Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tribe making NBA playoffs irrevelant in Cleveland

The only reason I am aware that the NBA playoffs are taking place is that I work at a newspaper, and sometimes they ask me to proofread some pages.

So yes I heard that the Lakers got swept and head coach Phil Jackson is now going to have to take his public complaining to the monthly board meetings of his home owners association.

I have vague awareness that some lower seeded teams are making life uncomfortable for TNT, ESPN and ABC with the prospect of the lowest rated conference finals and NBA Finals in quite some time if all the big markets are eliminated.

Simple math indicates that LePippen and his boys have a paved path to the title which thereby will justify their actions.

And I don’t really care.

I haven’t watched a single game. If I happen to be in room with a game on, it has become merely background noise.

All that publicity of Cleveland fans forming temporary fan clubs of whoever was playing that team from the deep south has faded away.

I think that would have been the case regardless but our baseball team has made everything much easier.

I love football and my mood madly fluctuates on whether the Browns win or lose. Nothing makes me happier or angrier depending on what happens every Sunday. However there is nothing more fun than a winning baseball team.

Every game is appointment television. If you can’t watch, you devise ways to hear Tom Hamilton’s call and if that isn’t possible you drain the battery on your cell phone because of constant updates. You can’t wait to read the newspaper in the morning and you surf the Internet looking for highlights at night.

The first 33 games of this Indians season have been like watching the first season of really good but low-rated television show. You are hooked. You follow every episode and you are starting to fall in love. More and more people are hearing about the show and you are hoping it will get renewed and get keep going. You tell your friends but they have been burned before. They fell in love with a show like “Freak and Geeks” or “Terriers” but it got cancelled and they don’t want to go through that pain again.

You understand but you try to explain that maybe this time it will be different.

Before the season, I — like most people — tethered my optimism. It seemed lunacy to speak up and risk ridicule. Am I Charlie Brown once again with Mark Shapiro playing the part of Lucy? So many ifs. If Sizemore? If Hafner? If, if, if.

The remarkable start has been great fun to watch and it’s hard not to fall in love with this team. Even if this season falls apart — there are real building blocks.

The pitchers throw strikes.

The batters follow a game plan.

Every game is close and Manny Acta actively takes a part rather than wait for something to happen.

At the spots where there are stop-gap veterans playing over their heads — in Columbus there are talented players (Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis) gaining experience.

The once barren farm system is starting to produce talented young arms (Alex White, Tony Sipp, Vinnie Pestano) and there are more waiting in the wings (Drew Pomeranz, TJ House, Joe Gardner, Hector Rondon) plus the extra bounty from the Cy Young trades (Jason Knapp, Nick Hagadone).

The future really does seem to have a silver lining. So yes there is real possibility the season will go up in smoke. Our hearts could be broken again. But if this team is the real deal, like “The Wire”, you want to get in on the ground floor and not end being one of those people who had to watch every episode on DVD.

So take a peek, it is worth the risk.