Sucks to Suck

MLB: Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles

By Mike Roza

Remember when the Indians got Andrew Miller before the deadline? You know, the really tall lefty, who along with the fellow bearded, right-handed and blue eyed angel Cody Allen, have now helped pitch the Tribe into the World Series for the first time since 1997. Since Miller left his pinstripes in New York, he has virtually been a world beater with lights out stuff at the back end of the Indians pen. Cleveland also reached out the Milwaukee about adding a catcher since their guy, Yan Gomes, was expected to be out until late in the 2016 season. They were absolutely right. The last time we saw Gomes play he launched a dinger in game 162, and the most we have seen of him now this postseason is hanging out on the bench with teammates in the Indian dugout. The reason he is riding pine is because Roberto Perez finished the season doing a masterful job replacing Gomes behind the plate. He has been exception at calling games for the pitching staff. He is also a really nice story in that he comes from the prestigious baseball school of Florida Gateway College and could be the next Puerto Rican catcher to don a championship ring, joining the likes of the Molina family and Jorge Posada in recent memory. The 27 year-old is easily one of the great stories of this pennant clinching Indians team for sure, but let me go back to the whole trading for a catcher part. Chris Antonetti called up David Stearns late July and said we need Jonathan Lucroy. Stearns, knowing that Brew Crew baseball is going through a rebirth, said you got it dude, and Lucroy was to be on his way to putting on navy blue and red as a member of the pride of Cuyahoga for Wahoo Nation. And then, we all woke up, and there was no deal. Vetoed. We all know what happened next. Lucroy still ended up getting shipped off. The Brewers were able to send him to Texas, the team with the best record in the American League.

So, now that there has been some time to look back on this from all perspectives, let us glance back at what Lucroy told Robert Sanchez in early August about ‘The Decision.’ To paraphrase, Yan Gomes is the catcher in Cleveland. He is signed to a multiyear contract and makes more dinero than Lucroy. Lucroy also sees Lucroy as a catcher and not a designated hitter or first baseman. And hell, it even made sense for Lucroy to choose Texas if that was the case, seeing as Robinson Chirinos and Brett Nicholas were their prior options. Lucroy foresaw himself as a backup to Gomes in the future because he felt Gomes is the better of the two. I have seen both Lucroy and Gomes play in person, and I don’t need stats to tell me who the better catcher is. Cleveland fans didn’t buy it. They took it as a slap in their face that Lucroy would not waive his no trade clause to play for their Tribe. As is tradition, nasty stuff was said by fans and media alike, but being the fine Louisiana boy that he is, Lucroy played on and managed to finish the season in Arlington with quite a nice stat line of 11 long balls and 31 knocked in while appearing for the Rangers in 47 games. There is just one issue. Lucroy and the Rangers were sent packing by our neighbors to the north in just three games. Wait, what? The team with the best record in the AL lost every playoff game they were in? To their evil nemesis Toronto? Yes. They sure did. Joey Bats laughed his happy ass into free agency with one last hoorah over Rougned Odor in Blue Jay battle rattle. Lucroy got a hit though. A hit. It is going to be debatable for a long time why exactly Lucroy said no means no to Cleveland. Personally, my feelings are that Terry Francona is the best skipper in all of baseball, and I would love to throw on cleats for him. He just seems to get the most out of the guys he has. Ryan Merritt had only thrown eleven innings in his big league career before silencing the Toronto faithful. Coco Crisp, another late season addition to help the depleted outfield, hit a clinching long ball in Boston off of former Athletics teammate Drew Pomeranz, and in the ALCS made a decisive sliding grab against former Athletics teammate Josh Donaldson in game three against Toronto to prove he still has some left in the tank at age 36. Well, at least Lucroy can enjoy the World Series from his living room closer to his home ballpark than he did in Milwaukee. Sucks to suck.

Advertisements