This was one hell of a season for the Cleveland Guardians. 2022 was their first year under their new name, Guardians, but that was the only thing buzzing, as very few (if any) expected them to go anywhere. The Chicago White Sox were expected to repeat as champions of the American League Central, and those who didn't pick the White Sox had the Minnesota Twins taking the division, especially due to how Minnesota's offseason went for they. Yes, the Guardians nailed down Jose Ramirez, but there was nothing else that stood out. This team couldn't hit home runs, and they weren't too flashy compared to the East's New York Yankees and the West's Houston Astros.
Nevertheless, they persisted. The result: their first division crown in four years. The scrappy team who wasn't known for the long ball and had one of the lowest payrolls in baseball ended up finishing first in the Central and joined this year's postseason party. The Guardians made quick work of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Wild Card Series, setting up a meeting between themselves and the Yankees. This was a truly back and forth series between the clubs. It went the max, each team showed their might, but in the end, the Guardians fell one win short of their first Final Four appearance since 2016.
So what went wrong for the Guardians? Honestly? Nothing. While I have found several flaws with the other eliminated teams at this point, I cannot find a single thing that the Guardians did wrong in this series. Everything this team did exceeded what was expected of them. According to so many talking heads and experts, the Guardians weren't supposed to be here. The Guardians weren't supposed to be Central Division champions. The Guardians weren't supposed to win a series. The Guardians certainly weren't supposed to give the Yankees a hard time, and finally, the Guardians weren't supposed to come so close to beating a heavily favored Yankees team. Yet that's what happened.
The 2022 Postseason will be known as the period where Oscar Gonzalez made a name for himself. While he only hit .226 and drove in four runs in seven games, it was the moments he made during that run. Gonzalez had two walk-off wins in this year's postseason. His first was the walk-off home run in the 15th inning of Game Two against the Rays, which clinched the series for the Guardians. His second was the two-RBI double in Game Three against the Yankees, which put the team up two games to one. Postseason moments like that are forever; they are always remembered and reminisced, regardless of how big or small the name is. Regarding the rest of the Guardians, Jose Ramirez, Josh Naylor, Steven Kwan, and Amed Rosario also homered for the team, with Gonzalez and Ramirez also sharing the team lead in RBIs with four.
The Final Four is set, and the American League side will see the Yankees and Houston Astros go at it yet again. As for the Guardians, they and their fans should be very, very happy and immensely proud of this team. They exceeded so many expectations this season, and they really put baseball fans and experts on notice. The Guardians will definitely be back; I truly think that this team will continue be the AL Central's top team for years to come, especially if they add some more key pieces down the line.
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About the Creator
Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy