- Jim Bowden, ESPN Insider
What a difference one offseason can make.
On May 22, 2012, the Cleveland Indians found themselves atop the American League Central, sporting a surprising 23-18 record. Today, the Indians again sit in first place with an equally surprising 26-18 record.
But the Indians are a completely different team in 2013.
They’ve been the best story in the AL this season. Outside of the New York Yankees' cast of reclamation projects, the Indians arguably have been the most fun team to watch in the league. New manager Terry Francona has injected the franchise with his positive energy and motivational skills. His championship-winning background earned him instant respect and credibility, from the players all the way to the front office. Teaming with general manager Chris Antonetti and president Mark Shapiro, the trio did a good job of addressing most of the team's needs.
So it is nearly June, and the Indians lead the division favorite Detroit Tigers by a game and a half. Indians fans should enjoy it while they can. Despite the team being significantly better than last season’s squad, it simply does not have enough starting pitching to keep pace with the Tigers in the AL Central. And without some extra pitching help, the Indians can’t even be considered a legitimate wild-card contender.