CLEVELAND -- The Indians' clubhouse was a hive of activity on Wednesday afternoon. With only one more game to play until the offseason, players were cleaning out their lockers, packing their bags and giving handshakes.
Even during a disappointing season, the end came too soon.
"That's why you play baseball, so you can play through October," Indians interim manager Sandy Alomar Jr. said. "Everybody's plan in Spring Training is that they're going to be in the World Series or in the postseason. When you're out of the race, you have that sense of disappointment.
"It's hard knowing your days are numbered and you have to go home."
After sitting in first place through the first 70 games (37-30), Cleveland is finishing its third season with 90-plus losses (68-94) within the past four years. It has been a tough year on a ballclub that entered the campaign with high hopes.
Alomar feels the players can learn from the experience.
"I hope they have a lot of growth," Alomar said. "In order to get better, you have to fail. We've had some ups and downs and it helps with your maturity as a baseball player and as a human being. This is a tough sport. Baseball is very hard. It's very hard for you to be consistent.
"In order for you to grow as a player, you have to fail. You have to have some bad times. I hope they learn from that, from all their struggles."