It's just two days until Indians pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and General Manager Mark Shapiro is still not over missing the playoffs last season, or so he said on ESPN radio yesterday. And who can blame him? WE'RE still not over it either. We're also still not over Art Modell Firing Paul Brown (42 years ago), The Drive (20 years ago), The Fumble (19 years ago), The Shot (17 years ago), and generally just living in Cleveland.
So it's no big deal that just a few months after The Collapse that Shapiro and the rest of us aren't over the end result of the 2005 baseball season. The reasons for his malaise are rather amusing, however. You see, it's not that the Tribe lost six of their last seven games when just two more wins would have earned them at least a one-game playoff with the Red Sox. No, here's why Shapiro says "It's still bitter" in reference to last season's finish:
"What's hard for me to get over is being a market of our size, winning 93 games, and not getting in. You're talking about the only time in 10 years that wasn't enough wins to get into the playoffs."Thing is, Shapiro says this with a bit of wryness in his voice, like he just ... can't ... understand it. As if he doesn't realize that God is pulling the strings. No 1,000-yard rushers for 20 years? Thanks, God. One Pro Bowler in seven years? Thanks, God. No championships in 41 years? Thanks, God. One time in 10 years a 93-win team doesn't make the playoffs? Thanks, God!
Welcome to Cleveland, Mark. You've been in the Indians organization since 1992 and the GM since 2001, but you have just now become an official Clevelander. God has made you feel our pain. Just plan on amending your statement in 2016 to say, "You're talking about the only time in 20 years" that 93 wins wasn't enough to make the playoffs.