Ozzie Guillen Dropped A Perfect Rant On Why The Cleveland Guardians Are So Underrated
I should at least start this blog with an acknowledgement that the Cleveland Guardians are wildly underrated by all standards in baseball. Weak division helps that. The White Sox being terrible advances it. They're young and cheap and don't hit for power. Shane Bieber doesn't throw hard any more.
Go down the list and there's a number of reasons the Guardians are just another average club in a league dominated by two ends of the spectrum. I think we're all in agreement on that, which is why Ozzie's message should really hit following the White Sox season ending sweep at home to Cleveland this week. Needless to say there's a lot of emotions about the club:
Best players? By no stretch of the imagine. But they come together like a bunch of dogs and play their dicks off every single night. That's how they get on the team bus. That's how they take BP. That's how they run out ground balls and play fundamental baseball. It's just an overwhelming relentless effort that blankets the team with clean play night in and night out. That's the underlying fabric of almost any championship club in the game's history and the Guardians have it in spades. Tito you dog.
They need that attitude when you're not as talented or powerful. In return they don't strike out while being at the top in contact rates. A lot of players came up together or were acquired as prospects and united under the "This is our org now" mentality and you see it across the diamond and into the depths of the staff. Naylor and Gimenez and Rosario and Owen Miller and the dialed-in version of Miles Straw. Then you've got a mix of predominantly all young arms that have pitched to the top third of the league in most categories. Crazy thing is a lot of them are getting better too each time out mixed with maybe the AL's best closer and probably the game's best manager.
A lot of those things are elite. Contact rates and strikeouts when strikeouts are a profound factor of team defense. You got nails in the bullpen and a hall of fame leader. Then the best player in the division with Jose Ramirez. The 2nd best defense in terms of DRS, #1 in zone rating and 5th in collective d-WAR. And then a bunch of hungry dogs up and down the lineup that make you fight and grind every pitch of every plate appearance.
So maybe not the star power you want or need, but the kind of baseball team that every fan wants to watch. Maybe they deserve some more respect?
But then you see something like this and it just makes you laugh...
No clue how to square that one up. Let's just get to the playoffs.
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