2016 Cleveland Indians Lived the Disabled Life

2016 Cleveland Indians Lived the Disabled Life

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Extra enthusiasm surrounded the 2016 Cleveland Indians. A natural occurrence considering the team remained one win away from a World Series championship. That elusive victory will haunt the franchise’s fan base for a while. Exactly how long, only the 2017 Cleveland Indians can help control. Although said topic stands one for another day and another blog.

Here you and I focus on cerebral palsy. Re-enter the extra enthusiasm surrounding the 2016 Cleveland Indians. Personally, I felt additional passion via the team’s journey. My favorite team held many parallels to life with a disability. Similarities extended beyond simply talented players landing on the “disabled” list. Truly the 2016 Cleveland Indians lived the disabled life.

Below I plan to examine this disabled life theme. Through the examination you should gain greater insights into life with a disability. Hopefully baseball fans find the analysis helpful in relating to the disability community.

Tito Magic

Fans pack Progressive Field September 25th hoping to see the 2016 Cleveland Indians clinch the AL Central Division.

Fans pack Progressive Field September 25th hoping to see the 2016 Cleveland Indians clinch the AL Central Division.

Texting good friends throughout the World Series the phrase “Tito magic” re-occurred. “Tito” refers to Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona. His magic references his ability to manage and succeed when confronted by adversity.

Losing your second and third best starters to injuries in September certainly qualifies as adversity. Dare I mention pitcher Trevor Bauer cutting his finger on a drone prior to his scheduled American League Championship Series (ALCS) start. Plus the Indians lost key position players catcher Yan Gomes and left fielder Michael Brantley for significant time. The latter almost missing the entire season!

Enter Tito magic. I am no magician but I understand misdirection holds essential. Admittedly misdirection contains a negative cogitation. Perhaps redirect acts a more fitting term. Terry Francona redirected attention from unavailable talents to active ones. Very much like people with disabilities!

Okay, some may dwell on their disabilities. Put otherwise, their unavailable talents. Yet redirecting to concentrate on your available abilities offers an increasingly fulfilling life. Allow me to provide an example.

Growing up I dreamed about playing baseball for the Cleveland Indians. However, I lacked the physical abilities to play. Therefore I redirected my goal to write about the Cleveland Indians. After all I always performed well in language arts classes. Any fulfillment I enjoy pursuing writing stems back to my redirection.

Knowing Your Merritt

Yes, I realize you actually spell the word “merit.” Still the wordplay proved too tempting to ignore. Unknown rookie Ryan Merritt started the game where the 2016 Cleveland Indians earned their World Series spot. Quite the unexpected feat!

Seriously, let us discuss expectations. New England Sports Network’s (NESN) Dakota Randall said the following regarding the Indians/Boston Red Sox American League Divisional Series.

“The Red Sox have by far the best offense in baseball, as they led virtually every offensive statistical category all season long. They’re going to be too much for the Indians’ banged-up rotation to deal with.”

Projections for the Indians/Toronto Blue Jays ALCS bore a resemblance. Sports Illustrated published a post October 14th featuring six baseball experts’ predictions. Four picked the Blue Jays to win. All four cited the Indians’ injuries in their reasoning.

Basically due to Cleveland’s wounded, outsiders lowered their expectations. The disability community knows about lowered expectations. Hence knowing your own merit stands vital. Otherwise you risk succumbing to others’ lower expectations. Not cool!


Focusing on abilities and believing in oneself goes far. For the 2016 Cleveland Indians these traits led them to the franchise’s first World Series in 19 years. Unfortunately reality finally ruined the party, at Napoli’s.

Sadly one can push physical limitations until a certain extent. A point personal trainer Daryl Perry expressed during our fitness round table discussion with former college football player Brandon Ramey. Perry stated “In some cases there are going to be physical limitations that you can’t, and I know having CP people hate hearing that.”

A truth Cleveland Indians fans also hate hearing. Ultimately fatigue set in and the Chicago Cubs outplayed the Indians’ available talents. Terry Francona practically said so himself in a postgame interview saying about the 2016 Cleveland Indians.

“They need to walk with their head held high, because they left nothing on the field. And that’s all the things we ever ask them to do. They tried until there was nothing left.”

Sometimes you push forward with everything inside you. Wretchedly cerebral palsy manages to outmatch you. Nevertheless beneath the pain lays rewarding satisfaction. Knowledge you tried your best and possess absolutely no regrets. Just like the 2016 Cleveland Indians!

Led by Terry Francona the 2016 Cleveland Indians worked with their available skills. Rallying together the team dismissed low expectations and went all in. Bottom line the 2016 Cleveland Indians lived the disabled life.

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