By 2012, the Cleveland Indians had hit a low point.
The team finished that year with a record of 68-94 and a -178 run differential. Said result also brought an end to Manny Acta’s brief, yet wholly unsuccessful time as manager.
Overall, it marked the fourth straight season Cleveland failed to finish any closer than 15.0 games out of first in the AL Central.
Something needed to change. The franchise was floundering. Fans had lost patience after watching the Indians spend the past few years grabbing headlines for nothing but trading talent and losing.
The first step in resolving these woes? Bring in a manager who immediately changes the culture the second he arrives.
It’s safe to say the hiring of Terry Francona effectively checked that box.
Step two? Follow that hire with a free agency splash.
Cleveland needed to make a move which further rejuvenated the team. Something that would re-energize supporters who had become apathetic, that would prove the days of zombie baseball were over.
Rejuvenate? Re-energize? The opposite of zombie baseball?
Even with the benefit of hindsight, a player like Nick Swisher still feels tailor-made to fit that bill.