The Indians are looking to reclaim their spot atop Cleveland's sports hierarchy. While they haven't turned back the clock to the 1990s just yet, since LeBron James' "Decision" on July 8, the lowly Tribe has gone 6-2. After a 10-4 victory over the Twins on Monday night, which featured 20 Cleveland hits, the Indians have won five straight games.
On the night James broke Cleveland's heart, the Indians quietly lost to the Rays 5-2. That loss dropped Cleveland's record to 33-52, the worst non-Oriole record in the American League. Apparently, waking up to a post-LeBron Cleveland gave the Indians a new sense of purpose. Kansas City, be advised that your hold on fourth place is far from certain.
Cleveland's offense, in particular, has been invigorated. Over their 6-2, the Indians have scored 45 runs, a 5.62 per game average. With LeBron still nominally in Cleveland, the Tribe scored just over 4.00 runs per game in 85 contests. Clearly, they couldn't focus with all the playoff and free agency drama swirling around them.
In all seriousness, there is good reason to believe that LeBron's departure is a long-term positive for the Indians, who have struggled to draw since 2008. At the moment, Cleveland hasn't quite caught Indian Fever. On Sunday, with the home team looking to sweep rival Detroit (who also offers the Ohio-Michigan thing) just 19,102 fans. Maybe the Indians need to sign Dan Gilbert to DH.