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Cleveland Indians trade Yan Gomes, but what matters most is what comes next – The Athletic

CLEVELAND — The doors were closed. The lights were out. Three reporters huddled outside of the visitors clubhouse in Minneapolis, attempting to confirm whether their ears were playing tricks on them.

Nope. “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata,” a pair of “The Lion King” anthems, blared from the room full of Indians players.

The team hosted a sacrifice to the baseball gods in honor of Yan Gomes that Saturday afternoon in July 2016. The catcher, clad in a white sheet, stabbed a rotisserie chicken purchased earlier that day at a Target a few blocks from the ballpark. Everyone cheered. Gomes then struck a piñata. Typical clubhouse goings-on.

Gomes’ teammates wanted to try anything to help him break out of his season-long funk at the plate. The next day, he promptly stumbled over first base and separated his shoulder, triggering a 10-week stint on the disabled list.

No, Gomes’ tenure in Cleveland wasn’t perfect. He stumbled here and…

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