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Watch the pandemonium of the Indians’ 22nd straight win unfold


There has been a growing chorus of grumpy criticism of Cleveland and its fans as the Indians winning streak has continued. It began, as far as I can tell, with Darren Rovell attendance-shaming the Indians earlier in the week, wondering why they only drew 24,000 or so fans to Tuesday’s win over the Tigers. Since then I’ve seen a lot of commenters and commentators saying much the same thing.

A couple of points to be made about that:

  • A lot of people buy tickets ahead of time and no one schedules a winning streak. That said, there have been thousands and, in some cases, as many as 10,000 walkup ticket sales for Indians games lately;
  • Cleveland, as a city, has lost about 20% of its population since 2000. It’s not in anywhere near as healthy an economic situation as basically any other major league city and, as such, fans attending games there are making bigger tradeoffs than fans in most other big league cities. To expect there to be 40,000+ fans able to plunk down serious cash for big league tickets 81 times a year in a city like Cleveland is asking a lot; finally
  • When it matters, the Indians do, in fact, draw. And the fans are excited. We saw this with the playoffs last year. We’re seeing it now with the winning streak. Just witness the scene that unfolded in the 10th inning last night when Jay Bruce walked them off for win number 22:

The game was not a sellout, but those left field bleachers looked pretty full to me.

Don’t shame Indians fans for their alleged lack of support. They’re doing just fine, thank you very much.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.