About that World Series berth ...
Some idiot hacked into GHCS earlier today, some fool who doesn't remember 23-7 and 12-8 Boston in the 1999 ALDS, some clown who can't recall Grady Sizemore losing a fly ball in the sun and then the Indians losing six of seven in the final week of 2005 to choke away a postseason berth to these Red Sox, some moron who can't look out the window and see the signposts that mark the Cleveland city limits.
The Craigslist fools selling World Series tickets in Cleveland -- in Cleveland?!? -- before the Indians even won their fourth game in the ALCS? Gripping harder than someone holding onto the edge of a cliff. The record crowd for no game at the Jake Saturday night? Quieter than a Kent State football crowd at homecoming. The armchair quarterbacks on message boards and around the blogosphere? Ready to commit hari-kari.
It's not like we haven't seen this before in Cleveland. After all, the Indians were the first team to ever blow a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 ALDS format when they blew it against the Red Sox in 1999. After a 23-7 loss in Game 4 behind supposed ace Bartolo Colon, Charlie Nagy couldn't hold a 5-2 lead after two innings in the fifth game, thanks mostly to a home run from Troy O'Leary. When Pedro Martinez came marching in from the Boston bullpen in the fourth inning with the game tied in that one Jacobs Field became as quiet as a wake. And it became one when Pedro shut the Tribe out the rest of the way as Boston went on to win 12-8.
That's the scenario we fear tomorrow, when Jake Westbrook faces Daisuke Matsuzaka. Dice-K might not be looking over his shoulder, but the rest of us will be, to see if Big Game Beckett is warming up in the bullpen.
It was supposed to be relatively simple for the Tribe after taking a 3-1 lead. Boston had to beat both C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona to even get to Game 7.
Guess what? It wasn't all that hard. And now we're looking at a repeat of 1999. Or 2001, the Indians last appearance in the playoffs, when they lost the final two games of the ALDS against the Seattle Mariners after holding a 2-1 lead. Or the 1998 ALCS when the Indians lost three straight against the Yankees after taking two of the first three.
Or even the 1954 World Series when the Tribe was swept by the New York Giants despite posting the best record in baseball.
It's been sunny with unseasonably warm weather in Cleveland the last few weeks. The Indians play has made it feel like another world. We'll be waking up Sunday morning remember just where it is we live.