CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Yes, the holiday season is finally here. The Indians have fans excited again (at least most fans), after a couple aggressive moves to try and get better under new manager Terry Francona.
With Christmas arriving in Cleveland, it’s time to sit back and look at our first annual “Christmas Wish List” for your Indians as they start to think about reporting to Goodyear for spring training and the start of the 2013 campaign.
Terry Francona – For our new manager, the hope that his team stays healthy, and that the players that he expects to step up and lead this team do just that in his first season as skipper.
Chris Perez – He’s the voice of this team (like it or not), and my wish for him is that there’s a lot of large crowds at Progressive Field this summer so he doesn’t have to go on any more tirades about the lack of attendance.
Vinnie Pestano – Much of the same from 2012, the continued ability to stay as the best, and probably the most underrated setup man in baseball.
Jason Kipnis - Another season of growth, and with it his first deserved trip to the All-Star game in July.
Asdrubal Cabrera - Provided he’s still around, the hope that he has another big first half, but this time keeps it going in the second half, and takes some of the leadership roles in the locker room.
Mark Reynolds – The new Indians first basemen, a wish for a bounce back year to see him hit about .260 with 35 homers just like he did with Arizona back in 2009.
Carlos Santana - Finally some players around him to protect him in the lineup, for Carlos we wish health along with a season of hitting .280 with 25 homers and 100 RBI.
Lonnie Chisenhall – Most important for Lonnie is health, and a productive first season as the full-time guy at third, hitting .265 with 20 homers and 75 RBI.
Nick Swisher – For the new Indians RF, a huge role as a fan favorite, and the hope he crushes 35 homers and hits .270 with becoming one of the new faces of the franchise.
Michael Brantley – A healthy year as the new LF for the Tribe, a season where he hits .290 and helps the bottom of the order become a productive force for the Tribe.
Drew Stubbs – The new CF for the Indians, a major cut down in strikeouts, and with it 15 homers to go along with 40 steals as the new Indians leadoff hitter.
Trevor Bauer – The newest pitcher with a lot of hope for making the rotation, the hope that he winds up as the #5 in the rotation, and ends up winning 10 games with a lot of promise for 2014 and beyond.
Ubaldo Jiménez – A bounce back season for Ubaldo that sees him go from 9-17 last season to 17-9, and wind up in the top 10 in the AL in strikeouts.
Justin Masterson – The Indians ace, like Ubaldo a huge bounce back season where he goes from 11-15 a year ago to 18-8, and again outpitches Justin Verlander twice like he did in 2012.
Chris Antonetti – The ability to have all his moves before and during the season work out, and the props for getting the Indians through a dark time and back into being competitive in the American League.
The Dolans – A little props from an angry fan base for the first time in a couple years for going out and spending $6 mil on a new first basemen in Reynolds, and more importantly, a monster deal that could reach $70 mil for Swisher.
The 2013 Indians – A season of being competitive in the AL Central, as the team winds up going down to the wire with the Tigers for the divisional title, and stays in the wild card hunt with Francona getting plenty of talk as manager of the year as September baseball in Cleveland is exciting again.
So that’s it Tribe fans, doesn’t hurt to aim high – right? Feel free to leave comments with your own wish list for the team, and here’s to hoping at least some of the wishes for the 2013 Tribe come true.