The Cleveland Indians opened the World Series with an impressive win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night but the American League champions almost didn’t get there.
During Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Indians looked like they were in trouble. Starting pitcher Trevor Bauer had injured his finger a few days before in an accident and the wound reopened during the first inning. Manager Terry Francona had to face a nightmare scenario in the opening inning by coming out to the mound and pulling his starter out of the game.
But Francona, who led the Boston Red Sox to two World Series championships, knew how to keep his team loose and keep their focus on enjoying the experience. Francona looked up to the scoreboard and saw an ad for a 50-50 raffle which had already pulled in $82,000 from fans in the stands. Turning to first baseman Mike Napoli, Francona pointed out the large pot of money which could be won in the raffle.
“Nap, we gotta get in on that,” Francona told his first baseman.