CLEVELAND — The Indians didn’t get to officially clinch their second straight American League Central title after their win on Saturday, so instead, the celebration — made possible by the Twins’ loss later Saturday night — began in front of a raucous crowd before Sunday’s series finale against the Royals.
Shortly before first pitch, the Indians hoisted a freshly minted red flag just behind center field to commemorate their 2017 division title — right next to their American flag and their ’16 division-title banner.
Indians manager Terry Francona made a few pregame remarks to the crowd. Certainly beloved by Cleveland and used to talking to the media, Francona said before the game that he wasn’t necessarily used to addressing a full crowd.
“I gave it some thought, because that’s not really something you’re really comfortable doing,” Francona said. “Guys play, I manage, you don’t really get nervous because of the size of the crowd, but you put a microphone in front of you, and some parts of your body slam shut. I gave it some thought, believe me.”
Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Indians on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.