ATTENTION NATIONAL MEDIA & BIG MARKET TEAMS: The Cleveland Guardians have arrived to spoil your party  
Opinion by Tim Shirer
When the 2022 baseball season began and all the “experts” made their predictions for the MLB, all of them, every single one dismissed the Cleveland Guardians. How can they win, they have a low payroll? How can they win they don’t have Francisco Lindor anymore? How can they win the Chicago White Sox are great? How can they win the Minnesota Twins are much better? How can they win the Detroit Tigers spent a lot of money and made some good trades in the offseason? How can they win the Royals have Bobby Witt, Jr. now. How can they win they had a quiet winter, they made no big trades for outfielders and signed no free agents, their biggest signing was Luke Maile? How can they win, they are the youngest team in baseball?

I’ll tell you the two main reasons that they won. Terry Francona and the best front office in baseball. That is the truth, maybe you don’t know what the Guardians General Manager’s name is, It’s Mike Chernoff, he’s from your favorite city New York. Oh, and the team President’s name is Chris Antonetti, he can probably outthink most of you with 25% of his brain, pretty smart guy. You might want to learn some of these names, I will have more names for you that will be coming to your party.

The Guardians have this guy who plays third base named Jose Ramirez, he’s pretty good. He is the guy who should have won an MVP by now, but you know he does not play in one of your three favorite cities of New York, Boston, or Los Angeles. He is good though and he loves playing in Cleveland. He regularly hits “home run pitches” So far this season he has 117, that’s second in all of Major League baseball just behind your guy Aaron Judge.

You already know Shane Bieber, you had no choice since he was MVP of the 2019 All-Star Game and then he won Cy Young, so you know who he is, he’s a pretty good pitcher. But we have a couple other starting pitchers you might want to get to know, their names are Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill. You might Already know Cal because his Dad pitched for your darling Yankees. But you might not have heard of Triston, well let me introduce you to “Dr. Sticks” He’s the Guardians 6’5, 165 lb. right-handed pitcher. He’s pretty good he has a 3.6 WAR this year, that’s not bad and I know you guys like that stuff. He’s struck out 180 batters this year and only walked 43 in 180 innings, again that is pretty good. I know he isn’t a Yankee or Red Sox, but once again, he’s pretty good. Oh, and one last thing about Triston he’s the Guardians 2022 Roberto Clemente Award nominee for his work with inner city youth.

A couple other people that I want to introduce you to are Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez, you might have heard of them since they were traded for your other New York love Francisco Lindor. Amed is the Guardians speedy, clutch hitting shortstop, do you know what? He’s pretty good, big hits all season long. Then there is Andres, yes, he was an all-star this year which he definitely deserved. What he did not deserves if every time he hit during the All-Star Game in Los Angeles he was completely ignored because they had to talk to a couple Yankees in the dugout. Let me give you Andres’s stats, he’s seventh in the American League in hitting at .303, he has 17 home runs and 68 RBI, not bad for the AL second baseman that you completely ignored during the 2022 All-Star game. I know you will probably talk about Rosario and Gimenez during the post season because it will give you an opportunity to bring up your love Lindor and of course the New York Mets.

A good story that maybe you might want to highlight is the next guy I want to introduce you to and that is Josh Naylor. You might not know much about Josh, but he had a severe leg/ankle injury last season but rehabbed hard and was ready for opening day this season and hit big home run one after another this season. The Chicago White Sox and their fans hate Josh, but that’s okay because Guardians fans love him because all he does is rake.

I have four more guys to introduce you to. Maybe if you hadn’t ignored them during the season, I wouldn’t have to do this. But I don’t mind educating the uneducated.

The next guy is Steven Kwan, who should be AL Rookie of the Year, but you have already decided because Julio Rodriguez did well in the home run derby and signed a long-term deal, he should win ROY. If you watched Steven play all season you would not be voting for Julio Rodriguez, you would be voting for Steven Kwan. He has what should be a Gold Glove in left field and he is 100% the spark plug that get’s the Guardians offense going. No, he doesn’t hit a lot of home runs like Polar Bear and the other guys you fawn over. But he does everything else very well, not average, not just above average, but very well. His name is Steven Kwan, and you need to notice how good he is because he’s not going away anytime soon.

Oscar Gonzalez is another guy that you might want to do some research on, I’ll get you started. Oscar’s walk-up song is “SpongeBob SquarePants.” I know it’s not the Boston Pops or the New York Philharmonic but it’s pretty cool. Not only does he have this cool walk-up song, but he’s also really good. Oscar was called up by the Guardians on May 26th. Since then, he has hit .291 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI. You might think that these numbers are average, but they are not he has played a huge role in the team’s success. Oscar is only going to get better. Oscar might just become a 50 home run guy.

Two more guys, Austin Hedges and Emmanuel Clase. Let’s start with “Hedgey” that’s his nickname. He’s not great hitting catcher, but he’s two other things that matter more. He’s great at handling the pitching staff and he’s an even better teammate. You might want to check his info out, because who knows he might get a big hit in the post season, and you don’t want to be caught with your pants down when you know absolutely nothing about him. I know he does not play for the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, or Dodgers, but he is a huge part of the Guardians success.

One last guy, who is usually the last guy to come into the game and that is the Guardians lights out close Emmanuel Clase. There is a lot of things I could say about him because you probably didn’t know he’s really good. He’s dominant, I know he’s not the Mets closer Edwin Diaz and he doesn’t have a cool entrance song when he comes into games, but he doesn’t need one. He just lets his 100+ fastball do his talking, no matador music needed with Clase, he just gets outs.

So, I hope this helps you recognize these players when they show up at your party no matter how long they are there. But I have this crazy feeling they might be their right to the end of it. Enjoy promoting New York and Los Angeles and Boston even though they won’t be there.. or Follow Tim on Twitter @TBBucsTim or SportsSentinel
​POSTED 09/25/2022 22:42
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