After a few weeks of spring training where it feels like Indians starting pitchers are getting hammered, I’m suddenly relieved. My brother went to Vegas a couple weeks ago and I handed him a crisp $100 bill and told him that I was going to make the entire Indians season more worthwhile than it is to me most normal years. The over / under on the number of wins for the year was 75 and I was feeling good about it. That was before spring training officially started and I was really excited about the Indians pitching staff. It’s just spring training when guys are working on specific things and not necessarily pitching how they would during the regular season, but I’m having doubts now.
Last year, I didn’t have any expectations for the Indians really. The Tribe was coming off of a 69 win season in 2010. Manny Acta came in and the results weren’t good from a team that was an awful mix of young and old. Russell Branyan for 52 games and Andy Marte for 81. There wasn’t any way to expect the Indians to come out and be 11 games better with an early-season trajectory that made Indians fans believe it could have been even better. That’s the nice thing about not having any expectations.
I loved the movie Pearl Harbor. Or at least I was pleasantly surprised by it. That movie got hammered, panned and belittled by pretty much everyone in the world who is paid to talk about movies. So when it came out on DVD, I rented it and really kind of liked it. That’s the way the Cleveland Indians were in 2011. They were supposed to be a less than mediocre movie, but because expectations were so low and because of early action an 80 win season left Indians fans entertained and hopeful. Sure the ending stunk worse than Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but it was so much fun along the way that it didn’t matter.
2011 was just good enough to give me expectations for something better in 2012. Thus, my desire to bet the over when I heard it was going to be around 75 wins. Thankfully for me based on how I am feeling today, when my brother was in Vegas the sportsbook he visited wasn’t taking action on the season prop bets yet. I have my $100 back in my pocket and I’ll be invested in this year’s Indians team just as a normal fan instead of as a homer / gambler. Based on the feelings I’m getting from spring training that’s the place to be.
Still, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope the Indians made me regret not getting that bet in.