What happens when you lose Game 7 of the World Series in devastating fashion to a team that hadn’t won a championship in over 100 years?
You hit the gym—hard.
That’s the response of nine Cleveland Indians players after seeing the Chicago Cubs celebrate on their home field after one of the most thrilling playoff games in history.
(UPDATE: Speaking of history, the Indians won 21 games in a row during the 2017 season, setting a new American League record.)
The Indians never gave up—Jason Kipnis, José Ramírez, and Brandon Guyer fueled a three-run comeback to tie the game 6-6 in the eighth inning after being down to the Cubs—but in the 10th, Chicago took an 8-6 lead and held on for the win.
After erasing a 108-year drought between championships, the Cubs now cede their former place atop the longest longest droughts in baseball at 68 years (and counting) to… the Indians.
And yet: Even though the team lost a tough World Series, the Indians are poised to make another run in 2017.
The team signed Edwin Encarnacion away from their American League rival Toronto Blue Jays with a three-year, $60 million contract to add more power to the lineup. Players like Ramírez, Kipnis, Corey Kluber, and Cody Allen are coming off of strong seasons. Plus, Cleveland boasts Andrew Miller as a jack-of-all-trades star in the bullpen. With their roster and the hard work and motivation of players in the gym this offseason, Cleveland could be back in the World Series again.
Here’s a look at how the team is preparing for 2017:
9. José Ramírez, Shortstop
8. Edwin Encarnacion, Outfielder
(Okay, he’s new to the Indians, but he knows what he needs to do in 2017.)
7. Jason Kipnis, Second Base
6. Tyler Naquin, Outfielder
5. Danny Salazar, Pitcher
4. Brandon Guyer, Outfielder
3. Carlos Santana, Catcher
2. Corey Kluber, Pitcher
For Corey Kluber, there is #NoOffseason.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) February 1, 2017
1. Roberto Perez, Catcher