The Cleveland Indians did not win the MLB World Series, but their manager could not be more proud of his team.
Speaking after Wednesday's 8-7 extra-innings loss to the Chicago Cubs in game seven, Terry Francona said he knew his players left everything on the field.
"That was an incredible game, I mean, to be a part of," Francona told reporters at Progressive Field.
"I talked before the game about it being an honour to be in a game like that, but to be associated with those players in that clubhouse, it is an honour. And I just told them that. It's going to hurt. It hurts because we care, but they need to walk with their head held high because they left nothing on the field. And that's all the things we ever ask them to do. They tried until there was nothing left."
Trailing 6-4 in the eighth inning and facing Chicago's fireballing closer Aroldis Chapman, Indians center fielder Rajai Davis hit a two-out, two-run homer that barely cleared the left field wall to tie it.
Even after the Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th inning, Davis hit an RBI single to make it a one-run game.
But Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery got Cleveland outfielder Michael Martinez to ground out to set off the celebrations.
Before it got to that point, there was a 17-minute rain delay that sent the teams to their respective clubhouses.
While the Cubs got an inspirational speech from Jason Heyward in their weight room, there were no big speeches in the Indians' clubhouse.
"What was I thinking? I went to the bathroom," Francona admitted. "It was only about 10 minutes. I don't think it had much of an impact."
Francona, who won a pair of World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox, was hoping to end Cleveland's World Series drought that dates back to 1948.
But instead the Cubs were the team to get a long-awaited championship, winning the World Series for the first time since 1908.
"We get so caught up in the game, you don't think about what your emotions are going to be or things like that," Francona said.
"You're trying desperately to find a way to win a game. The emotions come after, whether it's good or bad. You don't think about storybooks and stuff like that. You're trying to figure out a way to score one more run."