Indians hope to follow in Cavs' title footsteps

Players join celebration of Cleveland's NBA championship

Indians hope to follow in Cavs' title footsteps

CLEVELAND -- Following Sunday's 3-2, 10-inning win over the White Sox, Indians manger Terry Francona decided to stash his scooter at the ballpark rather than leave it downtown. His actions were no coincidence prior to the Cavaliers' win over the Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

"I had a feeling they were going to win," Francona said. "Just because I wanted them to. I was hoping like everyone else."

Cleveland's 93-89 win at Oracle Arena on Sunday night erased more than five decades of suffering for the city, snapping a 52-year championship drought. As expected, the city of Cleveland flooded the streets in downtown into Monday morning celebrating the long-awaited title.

Among those celebrating the championship were members of the Tribe. Many of the players took to social media.

As the team prepared for Monday's series opener against the Rays, players were still jubilant in the clubhouse. All the players felt what it meant for the city to at last claim a championship ring.

"It was great to see. I'm a Duke fan, so I was really happy to see Kyrie [Irivng] hit that 3," outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall said. "It's good for the city, I know it's been so long. You just feel invested in a city with three sports teams."

But not all players were completely thrilled that the Cavs became the first team to rally from 3-1 down in the NBA Finals to win the title. Catcher Chris Gimenez, who grew up 45 minutes away from the Bay Area, has been a lifelong Warriors fan.

Sunday's loss is even more impactful to Gimenez who lost a bet as result of the game. Starting Monday, Gimenez is forced to grow his hair out for the next month.

"I'm not interested in money," Gimenez said. "It's more for the fun of it. I didn't feel like wearing a LeBron [James] jersey for a month."

Hot in Cleveland: Cavs rock, Tribe rolls

When Gimenez strolled in the clubhouse on Monday, he found his razor taped above his locker with a message underneath that read, "Go Cavs. Do not shave until July 20th."

To the right of the razor was a picture that outfielder Michael Brantley sent to Gimenez moments after James hoisted the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Gimenez tweeted that photo out and assumes, that's what his head will look like come July.

But even the lifelong Golden State fan -- whose first love was basketball -- will admit he's happy for the city of Cleveland. He's even hoping that the Cavs' title has a positive effect on the fanbase for all sports teams, in particular the first-place Indians.

"Hopefully we can be the city of champions now," Gimenez said. "Hopefully people are going to check us out a bit more. People always have it in their head 'Oh, they are good now, but they will blow it' like the movie 'Major League.' But we are a pretty good team and there is some serious potential. Hopefully now that the Cavs have won, that will give people some hope."

Chisenhall echoed his comments.

"Hopefully we will be in a similar situation this year," Chisenhall said. "It would be something you can't put into words. We are looking good right now. Hopefully what happened last night is a boost for the city. I know it's a boost for us. Hopefully it propels us forward."

Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.