We could talk a lot about the past what ifs in Cleveland sports. What if Elway doesn’t go 99 yards? What if Ernest Byner got the extra yards and secured the touchdown? What if Lebron Didn’t leave? So many “what if” moments for a city that’s been lead on so far, they have no choice but to come back and believe that this is the year. For the Indians, another what if moment came again last November and again this October.
Indians fans now sit and wait as the wet disgusting Cleveland winter passes and another chance comes again for the Indians to get after it. They are left to ponder all the “what ifs” and “if onlys” for an Indians franchise so used to those terms. “If only Jose Mesa closes out the 9th.” “What if there was no rain delay?” “What if our starters were healthy?”
You can talk about so many things the Tribe did well this year. The 22 game win streak. Corey Kluber and how nasty he was this season. The fact that we won 102 games. However, the only thing Cleveland fans will remember about this season is that we blew a 2-0 series lead to the New York Yankees. Three opportunities to close it out and 3 chances gone awry. One blown lead.
Corey Kluber in 2 postseason starts was nowhere to be found. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez? They must have fallen in a hole and were never able to escape because they went MIA as well. Edwin, I’ll cut some slack to because he was banged up for pretty much 3 games. The performance we got out of this team was (I’ll say it bluntly) hot garbage. The only bright spot was Jay Bruce.
Just like last season, the Indians find themselves in the same position, having blown a series lead to teams they should have closed out. As a fan you should be upset. You should be angry to a point where you want to scream and shout, and throw things. Sure I get it, weird things happen in the postseason, but this was a pure choke job and there’s no way around it.
I get it though. The Indians are just 1-6 in postseason winner take all games since 1999 and this just adds to the list. You can’t blame the ownership. They went out and spent tons of money on players like they’ve never done before. You can’t blame the coaches. Tito did all he could to make sure that this team stayed in games. Simply put, the players have to take ownership. At some point, they have to realize enough is enough and turn things around. I mean let me put this in perspective for you, the Indians are 0-6 in their last 6 attempts to try and close out a series.
As a Cleveland sports fan, I see this season as a wasted opportunity and a trip down bad memory lane.
The Indians now have a long and painful offseason, but the season doesn’t stop now for the for the front office. It’s only the beginning. They have some key roster decisions to make and key free agents they need to resign. Do they pick up Michael Brantley’s option? How much money do you give to Carlos Santana? A lot of questions for a team with few answers.
But like always, Roll Tribe.
Photo via ESPN