Cleveland Indians

The Cleveland Indians’ extended offseason

Sung to the tune of “White Christmas:”

I’m dreaming of a White…Easter?

If you wanted proof that it was the end of times, when some of you looked out the window this morning, you saw a wonderful layer of snow nestled softly on the spring grass that many had already mowed more than once. Okay, so this happens at the beginning of every April, but when you need a narrative to fit the coming apocalypse, you can squint your eyes a little bit at least.

While there really isn’t any Cleveland Indians’ news to speak of on the North Coast with COVID-19 shutting down the globe, it’s good to dust off the snow, turn off Netflix, and ponder what could still be in 2020.

Really.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale discussed a possible one-year MLB realignment that could see the Indians’ season starting sooner, rather than later. It’s a scenario that EHC’s Mike Hattery and I discussed about a week ago, while recording the first podcast this website has seen since, well, Halloween of 2019. Without diving too deeply into the proposed scenario, here are a few bullet points of the proposal:

  • All MLB teams would play their games in Arizona or Florida, creating two new leagues modeled off the spring training leagues.
  • The American League and the National League would cease to exist for one season.
  • The Indians would play in the Cactus League west, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and the Los Angeles Angels.

While there are likely double-digit scenarios similar to this that are in play, it’s still hard to forecast which direction Major League Baseball will take going forwards without knowing when restrictions for leaving your yard will be sensible, let alone allowing Major League Baseball players to play a game.

It almost seems trivial to even talk about.

But if we can’t talk about baseball, how the hell will we stay sane?

It’s already insane enough that we’re having a legitimate discussion about the Indians possibly not playing 2020 baseball, let alone just talking about the game without feeling guilty that you aren’t weighing it against people’s lives being lost during a global pandemic.

But here we are…

So I’m acknowledging now that in a complicated time to be alive, talking baseball may not be the right thing to do right now…but I have to do it. It’s worthwhile because as I sit here about to start week four of my 2020 lock-in, it’s worthwhile to talk baseball to keep me from losing my mind.

It’s worthwhile to discuss the players getting a full year of service-time in 2020, which is both amazing for the players, and horrible for Cleveland Indians’ fans and the front office.

It’s worthwhile to discuss Francisco Lindor’s final two seasons in Cleveland, because it’s not going to be two complete seasons? That’s the one thing that we can be sure of. Sure, the league may figure out a way to play a full slate of baseball games, but even in this ruthlessly aggressive doubleheader journey, Lindor’s season won’t look like two complete seasons, and that stinks. Sure, you can talk about his pure value as a tradable asset, but what hurts here is we are losing valuable time with Lindor actually wearing a jersey the Cleveland stitched across the front of it. Hattery and I jumped down this rabbit hole.

It’s equally worthwhile to discuss the small market Indians with regards to losing a year of control of their entire roster. I get it. It’s great for the players and I’ve always been a players-first fan, but boy does this put the Indians at a disadvantage to the large market teams that are salivating at the possibility of ransacking the cupboards of Lindor, and many others. Hattery and I talked about this as well.

Mike and I spent a good 90 minutes talking about baseball life during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, and about 60 minutes of it ended up on this podcast. We didn’t always agree, and we didn’t always know what the hell was the right thing to say, but the root of the conversation was baseball, and that alone made my day a little bit better.

We hope it makes yours a little better too.

The Daily 9:

  • How is Francisco Lindor’s future impacted by the potential loss of a significant portion of 2019?
  • Has Carlos Santana played his last game in an Indians’ jersey?
  • How will MLB handle roster size, and how will this impact the Indians roster?
  • Will this speed up or slow down the development of Nolan Jones?
  • How will the down time impact the Indians low minors, which many “experts” believe is one of the best in the league?
  • Will MLB gut the minor leagues with the stoppage, or shortage of games in 2019?
  • What are the Indians’ playoff chances in 2020, with a variety of schedule scenarios?
  • Do you like Milk?
  • Could the Indians and the minor leagues play their entire season in Florida and Arizona?

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