Let’s get this out there: the Houston Astros are not going to be much better in 2014 than they were in 2013. Last season, they won only 51 games. To put some of their woes in perspective, the Pirates won their 51st game on June 30th. But there’s still plenty to look forward to in Houston.
The Cleveland Indians won 92 games in 2013 before losing the Wild Card playoff, their first postseason appearance since 2007. This was quite a turnaround for the Tribe considering they’d won less than 70 games three of the previous four years. While many aren’t expecting the team repeat its success, I wanted to highlight five reasons to be excited about the present and future. They may lack the star quality of their big-market competitors, but the Indians do have reasons for optimism. Don’t let this distract you from their diamonds in the rough.
The Chicago Cubs have struggled in recent years. Their last winning season was 2009 and attendance has dipped by more than a half million after four consecutive fifth place finishes in the National League Central. In 2013, a rebound was expected behind budding stars Starling Castro and Anthony Rizzo. It didn’t happen. Their franchise corner stones failed to live up to lofty expectations and combined for future wins above replacement than journeyman catcher Dioner Navarro.
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