The Cleveland Indians (54-38) surprisingly hold a 5 1/2-game lead in the AL Central over the Detroit Tigers (49-44). Their pitching has been stellar, holding the sixth-best ERA in all of baseball, and their bats have been equally great having scored the sixth-most runs, too.
But perhaps the biggest reason why the Indians have been such a pleasant surprise is because of Carlos Santana’s pregame ritual with manager Terry Francona. It’s strange, but it’s also filled with affection.
Santana kisses Francona’s bald head, who then returns the favor and gives Santana’s bat a smooch for good luck.
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Sure, it’s weird and unorthodox, but it seems to work. Santana has already surpassed his 2015 home run total in 265 fewer plate appearances. And again, the Indians are playing absolutely lights out this season.