I was traveling in tonight’s return to February in Cleveland at a time when everything representing new life, springtime, Easter, Opening Day was coming up this weekend with the return of Opening Day. Instead I received an image I remember from 2007. Seattle came to town. I was one of many volunteers asked to carry the U.S flag and unfurl it on the field. Before the ceremonies last year, there was a huge snowstorm on the field. I was asked to volunteer which I gladly did. I took and strapped on a leaf blower and helped assist the grounds crew to clear off the snow on the field for Opening Day so the game and all the festivities could be performed.
Tonight down around Progressive Field, the snow and wind and cold all were factors again as in 2007 as it was bitter. I was walking around the outside of the ballpark and thought to myself how mentally tough any of the Indians would have to be to play in this weather. I think the same thing applies for the Indians today in Texas. We are going to have to expect that the hitters that Texas has are relentless and we are going to have to be that much tougher mentally to compete, to overcome their offensive prowess and win the game.
Two key people that will have to show this mental toughness are Fausto Carmona whose mental toughness was at its best in the infamous “bug” game in the 2007 ALDS and Travis Hafner, whose mental makeup was tested as he came through with the game winning hit that day. If we get a similar result tomorrow from both, we will prevail. Hopefully he can lead the offense while Carmona can pitch without distractions. If both results can take place, and the bullpen can acheive as advertised, then a win is likely. Still the key word at this moment is “If.”