Tito’s Mindset for 2018 Very Simple: “Vengeance”
It’s been roughly four months since the Tribe watched the Yankees celebrate on their home-field and overcoming a 2-0 series deficit, ending the Tribe’s quest for a World Series title. Not to add salt-into-the-wound, but this was the second year in a row that the Indians failed to put a team away when leading the series. Two weeks ago, Francona made a bold statement. After accepting an award Francona stated,
“After the sting of losing to the Yankees, in 28 days, I can guaranteed we’re coming back with a vengeance.”
With the departures of key players such as Carlos Santana, Jay Bruce and bullpen workhorse Bryan Shaw, the Indians have a lot of work to do. The Indians signed 1B Yonder Alonso shortly after Carlos Santana signed with the Phillies. The Indians return arguably the best pitching staff in baseball. However, the Indians still have question marks in the outfield. Not defensively, but offensively.
How will the Indians replace Santana and Bruce?
Bradley Zimmer is set to come back after an injury that sidelined him late last season. The Tribe will have to rely on Michael Brantley, who has had two-consecutive injury-laden seasons. The Indians will need some serious contributions from somebody playing RF. Lonnie Chisenhall, Greg Allen and/or Brandon Guyer will have to make huge strides at the plate to make up ground.
Outlook: Many believe that the championship window is closing within the next three years or so. Fans are wanting more. They want a World Series title anything less is a failure and with the talent that this team bolsters it’s hard to see why not. Francona’s message is one that should light a fire under his players
As I scrolled through Twitter following Francona’s comments, it’s safe to say that the fan base was fired up. Now that Francona’s statement has been delivered, it’s time to see if the team will follow.