The offseason went a lot faster this year, it seemed like. Whether it was being so busy at work lately (you can feel free to blame my bosses for my lack of blogging, although it’s probably not entirely their fault) or maybe the fact that the NFL season was so exciting and lasted until 10 days before Spring Training, or maybe just being busy with other things, I feel like this baseball season is upon us quicker than I thought. (Case in point: last year I wrote my season preview the day pitchers and catchers reported, the year before that I wrote it in January. This year I’m barely getting in under the starting gun.)
Regardless of how quickly it came, I’m glad we’re about to get underway in 2011, because I think this is going to be a great year not only for baseball as a whole, but the Indians as well. I’ll start with baseball as a whole. The fact that the NFL is in a lockout with no signs of resolution and the fact that the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement is almost up means that the MLB, for a while anyway, is the most stable sport in America. Coupled with the fact that the economy is turning around and that stadiums like Progressive Field are looking past the ticket prices at alternate ways to make money, there has probably never been a better time to be a baseball fan.
And the Indians? I’ll go into more detail shortly, but in summary, I like their chances. This is a young team, but core players like Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore have been there through the winning and the losing and can effectively lead this team. On paper, the Indians’ bats are good and the starters have the potential to be, if not dominant, at least serviceable. What it’s going to come down to is the Indians’ bullpen and if they can get off to a fast start. For where I think the Indians will finish in the division, follow the jump.