Monday, March 30, 2009

It Can Happen to Us

As winter starts to retreat back into the northern provinces of Canada, allowing blue skies to become more commonplace and parkas less so, the inevitability of a new baseball season invades my dreams.

The Cleveland Indians are wrapping up a mediocre preseason at their new Goodyear, Arizona spring training digs but I am not discouraged. Not one bit. With names like Sizemore, DeRosa, Wood, Peralta and Lee making their way towards the corner of East 9th and Carnegie Streets and a strong second half of 2008 in the books, there is reason to believe that this is the year that they find their way back to the Fall Classic (and this time get that third out in the 9th inning of the 7th game.)

Before the first pitch is thrown, when the standings are even at 0-0 . . . this is the best time of year for Cleveland sports fans. The days leading up to the opener, where optimism abounds, allowing us to build a collective cocoon of confidence around ourselves and really believe that it can happen. We forget about Jordan floating in the Richfield air, waiting for Craig Ehlo to start his early descent to the Coliseum hardwood, before delivering that famous and fatal blow. We cease to talk in hushed tones about Jeremiah Castille jarring the ball loose from Earnest Byner at the Mile High goal line. There is no mention of Rocky Colovito, John Elway, or Jose Mesa.

We believe that Cleveland is a championship city and, you know what, it feels good.

So I will unveil my prediction(s) here, so when they come to fruition this fall, nobody can doubt the veracity of my words . . .

The Tribe, on the strength of an MVP season from Grady Sizemore, will win the AL Central with somewhere around 90 games before dispatching of the wildcard Athletics in the ALDS and then the despicable Red Sox (and their fans, reminiscent of a pack of neandratals in heat) in the ALCS.

The World Series, pitting the Chicago Cubs against the Tribe, will be one of the most widely watched as two long suffering clubs battle. When it is all over, Cleveland win their first World’s Championship since 1948.

And I will drop to my knees and cry.

Hallelujah . . .

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