Want a break from the Browns, why not read this about the Guardians? – Terry Pluto

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Manager of the Year: Terry Francona.

Executive of the Year: Chris Antonetti

Four Gold Glove winners: Steven Kwan, Myles Straw, Andres Gimenez and Shane Bieber.

no 3 in Rookie of the Year voting: Kwan.

Major League saves chief: Emmanuel Clase.

Baseball’s Secret Superstar: Jose Ramirez, who additionally received a Silver Slugger Award.

The final class is one I made up for Ramirez, who is maybe the largest single cause amongst the gamers the Guardians have been MLB’s most overachieving staff.

The exceptional a part of this story is that it spanned a decade from the second Francona joined forces with the entrance workplace of Mark Shapiro, Mike Chernoff and Antonetti. That was in 2013.

Shapiro moved on to run the Toronto Blue Jays in 2016. Antonetti and Chernoff had been directing the baseball aspect of the operation for a few years earlier than Shapiro left.

A DECADE OF EXCELLENCE

We’re speaking about 9 successful seasons in 10 years. We’re speaking six journeys to the playoffs in 10 years. We’re speaking about one World Series look. We’re speaking a decade of excellent baseball.

For all the anger and gnashing of tooth about proprietor Paul Dolan and the low payrolls, can a few of us transfer previous that and take a look at the outcomes? They are a playoff contender virtually yearly.

There will likely be some individuals who say, “They received a lot of video games, however the place is the World Series championship?”

Yes, they by no means reached the final purpose. But they’re good yearly. The solely dropping season was an 80-82 document in 2021. Something particular has been occurring at Progressive Field for a very long time.

Cleveland Indians basic supervisor Chris Antonetti (L) and supervisor Terry Francona watch batting apply in the spring of 2013, their first season collectively. Chuck Crow, Plain Dealer

WHAT IS THE SECRET?

Can we ask, “Why have Francona, Chernoff and Antonetti stayed right here and collectively for 10 years? They’ve had loads of possibilities to depart.”

Francona talked about this in his Wednesday press convention about his Manager of the Year award …

“It’s the folks doing it with me,” he stated.

That begins at the high with Dolan then the entrance workplace – subsequent come the coaches, scouts and everybody else.

It’s why Francona saved stressing the Manager of the Year award is “a corporation award.” He has such a robust perception in that team-first method that he declined to have Antonetti put a bonus clause for Manager of the Year in any of his contracts.

It prices Francona some money, and he is received the award 3 times in his 10 Cleveland seasons. He would not care. He is a purist. He negotiates his personal contract, the final session being about 10 minutes in the supervisor’s workplace in Kansas City at the finish of the season. They agreed as Francona was chowing down on a hamburger.

A PURE BASEBALL PLAYER

Cleveland Guardians third baseman Jose Ramirez slides safely to 3rd base for a triple.

John Kuntz, cleveland.com

TITO & JOSEY

Or how about Ramirez?

He got here to the majors in 2013, Francona’s first Cleveland season. Ramirez has by no means performed for any MLB supervisor apart from Francona. Like Francona, he likes Cleveland. The small-market tag would not trouble him. Rather, it is interesting.

“Josey is a baseball participant,” Francona stated. “He’s happiest when his uniform is soiled.”

Running exhausting, helmet flying and head-first slides are the essence of Ramirez’s baseball coronary heart. And that very same coronary heart led to his telling his agent to work out a deal to remain in Cleveland.

Some will say his new 7-year, $141 million deal signed in the spring was “beneath market.” That’s true. But this is the place he needs to play, and he demanded a no-trade clause so he can stay right here so long as that contract is in place.

Ramirez and everybody else with the staff calls Francona, “Tito.” That mixture set issues in place for the Guardians to win the Central Division with a 92-70 document and beat Tampa Bay in the first spherical of the playoffs.

HERE COME THE KIDS

They did it with baseball’s youngest staff the place 17 completely different gamers made their MLB debuts. They did it by defying fashionable baseball analytics with its love of the house run and loathing of stolen bases.

The Guardians led the league in infield hits and had the fewest strikeouts. One of the symbols of this fashion is Kwan, the staff’s leadoff hitter and Gold Glove left fielder.

Francona was pleased Kwan obtained some recognition by ending third in the Rookie of the Year voting, “But I’d commerce mine (Manager of the Year award) so he might win it – I’d try this in a single second.”

Earlier in the season, Francona stated Kwan is such a high quality younger man “you need to take him house with you.”

Think about the names of the younger gamers who’ve emerged in the final two seasons: Oscar Gonzalez, Triston McKenzie, Cal Quantrill, Josh Naylor, Kwan, Gimenez, Clase and others.

For Guardians followers, this was greater than pure baseball. It was pure baseball leisure.

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