This is a VERY frustrating year for my team. I am, and have been for 35 years, an avid Indians fan. Yeah, I'd been to Browns games at the old Stadium; Cavs (nee, Cavaliers) games at the Richfield county jail, and even old Cleveland Barons games at the old Arena on Euclid. (Whew, did I just date myself, or what!)
However, my favorite pass-time was taking the Green Line downtown and walking down West 3rd (?) to the old Municipal Stadium. Fifty cents or a buck for bleacher tickets. Several more if we wanted to hang out in the upper deck in right field, waaaaaaaaaaaay faaaaaaaaaaaaaaar baaaaaaaaaaack, past Luke Easter's seat. Good luck trying to sneak down to the box seats, where, oh, ALL of them were empty. The ushers kept you out, just in case there was a rush on the seats by (both of) the season-ticket-holders.
We used to keep ourselves entertained by betting with the vendors (when they bothered to come out there at all!) on whether Sid Monge or Victor Cruz would get the next guy out. I don't remember if we won or lost most of the time, but it kept things interesting.
I had to have, and always enjoyed, a foot-long dog with Stadium Mustard, a true delicacy if there ever was one (was there ever one?) from the Stadium. I can't remember which is the authentic mustard they sell in Cleveland now. My mom brings some up to me every once in a while, but it's not the same as on one of those foot-longs.
So, the Tribe has teased me, and my dad before me, for too many years. '95 was torture; can't hold a Game 7 lead, dammit! I had waited my whole life for ANY of the Cleveland teams to win something. Anything. Then that damn Craig Counsell and Edgar Renteria ruin it for me.
'98 was no better. At least that one was quick and less painful. Better the Braves than the Marlins!
Then last year. I thought this would be it. Great pitching. Good hitting. Momentum. Canadian Soldiers (bugs). The Works!
Then it all fell apart. And to Manny, of all the traitors. I could have dealt with Thome, but MANNY!?!!?!!??!
(I won't even go into the Cavs. Let's just say that I had enough at the Miracle of Richfield. Oh, Jim Chones, where are you now?)
The Browns. The Drive. The Fumble. The Despair. The Move. It's nice that Cleveland can sum it up with a Noun. Don't tease me, though, this coming year.
So, can the Indians turn it around this year? Is there time left? Can they overcome all the injuries and off-years? Amazing, that when they are supposed to be the cream of the crop, they get all this, this, this ... crap happening. And the White Sox are leading the division! AAAAAAARRRRRRGGH!
Everything has fallen apart. Is C.C. on the way out? Will Andy Marte ever break out of his 0-for-Cleveland slump? Will Asdrubal fade into obscurity as the baseball version of a one-hit-wonder? Will the Pronk ever return to his old form? Much to ponder....