A lot has been made of the TBS coverage of the Indians run through the playoffs, and the national media in general, doubting this team, on air, the entire way. The angst that exists between the sports networks and the Cleveland sports teams is nothing new, as they can't get their heads around the fact that these teams are really good. They continue to dismiss us, and we just keep winning, and they continually get embarrassed for their non-educated views and opinions. In short, they don't know the Tribe at all, because we are not Boston, New York, San Francisco, or Washington. All of who are home on the couch.
Let's recap how good we really are. The Tribe:
- Played the entire season without our best overall player, Michael Brantley
- Played half the season without maybe the best catcher in the American league, Yan Gomes
- Lost 60% of our starting pitching rotation in September and October
- Had a franchise best 14 game winning streak - (started playing ball in 1901)
- Are the only team in MLB not to lose 4 games in a row this season
- Are 64-1 when leading by 3 or more runs
- Don't have the energy of playing in front of 40K fans every night
- Were in first place virtually all season long
- Earned home field advantage by sweeping the WORLD CHAMPS at seasons end on the road.
- Swept the Red Sox and unceremoniously sent Big Papi packing
And the list goes on and on. Yet, night after night, game after game they all say, this is the end. This is where it turns.
I am not angry at TBS, ESPN or anyone else in the media. I don't think it's "hate" at all. I think it's their biggest nightmare. A team that may be baseballs best, and they know nothing about them because of their voluntary blindness and obsession with the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Big Papi and the the rest of that bunch. It's insanely embarrassing for them, not us. Even a local beat writer for the Tribe pronounced them dead a couple weeks ago, in print, after the Carlos Carrasco injury causing a huge stir.
But all of this, all season long brought this bunch of kids and veterans together, and they got it done. I even heard a guy on ESPN - TODAY saying, "The Indians really are not the best team, they are just playing well now... blah blah.." I personally don't care if they are the best team, I just want them to win the World Series. They are the first ones to make it there going 7-1 against the medias much loved and vaunted East Coast Teams. Sorry to embarrass you - yet again.
This is why baseball is such a a great game. It's life in a fishbowl, and teaches us so much. It humbles us, teaches us how to win and lose graciously, it shows that life can be challenging at times and that hard work and perseverance can pay off. So for all of us that have ever been told repeatedly we're not good enough, or not as good as someone, or something else, you have two choices. You can believe it, or you can do as the Tribe did - just - believe.
Just believe - Thank you Tribe.