Monday, October 22, 2007

How Are You Handling This?

If the umpire was any closer to this blown call, he could have made the tag himself...actually, I guess he did!

Honestly, I thought I would feel much worse.
Believe me, I am by no means yielding to any such notion that this failure was driven by a curse such as The Fumble, The Drive, The Shot, The Catch, The Mesa, Red Right 88, and now, The Collapse.
Honestly, I thought I would feel much worse.
This team lost to the Boston Red Sox in spite of themselves. The facts are as follows:
They were out-played
They were out-coached
They were out-managed
They choked
Being down in the series 3 games to 1, Boston became the wounded, cornered wild animal. They knew exactly what they had to do, they had done it before, and they did it again. Boston deserves much credit coming from down 2 games to winning the series. These guys just kept coming at our pitchers with great patience and power.
They out-played the Indians.
Honestly, I thought I would feel much worse.
The Indian pitchers failed to make the necessary and unemotional adjustments when the pitches they were used to getting called strikes all season long were called balls. The balls and strikes were very inconsistent. Television replays showed identical pitches leading to a 1 ball and 1 strike count many times.
However, Boston pitchers made the adjustments.
The Indians were out-coached.
The Indians set a record for most strike outs in a 7 game series. They fell back into familiar habits (post all-Star break) of not protecting the plate with two strikes. I prefer the image of Travis Hafner taking a mighty cut at strike three rather than arguing with the home plate umpire on why he watched that one go by. Why have six umpires if every time a questionable home run is hit, we are subjected to an umpire huddle to determine if the call should be reversed or not. I have to agree with Cleveland General Manager Mark Shapiro that instant replay is needed for just such occasions. If the game is going to be delayed anyway, why not use technology and receive the correct call?
Honestly, I thought I would feel much worse.
Note to Cleveland Manager Eric Wedge; game 7 is game 7…there is no tomorrow!
Terry Francona was prepared to use his entire staff if necessary to win game 7. He didn’t need to because Eric Wedge played the “line-up that got us here” to the hilt. Did Jason Michaels miss the plane to Boston? Is he still sitting in the Greyhound bus station on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland? Trot Nixon looked ready to pinch hit, we had a need for some lefty punch in this line-up.
We were out-managed.
Having the Red Sox down, 3 games to 1 and letting them win the series shows a lack of ability to put a team away, a lack of killer instinct.
They choked.
Honestly, I thought I would feel much worse.
Well, it’s over, it’s done, it’s time to move on.
Generally, when someone beats me, I like to wish them well by saying, “Go all the way!”
Not the case in this series. The Colorado Rockies represent all that is good in baseball…now.
Here’s hoping the Rockies finish the year winning 25 out of their last 26 games!
As for the Cleveland Indians?
Thanks for a thrilling year.
You are welcome for my extreme dedication which you will continue to have for life.
I never gave up on you, never…even when you were down 3-2 in game 7, I truly believed you could and would win!
The snows of Cleveland will dull the hurt of losing.
One day, soon I fear, knee deep in snow I will long for a Casey Blake or Ryan Garko walk-off home run, a 5 run rally in the 9th inning against the Tigers, a Joe Borowski save that could cause more heart attacks than shoveling snow, and yes, a World Series championship.
I'll be there, cheering you on once again.

No comments: