The Cleveland Indians came so close.
Up 3 games to 1 over the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series, the Tribe needed just one more win to bring home their first World Series championship since 1948. With a pitching staff decimated by injuries, a World Series trophy would be all the more impressive. Even when the series sat tied at 3 games apiece, even when the Cubs were up three runs with two outs in the bottom of the 8th of Game 7, you felt like the Indians could do it after Rajai Davis clubbed one of the most epic home runs in World Series history to tie the game at 6.
Alas, it wasn't meant to be. The Cubs escaped Cleveland with a Game 7 win, ending their century-old championship drought. So what did the Indians do? They all got back into the gym to prepare for another run at the big prize. As a wise man once said, there is no rest for the weary, and when you're trying to do something that hasn't been done in 69 years, standing idly by just isn't an option. Here's a look at what some of Cleveland's best players have been up to.
— Jose Ramirez (@MrLapara) December 6, 2016
The man with the campfire-colored hair had a breakout 2016, filling in admirably for the injured Michael Brantley and becoming one of the best hitters with runners in scoring position in all of baseball. The dude also likes to run—so much so that his helmet usually finds it impossible to keep up with his body. This off-season, Ramirez has been in the gym working on his footwork and agility via the speed ladder.
One of the Tribe's best hitters in the World Series, second baseman Jason Kipnis has focused his off-season training around resistance and reaction drills, like the one in the video above. Kipnis's trainer calls out one of three cones, and Kipnis, who is tethered to the wall behind him by a resistance band, must react and run to the target.
One of the Indians' biggest moves this off-season was signing former Toronto Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a three-year deal. The man who was the co-leader in RBIs last season should fit seamlessly into the middle of the Indians' lineup, and that's not all the Tribe is getting. They're also getting a workout animal. From agility workouts in the sand to boxing with a trainer, Encarnacion has wasted no time finding something in common with his new teammates.
Getting that offseason work in. pic.twitter.com/ZirHTsJngW
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) December 13, 2016
Some of the Indians' best players stopped by the team's training facility below Progressive Field recently, including Michael Brantley, Carlos Carrasco and Yan Gomes, major contributors to the team who are still working their way back from various injuries. If all three can remain healthy in 2017, the Indians will have an even more potent attack than last season, which bodes well for another World Series run.
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