It's a trap!
We're being set up.
After winning a series from the White Sox to start the season, the Indians debuted on top of the ESPN.com baseball power rankings. Then, Yahoo.com's baseball writer Jeff Passan wrote a featured article, which all but says our wait is over for another World Series title. Apparently expectations run so low in this town that whenever anything good happens, such as beating the defending champions, we get extra credit for it. After all, the first power ranking aren't based so much on the Indians winning, but on the White Sox losing: "We have to start with someone at No. 1, and for now it might as well be the Indians," writes ESPN.com.
Thanks for your charity, guys. This makes up for everything that's happened to us the last 40-plus years while standing in line for our championship trophy. The bad taste in our mouths from the collapse the last week of last season? Washed away! Memories of the Cavs choking away a playoff spot last year? Who cares, we beat the White Sox and are No. 1 in ESPN.com's power rankings! Art Modell sucker-punched us and stole our football team away? Seven years of mediocrity since their return? Gone in the blink of a web site refresh!
Funnier even than our top ranking, which follows the preseason chants of everyone with a microphone hailing the White Sox as repeat World Series winners, are the player comments beside the second- and third-ranked teams. For the White Sox, "the old Jim Thome is back." And for the Oakland A's, "Milton Bradley is letting his game do the talking (.308, .400 OBP) and fitting right in this loose clubhouse.
Let's see -- Jim Thome, who missed two-thirds of last season with various injuries, is back after just three games. And Milton Bradley, who has been run out of the Expos, Indians, and Dodgers systems for throwing bigger fits than Rep. Cynthia McKinney, is now an angel in the outfield for the A's.
Meanwhile, the OTHER World Series team from last year is ranked 14th. At least ESPN.com didn't jump on the undefeated Detroit Tigers bandwagon. They are just 18th.
There's no byline on the power rankings, but there's no question who wrote them -- God. The top ranking, combined with a series victory over the White Sox and an impressive home-opening win against the Twins proves it. Call it the Gospel according to Cleveland, where in the beginning there is blue skies, hope, and optimism, but at the end the curtain closes on yet another tragedy.