It's already been a pretty great year for Cleveland. The city won its first major sports championship in a half-century when the Cavaliers claimed the NBA title. The Republican National Convention did not erupt into citywide riots. The Browns . . . well, it hasn't been a perfect year.

It still could get better, though, especially from the standpoint of Sen. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and baseball fanatic who has endured the lifelong struggle of rooting for the Cleveland Indians. The team last won a World Series in 1948, before Brown was born, and fell agonizingly short in their last trip to baseball's greatest stage, nearly 20 years ago. The Indians open the American League playoffs Thursday night against the Boston Red Sox, and Brown believes this is the year his team will finally break through.

He believes the same about another longtime frustration of his: his fight against international trade deals in Congress. Because we're nerds here at Wonkblog, lovers of baseball and economic policy and tortured fan bases in general, we invited Brown to sit down for a video chat about the fate of the Indians, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and that presidential race in Ohio that you occasionally hear about.