Series Preview: Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians

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So the Cleveland Indians fire their manager, and now they’re going to rip off a six-game win streak, and never have a losing season as long as Sandy Alomar is running things in the dugout. That’s just how good this team is, or how bad Manny Acta was, or something. Oh, wait, that doesn’t make any sense. Managers don’t make teams, many of the “best” are just lucky enough to be on a well-run team and they don’t rock the boat. But someone’s head had to roll, and Manny was first up.

Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

No team should have the month the Indians did in August, where they plummeted to behind the team they’re facing in this upcoming series. That’s what sunk the season and ended the ManGenius’s (I re-coined this, stealing it from Eric Mangini. What a terrible nickname) tenure in C-Town. It wasn’t a great run but it had it’s moments, so let’s reminisce for a bit even as we hope for a bright future. It’s time for new things in Cleveland, it’s a whole new world like Aladdin was talking about and we’re here for the magic carpet ride. Which of course means it’s time for something that just happened, three games against the Royals.

This is the second series in a week for the Tribe and the Boys in Blue That Aren’t the Dodgers. The last one didn’t go super great; not only does it turn out I have to eat another man’s scab collection (I regret making this bet), but the Indians outscored the Royals 21-15 in the series but lost two of three. It was a neat Sunday though, KC’s young pitcher Jake Odorizzi was gently embraced by his Major League brethren (though he actually pitched pretty well, more on that later) and the Royals fell 15-4. For an Indians fan it was an uncomfortable game—what is this team doing scoring 15 runs? That’s enough for a whole week’s worth of games! There’s more to play, guys.

So now the Royals come to Cleveland as we continue to play out the season so we can start building irrational hope for next year. Who will be gone? Who will show up? Who will become the next Chase Utley or Evan Longoria or Mike Trout for this Cleveland nine? Probably nobody, but whatever. In the meantime the Royals are 9-6 against Cleveland. This is a chance to level that season series out, and with the short-term boost a new manager brings that’s entirely possible. It’ s not like Kansas City can pitch, and even this offensively challenged Indians team can hit them. Hopefully Sandy realizes playing Travis Hafner won’t lead to anything, or that Russ Canzler probably shouldn’t be batting fourth. We’ll see, but I’d love to see him in the dugout long term.

At this point there’s little else to discover about the Royals offensively—Billy Butler is a beast, the youngsters show promise, Alex Gordon might become a star, their outfield is kinda great, and that catcher Salvador Perez looks really good. While Tribe fans may continue to bemoan this team through the winter if no real moves are made, the Royals faithful have a lot to be excited for, if they can find some pitching. Johnathan Sanchez isn’t that piece, neither is anyone in the rotation right now, but there’s a lot of hope in western Missouri right now.

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