Recently in a game against the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis was the subject of some laughs in the dugout. As it turns out he played the entire game with a giant hole in his pants. Since Nick Swisher is a teammate of his, there was no way he could get away with that without putting up with a few laughs. This is just the kind of thing that the Indians do. They have fun in the dugout and on the field, then they beat you two out of three or sweep you. Their chemistry is a main factor in how well they play and also in how far they will go.
Terry Francona said this in a recent interview on their official site regarding the team’s slow start and how it affected them.
“I don’t think because [we had] a slow start [11-13 in April], that doesn’t mean we’re not jelling. That’s when you recognize they do care about each other. It’s when things aren’t going right that chemistry and caring about each other comes into play.”
I think Francona is exactly right. The slow start in April could have had a negative effect on a team that had a few new players coming in and had lost a couple old guys as well. For them it helped them gel into a team that cares about each other and most importantly enjoys the game. The way they have fun in the dugout reminds me of the Boston Red Sox of several years ago. Oh wait, who was the manager of that team? Right it was Francona. Hmm… that was the team that finally won the World Series.
I wonder how far the Francona leadership can take this Indians team. For sure they are a contender. Even when they stop playing well for a stretch or two they will stick together as a team and should end up on or near the top in the end.