The Indians are getting ready to play their first post season game at home in 6 seasons, and this area is buzzing. And it should be.
Funny, how the talk for much of the season was how no one was going to the games and the team was finally contending. We heard every excuse from everyone. The economy, the prices, the product, the owner, even apathy. A new generation of fan has emerged. One that does anything only when winning is guaranteed. That's an unrealistic expectation in any aspect of life, let alone the hardest game on earth.
Facebook Fan, Twitter Guy and Sports Talk Radio guy, who calls shows and trashes the Tribe, and professes his knowledge, all the while proving he has none about the game. Or worse, puts it in writing on the web for an historical record of his ignorance. Baseball is a game that has to be understood from the inside first. On the field second.
Those are the obstacles in the Tribe's way these days. Now the grand irony. Today everyone wants tickets, as winning has been achieved. And what has happened off the field, has finally transferred onto the field.
If you think you had a hard time believing in this team, think about the team itself. Not exactly a vote of confidence with the season they had and no one showing up. So what was different this year opposed to years past recently? Same owner, same stadium, and many of the same players. Yeah some new ones came in, and that's not forgotten. But the difference this year is simple. The new day in Cleveland Indians baseball, was that every single player was playing for the guy next to him. And not himself. Play for the guy next to you! You know why the Tribe won 10 straight to get here? They wanted to. They simply wanted that, for one another.
Hey, stop being cynical. I know these guys are rich, blah blah. You know what? Not one of these guys right now, today, is thinking about one dollar made or yet to be made. This is a bunch that clearly loves each other. That's the way they act, play, win and lose. What a great example they are, and have been all year long. You can see it, they play for the next guy, and that's a wonderful doctrine. Don't let him down and you won't let yourself down. Pick him up when he needs it and be glad when you've been picked up when you needed it. When your energy is focused on others more than yourself, better things happen in life...not just baseball.
These guys play hard, and together. And they have held together through the wins, losses, heat, cold, and an empty stadium all season long. Even though the masses have stayed away for the most part, Wednesday night there will be no angst, no resentment that many didn't show. But this is their time, and the Tribe will be willing to share it with us. They will welcome us all with open arms, and embrace us as if we have seen each other everyday.
For Wednesday night - we will be one of the guys next to them. - At last.