Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Indians blow 7-0 lead and I do what?

As I watched the ball sail over the fence completing an Indians choke of a 7-0 fourth inning lead, there was no anger. I didn't throw anything. I didn't swear. I didn't demand the firing of anyone. I just switched the channel and moved on.

At the bar on Thursday night, someone who doesn't follow sports asked me how the Indians were doing. I told him they were dangerous. They were dangerous because they conveyed hope. Despite having the worst record in the American League, they were only a handful games out of first place. So no matter how bad they looked, there was still the semblance of hope. So my friend says so even if they won the division, it would be one and out in the playoffs. I told him no and that is why they are dangerous. They can hit. And in the playoffs you only need three good starters. We have a Cy Young, a kid who two years ago was second in the Cy Young voting and soon Jake Westbrook will return from injury. By September on paper, we could have three strong starters. We have a real closer. So if things fell a certain way in the rest of the bullpen, there is hope. But ultimately it is a false hope.

You can blame on the front office, the manager, the bullpen or any veteran who is performing below expectations. But the truth is something is rotten with this team. They seem hollow.

The Indians tease you just enough not to give up on them. But something is missing. And maybe that is why Wedge is such a tinkerer. This team seems like it should be able to win in this division. But everyone is just a little off so he slides people around in the field and in the lineup. He is convinced that the pieces are there to complete the puzzle. But they just don't fit. No matter what he tries.

Another friends interjected in the conversation that Wedge needed to just find one lineup. And my first friend asked what was he talking about? I said well for instance at times our catcher plays first, a natural first baseman plays left, a guy who played second base last season we play at third but sometimes he plays first or in the outfield but never second, a guy who was playing second now plays short, a guy who wants to play shortstop is now playing third which maybe they should have done in spring training. And there is guy who couldn't catch so we moved him to first but he sucks there so they are thinking of moving him to the outfield or DH but we have another guy who is now hurt and he can only DH so we have that going for us.

And I could see on my friend's face the phrase this is why I don't follow sports. And I envied him. Because if a miracle happens --and it will take a miracle of biblical proportions-- and the Indians win the division, my friend will be just as excited as me. He will watch the playoffs and take joy in any Indians win. While I feel compelled to continue to watch every single game because of that bastard of all emotions -- hope.

There is really nothing worse. I mean I watched my team blow a 7-0 lead and my reaction was well of course they did. Yet here I am waiting the first pitch of another game. Sports should be about joy and there is no joy in the Indians.