The last time I saw an Indians team this fired up for a season it was 2008. That one fell apart due to injuries and a bad bullpen, this year's team can write their own script. How it ends is anybody's guess.
This team is confident and re-energized. "Buzz" is the term you keep hearing. Whether it's from players, coaches, front office members or just staffers around the building, something is brewing here in Goodyear. The Indians needed a makeover. Needing one is one thing, but to actually get it is another. The players feel like it is on them now, the front office and ownership has stepped up.
I have no idea how good this team will be, but if the starting pitching plays to form I can tell you how good they should be. They should make the playoffs. I'm not saying they will, I'm saying I will hold them to that expectation if their starters work out. They have a legitimate championship-caliber late inning relief corps. As far as I'm concerned that cannot be logically or factually disputed. That is what I call an HTH, a Have To Have if you want to be a playoff team. Their offense will score and give them a chance. This is a much deeper line up than we've seen in a while. The addition of Michael Bourn assured that by sliding everybody down a rung in the order. He will be an absolute nuisance on the bases. Think Lofton 2.0.
Their defense will be adequate in some areas, great in others. If there's a trio of outfielders that will cover more ground than Brantley, Bourn and Stubbs, I'd love to see them. The only question mark in the infield is Chisenhall at third, we'll see. Santana can't be lazy blocking balls.
If the rotation crumbles I can't blame the rest of the team for not staying in the race. If the starters pitch well and this team does not contend there will lots of blame to go around.
But for right now blame isn't the B-word I want to talk about. I like buzz a lot more. There's a buzz here, Tribe fans. It's positive, it's fresh and it's coming to Cleveland in April. See you at the yard.