleveland Browns @ Detroit Lions. #WOOFWOOF