Five thoughts after heartbreaking end to Indians season

CLEVELAND - This was tough.  Very tough.

The Indians were so close to winning their first World Series since 1948.  

At one point, they led the Cubs three games to one.  (And please, Draymond Green, we don't need your two cents on this subject.)

The Tribe battled back in Game 7 on Wednesday to force extra innings after being down by four runs, only to lose in the 10th after a rain delay.  

Yet surprisingly, I'm not as upset as I thought I might be after this experience. I'm really proud of the Indians and I'm proud of my city.  

Since I couldn't fit all of this into 140 characters on Twitter, please allow me to give you my five thoughts after watching one of the most remarkable World Series games in my lifetime.  

And one of the most remarkable postseason runs in Cleveland sports history.

1.  I can't get over how resilient this Tribe team was.  They were given up for dead so many times this season.  Most notably, after losing Carlos Carrasco to a season-ending injury that led veteran Plain Dealer beat writer Paul Hoynes to declare the Indians' postseason dreams had ended before they began.  No Brantley, no Carrasco, and really, no Salazar, in the playoffs.  And no excuses.  They played hard all the time.

2.  This postseason will always be remembered for the dominance of Andrew Miller.  What an incredible asset he turned out to be after being acquired at the trading deadline from the Yankees.  (I'll have more to write about the boldness of Chris Antonetti in the future.)  The best news:  Miller is locked up for two more seasons.

3.  I hope that this run to Game 7 of the World Series rekindles this town's passion for baseball.  There truly is nothing like a pennant race where every pitch puts you at the edge of your seat.  Progressive Field is an electric atmosphere when the stands are full and you have to believe that this Indians team has a chance to contend for years to come.  Ownership and the front office should have more resources to spend this offseason as well.  Here's hoping that fans will come back through the gates next summer.

4.  Terry Francona is an outstanding manager. This year may have been the finest work of his career. It's reasonable to question some of his decisions, including starting Bauer, Tomlin, and Kluber on three days rest in Games 5-7.  But you can't question the overall body of work.  The Indians are so lucky to have him.

5.  Did this Indians team not remind you of the 2015 Cavaliers?  Someone wrote that on Twitter during Game 7 and I thought it was spot on.  The Tribe was shorthanded due to injuries, just like the Cavs were missing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love in the Finals.  The Cavs fought valiantly, but seemed to run out of gas at the end of that series. I couldn't help but be reminded of LBJ and that 2015 experience after James sent this video out on Uninterrupted. I was convinced that the Indians were done after falling behind 5-1, and 6-3 because they had nothing left to give. Yet the Tribe still found a way to claw back and force extra innings.  Amazing.

***By the way, how cool has it been to see LeBron be such a big part of this Indians run?  Such a far cry from the days of him wearing a Yankee hat during an ALDS game in 2007.  Having him back in Cleveland is truly wonderful.  

It will take all of us some time to process this loss and disappointment.  I have a feeling that as time goes on, we will appreciate the journey that the 2016 Indians took us on.  

Let's all continue to #RallyTogether.  

 


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