I DON’T BELIEVE IT.
With less than 10 games under their belt, the Cleveland Indians are leading the AL Central. Coming into the 2011 season, there were low expectations for a team that finished last year with a 69-93 record. Currently experiencing a 7 game winning streak, and leading the Angels 4-0 at the time I’m writing this, people are getting a little slap happy with this little run the Indians are entertaining us with.
Although we’re still in the single digit of games played, this is not something to take lightly as we’ve typically been a team that has underwhelmed us and takes a while for pitchers’ arms and hitters bats to warm up.
So what changed this year? How has this team with the league’s 5th lowest payroll, 2nd year manager, orphaned by 2 consecutive CY young award winners and with a lineup that most people can’t recite past Grady Sizemore (who by the way is on a rehab assignment) managed to flirt with our tortured, Brown and Orange bleeding hearts?
Just last week, the Indians broke the record for smallest home crowd. They actually did it 2 games in a row and the Browns upcoming draft and depressing NFL lock-out continued to dominate Cleveland talk radio. Water cooler talk still revolved around reminiscing over the Cavs amazing win against the Heat some weeks ago.
On Tuesday, April 5th, Charlie Sheen visited Cleveland with his ‘My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat Is Not An Option’ show. Inspired by Sheen’s ‘Winning!’ theatricals, the 1-2 Tribe (who had just won their first game to avoid being swept by the White Sox before the Wild Thing’s visit to Cle), got their sh*t together and assembled an amazing 7 game win streak. The Tribe has outscored opponents 39-14 during this winning stretch and that includes a sweep of the highly touted Red Sox.
So thank you Cleveland Indians for breathing a little life in the city. It’s nice to watch a team that gets us a little excited during the season and doesn’t follow the storyline of a first, bad date:
1. Start Off With High Hopes.
In sports, this is right before the season officially kicks off. Everyone, even your mom, is extremely optimistic.
2. Bad First Impression.
Weak handshake, bad outfit, etc dictate the rest of the evening.
The season or home opener gives fans a first look at how the team stacks up to predictions. The bad decisions and poor execution cannot be ‘just nerves’ or players still feeling each other out.
3. No Chemistry.
It’s either there or it’s not. And during a bad date, you get the sense that things aren’t clicking.
Ummm…Eric Mangini and Mike Holmgren? Antawn Jamison and the 2010 Cavs?
Yes, it’s a disappointment when the date is going south but don’t hold on and search for a sign that things could turn around.
Die-hard sports fanatics are always searching for something, anything!, a sign that the season can be salvaged. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.
5. …Turns To Anger
Your date does something that’s either one or all of the following
It hurts to even watch your team because
a) they’re getting blown out every game
b) the team shows no heart or brains
c) they are ravaged by season-ending injuries
d) they can’t hold onto a lead
e) each loss extends a ridiculous losing streak
Like watching your team give up in the middle of the NBA eastern conference playoffs
6. Glad It’s Over
Date ends early. Hope you never see that person again. There are plenty of fish in the sea!
Team’s out of the playoff hunt even before the all-star break. Oh well, there’s always next year!