Anyone who thinks Joel Skinner should be fired is completely insane. It turned out that it ended up being the wrong call but he was absolutely correct. Manny had already thrown out more than one Indians runner in this series. That ball bounced hard off the wall and Skinner had a millisecond to decide what to do. Kenny did not have the best jump and there was only one out. It was a one run game and Skinner did not have to take that chance. Put it on Blake for hitting into a double play but Skinner did his job and he did it the way he should have.
This was not the stop sign and this was not the choke. The Indians got beat by a better team. They stole game two on the road and basically won game three because the Red Sox's pitcher made two mistakes while Westbrook only made one. The difference between this loss and the rest of the lexicon is that this was a slow burn of the better team rising to the top. Most of the worst losses in Cleveland sports history came when Cleveland had the better team or just burned in the final seconds.
This loss hurts sure and it was not fun. But Boston is the best team in baseball. The pitcher who started game seven for them cost almost double the Indians entire payroll. The fact the Indians were only one game away from pulling it off makes it harder to swallow but the truth is Boston was better.
The Indians played 173 games this season. I would guess that I watched 161 of them either in person or on TV. The rest I either listened to on the radio while traveling or followed on my phone frantically waiting for my phone to update. When you put that much investment into something and then it just ends. It stings. And I was never on the field battling. But still I feel insulted when other "fans" take shots at a class act like Joel Skinner. It is like they missed everything that this team is about. I could not watch game seven at a bar for this exact reason. All of the new fans constantly questioning everything and flashing mock drunken anger on every little play.
For me and those that watched nearly every moment of every game, just because we don't paint our faces for the playoffs, because we don't wave towels, because we acknowledge that Manny is the best two strikes hitter of our generation, because we won't yell the other team sucks, because we want to watch the game and not just soak up the atmosphere, because we knew it wasn't over until it was over-- that doesn't make us less. The best fans are not the Wahoos but those fans in the nursing homes that still keep their own book for every game. It is not how loud you yell but how much emotionally tests you.
I know that what I do is not healthy investing so much in something that I have in all reality nothing to do with. But when that championship finally comes -- it won't be the same to me if I never watched most of the games. I like many feel like I know this team. We know the nuisances and we feel the pain. That hollow feeling and the emotion of not wanting to go through it again. Maybe it will pass. Maybe we will be able to watch the Cavs but right now I don't feel like it. Maybe by March, I will be able to move on with my life and leave baseball behind. Or maybe everything will start all over again.
At least it rained last night and then this morning. If it stayed sunny then I would not have known what to do with myself.