CLEVELAND — Terry Francona made the meandering tunnel towards the home dugout before the Opening match of the 2016 World Series so he could breathe in the autumnal air. He was worried. Time was moving far too slowly. The opening pitch was still one hour away. He wasn’t alone either. Leaning on the padded railing, Mike Napoli was taking in the tension in the stadium.
What are you doing here, exactly? Francona questioned the seasoned hitter.
Napoli declared, “I’m terrified to death.”
Francona answered, despite having already been to the World Series twice, “Me too.”
It is impossible to predict the postseason. That is why it is so unique. Because of such, it is terrifying. A struggling Cleveland team has shown in 2016 that anything is possible. A Cleveland juggernaut demonstrated this in 2017 as well.
He was also not alone. Mike Napoli was there, leaning against the padded railing and absorbing up all the tension in the stadium.
What on earth are you doing here? Francona enquired of the seasoned slugger.
On Wednesday’s ninth inning of Game 162, Francona had his first stomach flutters of the season. In order to get ready for the Wild Card Series, the coaches were at the game until very late. And when Francona shows up at Progressive Stadium on Friday morning to begin yet another postseason experience, he declares that he will “again be terrified to death.”
He won’t be the only person fighting against his feelings. This Guardians season has been significant to many fans for a variety of reasons. It was brimming with surprises and defined by spectacular, illogical victories. It has been the panacea for some people’s personal tragedies. The source of a cherished family connection for others
Nobody knows what October has in store for the Guardians, but many people will pay close attention as they accompany them on a postseason journey with an undetermined endpoint. Before Game 1 on Friday, many Cleveland supporters spoke with The Athletic about their own experiences.
The Guardians seemed to have the longest drought, Austin Hedges was aware. He made a 65-year guess. Shane Bieber was aware; he did not wish to perform the calculations in his brain. However, a brief survey of a few of the newcomers on the roster suggested they were unsure. The objective of a team trying to make history in the first time as 1948 has an intriguing twist because of it.
It’s cliché to argue that these young players “don’t know what they don’t know,” but since many are learning as they go, what they actually don’t know is what the team’s potential
Francona state that “Everything we experience is the first time. We haven’t been hindered by it. These boys have been practicing while they learn”. He added They have done a decent job at it.
But Francona emphasized that this is more than just a feel-good story after the team won the division final month in Texas.
They merit more praise, in my opinion.
When Francona addressed the squad at the beginning of spring training, he emphasized that for the players to have any chance of making a splash, they needed to excel on the bases, prevent defensive lapses, and take advantage of the opponents’ errors. He pleaded with Ramirez and Amed Rosario to serve as good role models for the young children on the roster.
As a result, baseball now emphasizes contact and hustling in a novel way. The Guardians’ style was best exemplified by their double-scoring play on a routine smash to third signed binary weeks ago in Texas, the day they captured the AL Central. Francona expressed his pride in the team’s commitment to the plan, which has resulted in a series 17 players have made their major league debuts this year.
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