Happy Tuesday, WFNY!
Life is good. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m still sitting high upon cloud nine, basking in the afterglow of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ incredible victory in the NBA Finals. You know what helps keep me up here? The Cleveland Indians never losing another freaking game!
The Indians have now won ten straight games to open a five game lead in the American League Central division. They are tied with the Baltimore Orioles for the second best record in the American League, and for all the talk about the incredible start to the season for the Chicago Cubs, the Tribe now sit just four games behind the Cubs.
I don’t know if the Cavaliers winning the Championship has anything to do with this. Actually, wait, yes I do know - there is no way the Cavaliers’ Championship is influencing the outcome of the city’s baseball team. I don’t think. But it’s fun to imagine that this is all fueled by the energy and positive vibes of the whole region. Maybe in some bigger sense, winning the Championship really has loosened the pressure off everyone and that is allowing players in all the Cleveland sports teams to play more freely.
If you think about it, prior to the New England Patriots winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history back in 2001, Boston was a somewhat significant title drought in every sport but the NBA (in 2001, it had been 15 long years since the Celtics’ last NBA title….poor guys). The Patriots had never won a Championship. The Red Sox hadn’t won the World Series since 1918. The Bruins hadn’t won the Stanley Cup since 1972.
When the Patriots won the Super Bowl, it seemed to kick open the door to one heck of a Championship run for the region. The Patriots have now won four Super Bowls since then (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014), the Red Sox have won three World Series (2004, 2007, 2013), the Celtics won an NBA title (2008), and the Bruins hoisted Lord Stanley’s Cup (2011).
Before Cleveland won a Championship, I didn’t dare to dream. But I am dreaming now. I’m not scared of it anymore, I don’t feel the need to shy away and not talk about it. I am damn excited about this Indians team and I think there’s no reason they can’t follow up the Cavaliers with a Championship of their own. This season.
I don’t believe the Indians are going away. They clearly look like the best team in the Central, and playing so many games against the Central should help the Indians stay on top for the long haul. The Indians are the only team in the Central with a positive run differential (+86). The AL Central is the only division in baseball to have only one team with a positive differential. In fact, the Tribe’s differential is second in all of baseball, behind only the Cubs (+158…..yikes!). The Indians have given up the fourth fewest runs. And yet if anything, you could say the Indians are even underperforming, as they still are below their expected W/L record.
On a personal level, the question all of this is making me ask myself is, will this team be the thing that makes me get cable TV again? I cut the cord two years ago and have never looked back. Not having cable has been freeing and enjoyable. For most sporting events, not having cable hasn’t been a problem at all. The problem is in watching the Indians on a daily basis.
Sure, I have ways of watching these teams. But they’re not the kind of ways that I like to watch sports. I’m not going to get into it again here today, but I’ve lamented in the past how much I hate the blackout restrictions in sports. I would gladly pay for for MLB.tv and watch the Indians every night, but because I live in Ohio, that option is not available to me. I can pay to watch any other team play (excluding the Reds and Pirates), but I can’t do it for the Indians. Ugh.
So I’ve been tossing the idea around in the back of my head. Maybe I should get cable back again just for the sake of watching the Indians. Most TV providers offer pretty reasonable prices for your first year anyway, and then I can drop cable again in a year if I want to. We’ll see.
The point is, I thought nothing could make me want cable again. I don’t miss it, I don’t like the way cable is packaged and sold, and I think the whole thing is a miserable experience. But I want to watch the Indians. Not just any Indians team, but this Indians team.
I have loved a lot of Indians teams in my life. I doubt anything will replace the 90s teams in my heart, but this team could be the closest thing. One of the things I loved about the Cavaliers this season was much I liked all the players on the team. Not just for what they did on the court, but for who they are off the court as well. Similarly, this Indians team is just so easy to root for. The personalities of the players and their performance on the field make this the easiest team to root for in quite a while.
This is such a great time to be a Cleveland sports fan and I don’t want this run to ever end. We as Cleveland fans are not particularly accustomed to these feelings. Fun, excitement, confidence! Let's soak it all in, Cleveland! Enjoy this summer and this Indians team. Enjoy living life as Champions!