I injured my left ankle a few days before Christmas. The radiologist said it’s a fracture; the orthopedist said it’s a severe sprain. Either way, I’ve had an awful lot of time on my hands (and on my rear end with my ankle elevated) the past week and a half. Time enough to look back over the past year and select some of my favorite moments from the 2014 season. Please note that this list is entirely subjective; your mileage may vary. What were you favorite moments from this season?
1) Corey Kluber. The season, the Cy Young Award, the everything.
2) Michael Brantley. When a guy has had a breakout, All-Star, Silver Slugger-winning, MVP-finalist type of season, it’s difficult to narrow things down to just one moment. How about a highlight reel instead?
3) Lonnie Chisenhall going 5 for 5 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI on June 9 against Texas.
4) Corey Kluber strikes out 14 in two consecutive starts on September 16 and 21. The last major leaguer to do that was Randy Johnson in 2004. Not bad company.
5) The Tribe going 18-9 in August. The only month the Indians finished below .500 this season was April, when they went .370. While their .667 August record isn’t equal to their amazing 21-6 record in September 2013, it showed a bit of late-season “oomph.”
6) The strong return of Carlos Carrasco. After opening the season in the rotation, having an abysmal April, and being relegated to the bullpen, I was somewhat a little skeptical when Carrasco returned to the starting rotation in August. In 10 starts, he posted a 1.30 ERA and much improved control, walking just 4.2% of batters vs. the 9.2% he walked in his first stint as a starter. No highlight reel, just gratitude for a great comeback.
7) The 7-2-4 triple play on July 1 (it took two reviews but it was worth it)
8) A walk-off balk in the 13th inning of a 10-10 game (for a sweep of the Tigers) on May 21. Every baseball game gives you the opportunity to see something you’ve never seen before. Well, yes.
9) Rally Squirrel does the Progressive Field 500 on April 21st.
10) This. Because sometimes the best moments are the silliest ones.