The Cleveland Indians suffered yet another heartbreaking postseason exit, but that doesn’t mean a change at manager would magically fix things.
I have read and heard some crazy things in these first 24 hours since the Cleveland Indians were eliminated from the 2018 postseason.
One of the wild takes involves the idea that the Indians can’t win a World Series with Terry Francona and that he should be fired.
That is just plain crazy.
I am not here to make excuses and be a Francona apologist. He did make some questionable lineup and pitching decisions in the three-game sweep against the Houston Astros. But the fact is his players simply didn’t perform. There is no magical cure for that.
The Indians simply weren’t build like the other top contenders in the American League. That is in part due to being a smaller market but also due to the front office having a lot of faith in guys who just weren’t good enough this year.
Andrew Miller and Cody Allen falling apart doesn’t reflect negatively upon Francona. The same goes for Jose Ramirez falling apart in the postseason, along with most of the lineup. There is only so much he can say to a player before they have to take it upon themselves to generate offense.
If you are still looking for blame, then perhaps look toward the Indians analytics department, which has come into focus thanks to some great reporting from Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. It was touched on in a Let’s Go Tribe piece as well.
If the Indians are already at a strategic disadvantage due to a lack of information, that is not on the players or the manager.
Fans are seeking explanations for what went wrong and it appears that the Indians were simply overmatched. It is just a hard realization to come to after the magical run of baseball started back in 2016.
Firing Terry Francona would only hurt this team in 2019 and beyond. It is up to the players to execute, and the front office to bring in players who can indeed step up when the games matter most. Francona has already taken this team to new heights not seen since the 90s.
We all saw what happened when Mike Hargrove was fired. Changing a good thing doesn’t always lead to a great thing.