The final out had just been recorded and the Cleveland Indians swarmed together on the infield in jubilation to kick off the celebration of a stunning September surge into the postseason.
Terry Francona and the Indians' coaching staff stepped out of the dugout, gathered on the grass behind the third base line, stood there and watched. Francona has been a part of a lot of celebrations in his baseball career, and this is always his favorite part.
''It's like the culmination of everything that you've gone through, all the ups and downs, and you see guys from different countries, different upbringings and they're jumping on the pile, it's just pure joy,'' the first-year Indians manager said after a 5-1 victory over Minnesota clinched the top wild card spot. ''And it makes you feel good.''
Once all but eliminated after a late-August swoon, the Indians finished the regular season on a 10-game winning streak to earn their first postseason berth since 2007. And they go into the wild card...