Cleveland (WOIO) - Hope may spring eternal, but it's money that buys championships, which is why the Major League elite always head into a season knowing they have a serious edge. But this year feels different for Indians fans, because, while they know their team still ranks in the bottom 10 in team payroll, at least the owners broke out the checkbook in the offseason, bought a couple of high profile free agents, and brought in a two-time World Series-winning manager.
Terry Francona's talents, and influence, will set the tone for the Tribe, but it's the players who will have to get it done, and adding Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs has to have you far more excited than names like Kotchman and Lillibridge did a year ago.
Can the Indians seriously compete? It's all about the rotation. If Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez rediscover their game, and each wins at least 15, it'll be a fun summer. There are two wild cards out there. The Indians, with their strong bullpen, and solid young core, have every right to believe they can grab one of 'em. At the very least, Francona should be able to avoid the second-half collapses that has plagued this team the past couple of years. But again, it starts with tomorrow's starting pitcher, and in this case, that's Masterson, in Toronto. Play Ball!
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