I don’t know why I’m so upset/disappointed/boardline shocked this morning. I knew this was coming. Everyone knew it was coming. Ever since C.C. Sabathia came out for the seventh inning in Game 5, I knew this was coming. Right then and there, I knew the Indians would lose in seven games to the Red Sox.
Maybe that’s why it stings so much. I knew it was coming but didn’t want to believe it would happen. I tried to keep the faith. I still had my clock set to Tribe Time. I stayed confident, stayed positive, stayed a loyal Cleveland fan. That’s why it hurts. I didn’t want to believe it was coming yet I knew it was. There was nothing anyone could do about it. Us Cleveland fans should be use to this feeling of “so close but not quite.” We’ve been here before, we know we’ll be here again. We’ve had this feeling, we are used to it and every time we feel it coming on again, it cuts a little deeper.
Everyone knows about The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble and Jose Mesa. I guess we can add The Stop to that list. Why in the world did third base coach Joel Skinner stop Kenny Loften at third base on Franklin Gutierrez’s single in the sixth inning? Sure Kenny is 97 years old but he’s still fast. And Skinner used to be the guy who would send a Travis Hafner home even the if the shortstop had the ball. He used to be the most aggressive third base coach in baseball. He chose Game 7 of the American League Championship Series to get conservative?!?! Manny didn’t even have the ball when Loften reached third. And know Manny he might not have even known to throw the ball home. He could have just as easily picked it up and ran to the dugout thinking the inning was over.
If Loften scores there, its 3-3 game and Cleveland has all the momentum. Gutierrez would have been at second with still only one out. Boston fans would have been nervous and Fox would have been showing replays of Bill Buckner’s error at first base and comparing them to Julio Lugo’s “I got it, I got it, I got it… I don’t got it” little league type error. Boston would have been on the ropes. Who knows? I might even be writing the words “The Cleveland Indians are the American League Champions” with the words “are not.” Damn it, Joel! How do you not send him!??! At the very worse the situation would have been runner on second with two outs. Instead, Casey Blake grounds into a double play and all of Cleveland turns to the Cavs.
If only close counted in something other than horse shoes and hand grenades, Cleveland would be one of the most accomplished sports cities instead of one of the most heartbroken. That’s why it hurts so much this morning. We’re used to this feeling, we know will get over it, but every time we get so close, we think this is finally the year people stop talking about The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble, Jose Mesa and now The Stop. One day that will come. I’m not surprised this feeling is with me again this morning, but I’m surprised by how much it still hurts when I knew it was coming. Now, all Cleveland fans do the only thing we know how to do to get over this; Here We Go Brownies Here We Go! and Let’s Go Cavs!