Cleveland Indians: Getting Used to the Great Expectations

skubitz
Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (far left) signals for a pitching change against the Chicago Cubs during the fifth inning in game three of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 28, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona (far left) signals for a pitching change against the Chicago Cubs during the fifth inning in game three of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Cleveland Indians are finally back atop the American League after several painful periods of prolonged mediocrity following the 1990s.

Cleveland Indians fans are enjoying credible optimism in the offseason for the first time in decades. After a World Series appearance in 2016, and the addition of Edwin Encarnacion, the Indians are the early favorite to win the American League in 2017.

The feeling is exciting, but still odd. Fans old enough to remember the glory days of the 1990s have felt this feeling before, but younger fans only have 2007 to cling on to as a time when true success was had.

2017 is shaping up to be a season filled with hope and great expectations. It may be a new feeling for some fans to get used to, but Indians fans who are also fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers already understand the process.

The lofty expectation of the Indians returning to the World Series may have some fans stressed if the team goes through any rough patches during the regular season, but 162 games is plenty of time to figure things out. There are also the likely freakouts if Encarancion is in a slump, which is all part of the process of being a fan.

While there will be added stress and pressure in 2017, this is much better than watching the Indians consistently finish at the .500 mark with no real expectations heading into the season, such as what happened during Manny Acta‘s tenure.

And while it is more frustrating, having the team enter the season as favorites to win the AL and not make it to the World Series is better than having the team enter with average expectations, and finish with an average record.

The good news for Indians fans is that the 2016 season was not a fluke. The Indians have been building this roster for years, with last season’s success being the result of great drafting and patience by the front office to develop the players. Add in Encarnacion and a healthy Michael Brantley and the team only gets better.

Fears of a letdown season, like the 2008 season that followed an ALCS appearance in 2007, are not entirely absurd, but no one should be openly expecting the Indians to have a terrible year. Talent prevails in professional sports, and the Indians have plenty of it.

Next: 5 Reasons Indians Will Win World Series

So embrace the newfound success the Indians are having, as no one knows how long it will last. But for now, 2017 is expected to be another great season to be an Indians fan.

facebooktwitterreddit