Sunday, December 23, 2007

Top Ten? Aren't You Forgetting...

Cleveland Plain Dealer sports writer Paul Hoynes, who covers the Cleveland Indians, chose the following ten "memories" as his tops for the 2007 season:
10. Watching Baltimore receive a run with the Indians batting in the sixth inning on April 28 because plate umpire Marvin Hudson missed a call in the third inning. The run turned a tie game into a 3-2 Baltimore lead. The Indians protested the game, but it was denied.
9. Owner Larry Dolan kissing manager Eric Wedge after the Indians beat the Yankees in the ALDS.
8. The sound of about 20 leaf blowers - fighting a losing battle against the snow at Jacobs Field - trying to save the home opener on April 6.
7. The media feeding frenzy around Paul Byrd before Game 7 of the ALCS following a newspaper report linking him to HGH.
6. The Milwaukee welcome the Indians and Angels received at Miller Park in April.
5. Casey Blake's game-winning homer in the 11th inning against Detroit on Sept. 17.
4. Third-base coach Joel Skinner stopping Kenny Lofton at third in the seventh inning of Game 7 of the ALCS with Boston leading, 3-2.
3. A gaunt and weary Casey Blake talking to reporters after the Indians' 11-2 loss in Game 7 of the ALCS.
2. Grady Sizemore starting Game 4 of the AL Division Series with a homer at Yankee Stadium.
1. The Indians beat Oakland to clinch the American League Central.

I would agree with most of Paul's moments, except that he left out one...the one that would be my #1. That one memory was what then became known as "Bug-gate." Yes, game two of the divisional series vs. the New York Yankees. Why is it my #1?

Well there are many reasons and the top one is probably because I was there to witness the phenomenon. The Indians entered the game with a one game win advantage vs. the Yankees, with the next game scheduled in New York two days later. The Indians were coming off of a big win the night before despite a weak performance by the team ace C.C. Sabathia.

It was an unseasonably warm night in Cleveland, one in which produced thousands of midges. About the eight inning, those midges swarmed the players on the field, targeting the Yankees. Everyone knows the rest. The Indians won the game in the bottom of the eleventh inning.
Without that victory, the momentum would have easily shifted to the Yankees in New York.

Since then, the memories continue because Sportstime Ohio continues to play those games that made up the season of 2007.

Still, there is the lingering feeling of disappointment, a feeling of incompleteness. It would be very easy to name the top ten disappointing memories of the 2007 season. Lets cut to the chase and take it down to the top two:

#2. Game seven of ALCS vs. the Red Sox. We lost after being up 3 games to 1, losing our opportunity to advance to the World Series. You probably thought that was going to be #1. It would have been until the Winter Meeting.

#1. Detroit acquiring Cabrera and Willis. That one trade during the Winter Meetings appears to have positioned the Tigers to dominate the American League in 2008. So, not only did we choke in game 7, our inability or unwillingness to strengthen the team has become a huge distress signal. Our small payroll is inhibiting the Indians to continue to compete in the American League.

Unless...unless something is done from now until March 31st with our expendables. We have Cliff Lee, Jeremy Sowers, Jensen Lewis, Franklin Gutierrez, Ben Francisco, and some very strong minor league prospects.

Mark Shapiro has got to make something happen to add a power hitting corner outfielder, another proven starting pitcher, and shore up the bench. Detroit has a lineup with nine .300+ hitters with power and a pitching staff that could be on the edge of greatness.

Shapiro, it's your move.


davemanddd said...

what about the triple play??? how about two 19-game winners??? what about fausto carmona's performance in game 2 of the alds??? the wins by paul byrd and jake westbrook in the playoffs after both 19-game winners failed to deliver??? the 12-11 comeback win over detroit in early june??? kelly shoppach's walk-off dinger??? ben francisco too??? certainly all these should have been on that list too,

Big Daddy said...

Good call!