4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42… 94; The Numbers Don’t Lie.

94So today (or tonight) is the big day… Opening Day. And as is the tradition in my clan, the wagering began over the weekend, which was timely since most of our NCAA brackets were already busted.

Once again, contrarian Kevin slammed the Tribe in favor of the Kansas City Royals, which was also his pick last season (if at first you don’t succeed…). Kevin is nothing if not consistent, as in “consistently wrong.”

And it was during this spirited (Kevin said I was being uncivilized because I raised my voice and called him a knucklehead) discussion that I revealed my prediction for the 2014 season.

94 wins!

In fairness to Kevin, he is not alone in his ridicule of my forecast. This weekend, every sportswriter with The Plain Dealer (except one), projected the Tribe to finish in third place with fewer than 90 wins. Paul Hoynes went out on a limb with 90 (Welcome to the bus, buddy).

So once again, the naysayers are out in huge numbers, balking at the idea of an Indians championship. To all of you, in the spirit of Monty Python on the quest for the Holy Grail, I fart in your general direction.

This is the year.  The numbers don’t lie.

4… the number of starting pitchers (Masterson, Kluber, McAllister and Salazar) who will start and finish the season as the best staff in the MLB

8… the number of infielders and outfielders (Gomes, Swisher, Kipnis, Santana, Aviles, Cabrera, Brantley, Bourn) who will comfortably hit over .275 and combine for more than 500 runs

15… the number of games Jason Giambi is going to influence to victory

16… the average number of wins from our starting rotation

23… the average number of home runs Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis will each hit this season

42… the number of saves John Axford will give the Tribe this season

94… the number of games the Tribe will win on its way to the World Series this year.

The tour bus is crossing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge at this very moment… let the games begin.

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