The Cleveland Indians are back home and Progressive Field is finally back to its usual, fun atmosphere.
All COVID-related restrictions have been lifted and the stadium is back to full capacity.
That does not mean every game will be a sellout, but it will allow for some larger weekend crowds during the lovely weather of June.
We focus so much on normal Opening Day lineups, so let’s look at what the Indians are rolling out for Opening Day 2.0.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 11, 2021
Aaron Civale gets the start and has a fascinating group on offense in support of him.
The New Opening Day Lineup
At the start of the year we talked about how the Opening Day lineup would change between then and even the month of June or July.
That is over half of the lineup.
Reyes is the biggest absence in this lineup and leaves Jose Ramirez as the star of the group, even though he has held that title since the start of the season.
Having Bradley as the first baseman is something fans wanted on actual Opening Day.
Instead, everyone had to watch Jake Bauers for two months.
Speaking of Bauers, he is in the Mariners lineup Friday night.
The Mariners Lineup Features A Familiar Face
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) June 11, 2021
The Mariners remain in a rebuild and that means they are going to give Bauers some time in the outfield in addition to his time at first base.
Bauers’ story has been mentioned on this site plenty of times.
He showed up with plenty of promise, but the trade with the Tampa Bay Rays that exchanged him for Yandy Diaz appears to be a bust for Cleveland.
But having Bradley waiting in the wings makes that failed experiment less detrimental to the team in 2021 and beyond.
Now Bauers gets a shot to prove himself with a new team, and deservedly so.
Just because things didn’t work out in Cleveland doesn’t mean he can’t find success elsewhere.
Back To Some Sense Of Normal
It is wrong to say that the Indians playing in front of a full house means the world is back to normal.
But it still provides some sense of how things used to be and is nice to see.
Hopefully, the Indians can pick up a win in the year’s second home opener.
The offense should be able to do much better considering it isn’t snowing like it normally is during the first game of any season.