First, there were the years with Manny and Jimmy, both now on the Dodgers.
Then came the years with C.C., Victor, “Raffy right” Betancourt, and Cliff Lee.
Now? Uh…um…well…65-97 leaves us fans with years of definite uncertainty. Everyone I built hopes on for our return to October glory left except for Grady Sizemore. With the Dolans in charge, the thought of Grady becoming one like Robin Yount or Tony Gwynn are highly doubtful. Where is this franchise going? I have no clear idea at the moment.
Still the thoughts of the teams remaining in the October fun give me players to choose to root for as the playoffs begin in about fifteen minutes.
Before I begin to comment about the players involved in October, one person asked me to comment about last week’s dismissal of then manager Eric Wedge. Personally, I loved the guy. I worked on occasion for the club and loved the fact that whenever Eric would greet you, he would talk to you and with you, not at you or down to you. To me, it appeared that I was someone important to Eric, even though we never talked past the occasional “Hello” or “Good Luck”. He always showed me respect and he shared this respect for his team, his players and his opponents. He respected the game of baseball and I will miss him.
Still I will not miss the slow April starts that the team showed under Eric in general and the lack of playoff appearances except in 2007. I remember the week I spent in Arizona so very well. I remember one game in particular when we sat right behind Eric and were upset throughout the game. There was a lack of urgency or effort on the Indians, or so it seemed. This was what I saw with Eric running the team, a lack of urgency to come out and win from the start. This was what I saw in Eric Wedge, a lack of urgency, excitement and it affected many of my friends and co-workers’ decisions to not attend games.
Now onto October.
Looking into October, I see several Indians players and one Indians division rival in the mix which should make these playoffs worth watching. I will try to comment about each matchup focusing on these players and teams.
First leading off, we have the Rockies and Rafael Betancourt against the Phillies and Cliff Lee. I really like how the Rockies fought back to earn the wildcard spot. However, as much as I don’t like the Phillies, I do love Cliff Lee. Cliff Lee gives a franchise so much hope. His leadership and presence on the mound are hard to write about in so many words. His leadership is so valuable. It does not surprise me why he leads off the NLDS series in Philly attempt to repeat last year’s success. Good luck Cliff! I like the Phillies in this series.
The Dodgers have Manny, Jim Thome and of recent Indians’ past, a man named Casey Blake while the Cardinals have Mark DeRosa. Two former third basemen for the Tribe. I love the matchup here. Where do I begin? So much to write about just about this series alone. We could start with the fact that Hall of Fame managers and players on on both these teams. (At least I think this to be the case) I like the Cards to edge out this series even if it is taken to the limit. Due to time deadlines I have set, I will end the talk here.
The Red Sox have Victor now. Boy I still am upset about this. He will go up against the Angels. I sure want Martinez to do well here. However one would believe the Angels would have enough to pull out this series. However, I have said this so much before and the Red Sox still pull it out. I want the Angels to win this series. Personal reasons. Sorry Vic!
Oh the Yankees and the money they spend for a man named C.C. I like to say these initials stand for “choke choke” I will be cheering for the Twins. After all, of all the former Indians, “Choke choke” is my least favorite. Perhaps it was the way he treated the fans when we asked for an autograph. He always acted so standoffish. After my experience with A-Rod in this same fashion, I can see why New York fits for C.C. Go Twins, be the David to their Goliath!
I may win, I may lose with these choices. However, I will definitely have fun watching while I steam about what the current owner had to let go in talent!