DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Two days after watching the Chicago Cubs celebrate on Cleveland turf, the Indians are already making moves, extending the contract of manager Terry Francona through the 2020 season and picking up the 2017 option on Carlos Santana.
It's as if staying busy can somehow take away the sting of a Game 7, extra inning loss.
"There are a range of emotions that we're all feeling," Indians president Chris Antonetti said during the team's season-ending press conference on Friday. "Pain's certainly there. I'm not sure that's something that's going to go away anytime soon, because we all desperately wanted to win that last game. But that won't overshadow the pride that we feel in thinking back and reflecting on the team and the grit and resilience and the perseverance they showed throughout the course of the season."
Mike Chernoff, the Indians General Manager, echoed Antonetti's sentiments.
"It's pain in that moment (following the Game 7 loss)," Chernoff said. "And you look around and you see (team owner) Paul Dolan and you think about Mr. Dolan and his entire family and what they have afforded us, the opportunity to try and create here, and getting so close to it, it's hard in that moment not to feel that pain, to look around the clubhouse and see the guys who literally left everything out on the field."
But now they move forward, with decisions to make on free agents Rajai Davis (who provided one of the greatest moments in World Series history with his game-tying 8th inning home run) and Mike Napoli (who hit 34 home runs on the field and influence off helped lead the Tribe throughout the season). Antonetti has already talked with Davis about returning, and knows there will be competition for Napoli's services as well.
"We have a great deal of respect and appreciation for what Mike has meant to our team, the performance on the field, his impact in the clubhouse, has been enormous and was a big part of our success this year," Antonetti said. "In talking to Mike, we know that he would like to be back here, too. We know he's going to have a plethora of options out there and there are going to be a lot of teams that will be interested in bringing him back, and hopefully we'll be one of those options for him."
So, stay tuned on Napoli and Davis. In the meantime, the core of this pennant-winning team is intact. As for the emotions, well, there is no timetable on those.
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