Monday, September 24, 2007

Life Imitates Art...

“Oh my God, the Indians win it! The Indians win it!”
The movie “Major League” debuted in 1989. As everyone knows, it was about a team that had not been to the post season in Major League Baseball in 35 years. The movie climaxes with the Indians in a playoff game with their arch rival Yankees for the division title. As the Indians pull off an unexpected championship victory, the team and a town join together in a glow of unbridled joy and celebration. After repeated viewings of the movie since 1989, a true Indians fan can’t help but wonder and promise, “Someday!”
Is “Someday” here?
Yes, as far as winning the division, but what about going deeper into the playoffs?
Since 1989, the Cleveland Indians were able to achieve going to the post season in ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, and ’01.
1995 was very special as the Tribe reached the playoffs for the first time in 41 years by clinching the division on a warm Friday evening in front of a home crowd. Emotions ran high as Orel Hershiser, Charles Nagy, and Eddie Murray raised the divisional flag to the sound of “The Dance,” a favorite song of one of two Cleveland Indians pitchers that died suddenly in a boating accident only one and a half years before.
The following championship seasons all had their special flair and moments but there is something special and unique this year.
The 2007 Indians have risen up from adversity and come together in a very heartwarming style. They have a boyish approach to the game and a never quit attitude. The mainstay and cornerstone of the team is their manager, Eric Wedge who has not been without critics and second guessing, but through it all, he persevered to calmly take his team to a divisional championship.
Through all of the come from behind and close victories, this team has made their mark with a swagger. No one player stands out above the others. The winner of the “Man of the Year” award this year will come from a selection of seven or eight qualified individuals. They have won without a lot of speed, they have won without a high team batting average. They do possess excellent pitching, very good defense, and timely, if not relentless hitting marked by the long ball.
They do not match up as favorably as we may want against the Yankees or the Red Sox so a well executed game plan for either team will be required to compete and persevere, but I love their chances!
Is “Someday” here?
Yeah, I think it’s here.
The words of Lou Brown, manager of the Indians in the movie “Major League” seem to sum things up just right;
“The sports writers don’t think much of our chances. Me? I’m for giving them all a big old shit-burger to eat!”
Go Tribe!

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