June 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher (33) and manager Terry Francona (17) before the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Thankful Thoughts From Ed Carroll


I am nobody’s idea of an optimist, even when it comes to the Cleveland Indians.

Usually for me, the end of the year is too hectic and I don’t have time to reflect. So the past few years, I find myself doing it around this Thanksgiving time, and remembering what I have to be thankful for in my life.

But before I get into that, I will offer you a glimpse into my personal life to let you know where I’ve been coming from this past year. So, on Dec. 14, 2012, I was fired from a minimum-wage gas station job. I hated the job, and quite frankly, my life at the time. I was five years out from college, with a journalism degree and nowhere to use it.  So to be fired from that awful job, for a rinky-dink reason as the owner was looking for any way to get me out, was not exactly a high point in my life. It was a recurring winter theme – my life going nowhere and the Indians treading similar waters. It was a depressing cycle, to say the least.

That day, I sent off three applications – to be a manager at McDonalds, to work as a reporter for Sun News and an application for law school.  I heard from Sun News the next day, and within a week I had a job there. I was optimistic, and being a reporter is far more credible than being a gas clerk (no, for real, it is). Less than two weeks later, the Indians had Nick Swisher, and coupled with Terry Francona, they had some optimism, and even dare say credibility (no, for real, they did).

thankful swisher

Sep 25, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher celebrates his two-run home run in the fifth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

To make a long story quite short, things did not work out for me as a reporter. And while there’s still certainly some resentment on my end for how that debacle ended, I was accepted into law school, and have made a quick transition into a new career path.

I tell that long-winded story to poorly illustrate to you how fortunes can change – for both people and teams. In November 2012, I was not hopeful about Ed Carroll‘s future, nor the Cleveland Indians. In November 2013, my outlook on things is quite different, to say the least. No, the Indians may not be world-beaters, but there’s some respectability there for the first time in years. No, I’m not quite where I want to be, but I’m on a path to getting there.

There will surely be issues along the way, for both me and the team to deal with, which will undoubtedly be challenging. But speaking for me, I feel for the first time in possibly all my life that I’m equipped and ready to handle these challenges. And for the first time in possibly my lifetime, I feel the Indians organization is ready as well. Not saying either of us will succeed for sure, but for the first time in 30 years, I feel comfortable betting on us.

This post has been somewhat self-serving, and I apologize for that. I’m fairly certain it’s not what Brian had in mind when he asked us to do this, but I never listen to him anyways always march to my own beat.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for fortunes that can change with the bounce of a fair ball. I’m thankful for a thrilling 2013 baseball season, which despite a bitter ending, was still massively enjoyable. I’m thankful for a site like Wahoo’s on First, which gives my often-unorthodox ideas a platform. I’m thankful for the staff of this site, most of whom I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person, but who all enrich and enhance my enjoyment and knowledge of the game of baseball (and honestly, life as well). I’m thankful my podcast co-hosts Merritt and Nick have not voted me off the island yet. I’m thankful to be among some of the smartest and often most humorous baseball minds in the blogosphere with the staff at WoF (and, former staff as well). I’m thankful there are people who are willing to read and listen to my often-outrageous ideas and statements.

Not saying life is perfect, and 2014 may not be everything I or the Indians hope it will be. But given where we both were in November 2012, I feel pretty comfortable saying things have gotten a lot better, and it’s a reminder that no matter how many simulations you may run, you can’t predict ball. You can’t predict life.

For the first time in likely all my life, I’m OK with this. And I’m really thankful for being able to be content with being OK.

Though I’d be even more thankful if someone in MLB gave Andy Marte a job. ;) #ComeHomeAndy

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