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Cleveland rocks ... the baseball playoffs
September 30, 2013 - Jim Bartholow
No one could have predicted this. 22-6 in September! 10 wins in a row to close out the regular season! Winning 6-5 on a pinch hit 2-run homer after closer Chris Perez coughed up a 4-3 lead! 20-plus homers from Nick Swisher. 30 steals from Jason Kipnis. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez finds his groove for the stretch run as ace Justin Masterson gets hurt only to return in late September as a super relief pitcher.
My team, the Cleveland Indians, are in the playoffs as a wild card team. All they're assured of having is one game. It's Wednesday and it's at home. 92 wins this year after a miserable 2012 of 90 plus losses.
Experience costs ball teams money and this year the Tribe shelled out to get Swisher, Jason Giambi and Michael Bourn, and made bold trades to get speedy Drew Stubbs, Yan Gomes, and Mike Aviles.
But to my mind, the biggest acquisition was in hiring Terry Francona as manager. He's made all the difference in the world and in the team. Like he said after Thursday's win "This isn't the same team as last year."
This September has been the best in many years. Whatever happens in October can't take away from what this team has given to its fans this season. Persistent, poised, unflappable, ready to play every inning every day.
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