Outtakes: Are laurels looming for Indians?

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent
Frank Weaver Jr.

Part 2 of 2

The Cleveland Indians may seem to be off and running, but they are pacing themselves, trying to get the feel of the field. Or in this case the feel of the schedule. Hopefully, by October, they could find themselves at the end of a rainbow, staring at a pot of gold.

Sure, they've lost two of three in Motown last week and the home opener here the day after Easter. But on one hand, the weather in Detroit was brutal.

Unfortunately, Detroit played in that same brutal weather with the Tribe and beat us two out of three. So, taking nothing from the Tigers, I tip my captain's hat. But they're used to it. That's their home stadium. That's where they play 81 games annually.

The Tribe, however, had to open the season there. Much to their surprise, they ended up playing in an unscheduled Blizzard Bowl. They weren't used to it. They hadn't trained for it and it took a few days to acclimate their systems from Arizona's hot, dry, sun belt to Michigan's cold, wet, ice belt. So much so that by Easter Sunday they were ready to eat bear. And they gorged themselves with a barrage of home runs that gave them a 9-2 win.

At one point during the season opener in Detroit, sliding into second or third base, along with home plate, ought to have brought forth a dynamic display of snow skills. That is if they were ever able to put a few hits together. But then again, it just might have helped if they had used skis to round the bases. Their baseball cleats certainly weren't doing much of a job.

However, to judge Cleveland by how poorly they did so far would be an injustice. To judge any team by how poorly they've played this early in the season would not be fair. Especially after each team played only 60 games last year when their physical systems have been trained to play 162.

It's okay to talk about our hopes, but to predict this year's results so early is questionable. As an example: the Tribe went from being the cellar dweller in the American League's Central Division to taking over the the top cop spot. They went from one win and four losses, to five wins and four losses. And they did it simply by sweeping the Tigers; only this time under beautiful skies, warm baseball weather, good pitching and outstanding hitting in Cleveland.

But that's only nine games our beloved Indians have played, not 109. Perhaps it may be wise not to apply too much pressure on them and allow them to feel their way around the schedule. So don't write them off. At least not yet.

I know, I know. In past columns I've played around, predicting they'd go "all the way," whatever that means. Actually, I'd leave myself wide open, just in case they did win it all. But not this time. So far, I really like what I've seen with this young team. And I'm not about to jinx them.

Nevertheless, they just might open the eyes of the nation's fans if three players play up to their potential. We know Jose Ramirez will give us a MVP effort, day in and day out. And Cy Young Award winner, Shane Bieber, will continue to dazzle his opponents with multiple strikeout games.

But there are three others to watch closely. One is the catcher Roberto Perez, two is designated hitter Franmil Reyes and the third is starting pitcher Aaron Civale. Watch them closely. This should be a fun season.

With call ups, injuries and trades that happen so often throughout the baseball season, there is really no reason to predict this early in the year how well they will do at the end.

But for our Tribe, laurels could finally be looming. Let's hope they are.

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