With reports that the Cleveland Indians will not re-sign Michael Brantley, we could say thank you to a long time fan favorite, and look to the future.
It felt like he had been there for it all. Probably because he has. Michael Brantley has spent the entirety of his Major League career with the Cleveland Indians. He was there in the twilight of the 2000’s when things were going sour.
He was there through the ups and the downs. The high of making the World Series in 2016, and the lows of being knocked out in the first round. Injuries plagued his final years with the Tribe. But seeing him play a fully healthy 2018 season was enough to warm my heart.
It was also enough for him to call for more money. He earned it. Brantley received an extension last offseason that left fans scratching their heads. Boy, did he prove everyone wrong… Brantley had a resurgent year that saw him playing the most he’s played since 2014.
He had a magical walk-off against the Twins (a part of the back-to-back walk-off combo with Francisco Lindor.) Brantley has been there for a lot of the magic. But now it feels like we may have to say goodbye to our old friend.
I’d like to thank Dr. Smooth for the joy I’ve had watching him. He was one of my favorite players to watch, and it made the pain of losing Grady Sizemore less painful.
Now it’s time to move on. It’s pretty up in the air of who will play left field for the Tribe this season. Greg Allen, Bradley Zimmer, and Jason Kipnis are all capable center fielders, but they all have little experience in left. Tyler Naquin is a lock for right field, so that’s out of the question
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It’s going to be a weird transition period and this won’t be the last we hear about it. But one thing is for sure, it won’t be the same without Michael Brantley.