It feels closer this time, right? The sellout-streaking, home run-hitting Cleveland Indians of the late 1990s were as exciting as the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers of the ‘80s. But even with elite players throughout the lineup, they lost twice in the World Series. Twenty years later, the Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Corey Kluber incarnation got as close to greatness as any Tribe team since 1948 by riding gritty pitching, timely small-ball hitting and unlikely heroes (Rajai Davis’ bomb still loops like a GIF in our minds). Although the team lost the World Series to the Chicago Cubs — again in extra innings of a Game 7 — and Davis has gone to the Oakland Athletics (we’ll always have that cool November night), the signing of free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion, the promise of healthy starting pitching and a full year of Andrew Miller making hitters look foolish has us dreaming about opening day April 3 and pitcher’s mound celebrations once again.
9:00 AM EST
April 3, 2017