CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Mother Nature was not in the mood to cooperate on Opening Day for the Indians Monday. Two hours before first pitch, the team announced the season opener against the Boston Red Sox was officially postponed.
The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 1PM at Progressive Field.
The team released a statement which read: “Today’s game was postponed due to the forecast changing from no precipitation to having precipitation most of the afternoon and into early evening. That steady precipitation forecast combined with wind chills dropping into the teens, it was decided by both teams and umpires for fan comfort and player safety to postpone the game.”
Recognizing the disappointment that Tribe fans felt with the postponement, the team announced a new enhanced ticket exchange policy. Fans who held tickets to Monday’s opener can attend the postponed game Tuesday afternoon AND additionally, another game of their choice in April or May. Fans who can’t make Tuesday’s Opening Day makeup game can choose to attend TWO games of choice in April or May.
There are plenty of new faces with the Indians this season. In fact, only three of tomorrow’s probable starters were in the Opening Day lineup a year ago. But it’s safe to say….this year’s team is motivated…with some very high expectations.
Veterans Mike Napoli and Rajai Davis were two of the first free agents signed during the offseason. Napoli spent last season with both the Red Sox and Rangers. Menawhile, Davis was playing in the American League Central Division as a member of the Detroit Tigers. Both are confident in Cleveland’s ability to compete as a contender.
“Yeah, i mean, we know we have the players in this clubhouse to go out there and have a chance to win every day,” Napoli said. “I’s all about coming together and playing as a team. So, we’ve taken the steps so far to do that.”
“We expect to win,” added Davis. “We expect to win more times that not. We have the talent to do that. We have the right management in place. And that’s what we expect to do.”
It’s not veterans that give the Indians high hopes this season. An infusion of some of the best young talent in baseball gives plenty of promise for the future with the arrival of Shortstop Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin.
“I expect everybody to come out and expect to do everything within their power to help us win that day,” said Lindor. “Because that’s what it’s all about. it’s all about winning.”
Naquin is set to make his Major League debut this week, after leading the Tribe this Spring with a batting average of .397 with 4 home runs.
“I believe that there should be no reason that we can’t be contenders to win the whole thing,” Naquin said. “Like I said, there’s a lot of talent in here, and a lot of people that works hard. Even the staff, a very hard working staff. And I think we’ve got a great shot.”
Closer Cody Allen is hopeful that the club can get off to a fat start in April to help the team contend in the latter portion of the schedule.
“We expect to be playing meaningful baseball down the stretch,” Allen explained. “We just want to play good baseball right now. The only thing that we can control is going out there today and trying to play good baseball. and when tomorrow gets here, we’ll focus on tomorrow.”
The Indians have finished below .500 in April in each of the past three seasons, narrowly missing out on postseason play the last two years. It’s a trend they hope to change in 2016.