The 2016 playoffs are underway and it looks like we have two standout teams that are poised to make a push for a World Series title. The Cleveland Indians (5-0 in the playoffs) and the Chicago Cubs (4-2 in the playoffs) have bullied their way to many hard fought victories against some ferocious competition. The idea of a Cubs and Indians World Series gives me a little shiver down my spine. There are endless amounts of connections between these two clubs and the storylines are infinite.
The first of which is the connection between Terry Francona and Theo Epstein. Francona managed the Boston Red Sox from 2004-2011 where he won two World Series titles and ended an 86 year curse. At General Manager for those years was a young guy named Theo Epstein. For many years the Red Sox were extremely successful. In 8 seasons, Francona led the Red Sox to the playoffs 5 times and ultimately won 2 titles. Epstein was the youngest General Manager to be hired in professional baseball, but he did not let that hinder him in making any controversial deals. Epstein left the Red Sox and signed with the Cubs in 2011 and has built a team that many people believe will be great for years to come. Francona was fired by the Red Sox in 2011 after their historic collapse in September and remained out of baseball until 2012, when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians. Now these two may meet up again, which will certainly be one for the record books.
Another connection between these two franchises is their years of heartbreak. As I mentioned before, the Cubbies have not won a World Series in 108 years. Yes people, over a century has passed since the North side of Chicago has seen a title. The curse has been hindering the Cubs for decades. From the Curse of the Billy Goat, to the black cat running across the outfield, and Steve Bartman interfering with Moses Alou, the Cubs have been said to be cursed to never win another World Series. I’m not one to believe in curses or any of that witch craft, but I do believe something fishy has been going on in Chicago for the past century. With Epstein at the helm, anything is possible. In 2004 the Red Sox reversed their curse under whom else, but Theo Epstein.
On the other side of the field we have the Cleveland Indians. Cleveland is a dead zone for sports franchises. The Cleveland Cavaliers finally took home an NBA title in 2016, the first championship Cleveland has seen since 1948, when the Indians won the World Series. The Indians have been in a 58 year championship drought and are looking to reverse that this year.
If things continue to playout in this fashion, we will be able to witness a very historic World Series. Old friends would meet again and curses would be broken. The MLB would be lucky to have a series like this one. Keep an eye out for this matchup and make sure to tune in and watch history unfold.