Another day in the AL East neighborhood. We are coming off beating the Rays 4 games and 17 games at Progressive Field since 2005. Woohoo, I am dreaming of being out of the cellar and back to .500. Hold on what’s this.
Me: Oh great! You again! The big bad bully from the dark side!
Yankees: Yeah its me. I take the players I want when I want. I took your former ace and now your team suffers for it sitting there in last place trying to survive.
Yankees: I will take Grady, Ryan Garko, Cliff Lee and any other star I feel is worthy to fit the Yankees because that is what I do! I would buy your team if I could and move them back to New Jersey if I could and leave you with nothing. After all I plan to do this with LeBron in 2010.
Me: You, you bully you. Why do you hate Cleveland so?
Yankees: You Clevelanders don’t know how to win when it counts. I do, 26 times, make it 27 after this year! Ha! Ha! You can’t even win with LeBron, the greatest athlete you have left. Still I hate you because you ruined my party and beat me up on Opening Day in my new pad. You send bugs to make me fire a great man like Joe Torre. You caused Joe D. to end his 56 game hitting streak. I will not have this from you or your team. You embarrass me. Now bend over and take your whipping!
Me: We have pride and will fight you to the death, you bully. By the way LeBron still is alive until Saturday, at least. As long as we have a pulse, there is still hope.
Yankees: Fine then I will send you the best bought talent ever and force you to submit and lose. After alI, I have Mark Texieria, Derek Jeter, A-Roid, I mean Alex Rodriguez, CC, your best pitcher for several years, Joba. Also Posada is back. Robinson Crusoe, I mean Cano, and Hideki Matsui, just to name a few. Tonight I will send Andy Pettitte to give you your first loss. Now get on that basement floor and like it.
Me: How about I just meet you at Progressive Field and fight you with my team?
Yankees: Fine, we will see you at 7 p.m. and try to blow you out by 7:30. You will have no chance. After all, I have all the benjamins and lumber and arms to make quick work of you.
Me: Mr. Cliff Lee, its on you tonight. I hope you and the rest of Cleveland can win tonight. The Yankees think they can just walk into here and beat us to a pulp. Let’s support Cliff, offense and strike first. Beat these self-proclamed prima donnas who always think they are entitled. Respect is earned when it is given. (I have to remind myself of this.) PLAY HARD! RESPECT the Yankees’ talent, yet win anyway! EARN SOME, starting TONIGHT!
For those that read my blog for which I am continuously thankful, I dedicate this entry to all of you.
Here is an example of a daily log that I encountered at my work site.
12:30 Right before gametime, I am approached by various visitors to the building along with some co-workers who advise me to not get so excited about the Tribe, dump them at the curb for the 2-7 team that they are and join the cheers for LeBron James and the Cavalier bandwagon.
My perspective for the 2008 playoffs are clearly centered around the (former) Tribe personnel. Each profile will tell all readers why the teams are where they are today going into Friday.
1. Milwaukee- Clearly Milwaukee was carried heavily by the effort of CC Sabathia to earn the 2008 National League Wildcard Playoff Winner or best of those in second place. CC needed to come up big for this Brew Crew with them down 1-0 going into today. What I saw today showed me that he can’t come through in the big game, ie. 2007 in the ALCS all over again. Thus, Milwaukee is down 2-0 and now has to take the Phillies in the next three games just to make it to the NLCS.
2. LA Dodgers- When Manny came from Boston to LA. I heard rumblings that said “not AZ but LA would now win the NL West.” Sure enough, this leadership continued for Manny, His presence in these playoffs in both Game 1 and 2 have been a big reason why the Dodgers have themselves 1 game away from a sweep of the Cubs. When Manny was with the Tribe, he as well as many others could hit with the best of them, this NLDS is no exception. Casey Blake also added a run scoring hit of his own to make the score 10-1 at the time. LA Dodgers lead 2-0 in their series.
3. Tampa Bay- The coaching of a young team can be challenging and sometimes feel overwhelming. However, if Brian Anderson has any influence on the young pitchers of Tampa as he did when he pitched for the Tribe in 1997, he will teach them to stay enthusiastic, hungry and within themselves as he did when he pitched so well for us against Baltimore in the 1997 ALCS. They find themselves up currently 1-0 in their series with the White Sox..
4. Boston- Experience under pressure means something and Terry Francona has this along with John Farrell. On the brink of elimination, they fought back to beat the Tribe and win the 2007 World Series. They did not stop there. They continued to show that same leadership in a quest to repeat as champions once again as they took a 1-0 lead in their series with the LA Angels.
Who will step up or disappoint as former members of the Tribe in the future has yet to be seen? Good luck to all former members of the Tribe in the coming games. More thoughts as the ALDS and NLDS continue.