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Tribe Notes

Indians: A Tribe column on curses and sports gods and such

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CLEVELAND -- After nearly 24 hours to digest the Indians blowing a 3-1 lead to lose the World Series to the Cubs, here’s what I’ve got:

Was it a good season? Absolutely, all things considered, probably even a great one. And ............... I can’t believe they got Golden State-d.

I mean, c’mon. How cruel are the sports gods?

Yes, Cleveland, we shall allow you to end your city’s excruciatingly-long championship drought in the most fabulous of ways -- with your native son King James returning home to help slay the Philistines (i.e. Warriors) -- and the Cavaliers overcoming a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.

Your city will be granted a grandiose celebration with millions of fans lining the streets of Cleveland for a championship parade that will never again be seen across The Land.

After you have celebrated and poked fun at the Warriors for squandering a 3-1 lead to your Cavaliers, we will put your baseball team in the exact same situation they were in and on the precipice of its first World Series title in nearly seven decades.

Then rip it away, and your hearts out while you stand there and watch at Progressive Field right next door to The Q. Sound good? 

As an added bonus buck of misery, the Cubs will celebrate ending the longest championship drought in professional sports into the wee hours of the morning in your house until the public address system literally has to tell Chicago fans, who sounded as though they inhabited half the ballpark during Game 7, that the place is closing.

Deal with it -- you’re Cleveland.

Look, I don’t want to rain all over the parade the Indians never held (sorry, couldn’t resist). They had to overcome a ton of adversity to even win the Central Division title -- without arguably their top player in Michael Brantley for nearly the entire season. 

Then, to accomplish what they did in the postseason without two of their top three starting pitchers, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar -- is downright miraculous. 

They beat heavily-favored Boston and Toronto -- with rookie left-hander Ryan Merritt starting the series-clinching game against the Blue Jays (get outta here), then for good measure, took baseball’s best team to extra innings in Game 7 of the World Series.

There’s little doubt manager Terry Francona and the Indians should be applauded ... loudly and proudly.

Still, that’s not the point. What they overcame becomes inconsequential once they get there.

And, oh were they there -- owning a 3-1 lead in the series and the Cubs and their fans reeling after the Indians won the first two games in front of a stunned and steaming Wrigley Field faithful.

Those Tribe fans who didn’t before certainly believed then. Even after the Cubs finally won a Game at Wrigley -- not one of my favorite ballparks to work at (actually, my least) -- how couldn’t they? The Indians were coming home to Progressive Field and only had to win once.

No sense rehashing what transpired when they arrived, other than that they played terribly -- uncharacteristic fielding gaffes, base-running blunders and continued postseason struggles at the plate.

Ace Corey Kluber and elite reliever Andrew Miller were the worst pitchers that took the mound for the Indians in Game 7 -- and Cleveland employed Bryan Shaw and Trevor Bauer?!?!?!.

How do you explain that?

Here’s mine, and you’re not going to like it.

I think Cleveland is still a little cursed when it comes to its professional sports teams, and I don’t think it ended when King James and the Cavaliers finally brought the city a championship -- at least being cursed didn’t.

Look no further than the Browns -- “The Drive,” “The Fumble,” the whatever. I mean the city lost its NFL franchise and it’s been for the most part embarrassingly bad since it’s been back, with a realistic chance to go 0-16 this season.

And there’s certainly reason to believe the Indians are a bit cursed themselves -- Jose Mesa and Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, and losing after taking a 3-1 ALCS advantage in 2007 with Cy Young award winner CC Sabathia on the mound in Game 5 at home, ring a few torturous bells, don’t they?

I guess the big question is: Does one title cure a city’s curse, or at least stop its sports teams from being cursed?

My answer is no.

If the Cavs go on to win a couple more, or the Indians finally break through, then I will have been wrong. Notice, I didn’t even mention the Browns, because that’s not happening in anyone’s lifetime who is reading this.

Like I said, the Indians deserve a ton of credit for what they accomplished this year, but you can’t tell me they aren’t feeling a little bit cursed right now.

Just ask Rocky Colavito.

Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7136 or cassenheimer@chroniclet.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him @CAwesomeheimer on Twitter.



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