The Walking Dead: Cleveland Indians Edition

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Sep 21, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona in the dugout against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

10. Dale Horvath – Jason Giambi

In the first two seasons of the walking dead, Dale served as the elder statesman of the group. With his advanced age came wisdom and the voice of reason. While the world was going to $—, he didn’t let it take him down with it. If that meant taking an unpopular stance in order to save the group’s humanity, then so be it. That’s the role filled by Jason Giambi over the past two seasons.

As the verteran presence in the clubhouse, Giambi has served as a source of wisdom for the younger and far less experienced member of the Indians. And, much like Dale, a lot of people couldn’t stand him. Fans felt as if Giambi were wasting a roster spot. Well both problems were eventually solved. Dale got his stomach torn open by a walker and died. Giambi finally retired after 20 seasons. Although, it is entirely possible his prolonged DL stint last year was due to a similar injury.

9. Hershel Greene – Terry Francona

Speaking of Hershel, is there any doubt that Terry Francona would make the perfect, real life Hershel? As a vet/family man/religious leader turned medical doctor/adopted father/voice of reason, Hershel often times had to make the best of the situations he was handed while imparting words of wisdom in much the same way as Dale. Only it was slightly less annoying and garnered respect. While Dale’s death was seen as a “finally” moment, Hershel’s beheading at the hands of The Governor was shocking.

Can’t much of the same be said for Francona? He has pieced together a winner in each of his first two seasons in Cleveland while not being expected to do so. How he’s done the things he has done is nothing short of a miracle. What can’t be questioned is the respect and admiration he receives from his players. Can he work his magic for the third straight season? Let’s just hope he doesn’t lose his head in the process.