The DEFEND Cleveland Show

August 23rd, 2011 DC Show Report

“There’s a lot of people depending upon me to be awesome.” – Richard Patrick (of the band Filter)

Last week here in his home town, Dick P. said that, with an all seriousness tone about it, then went out and played a show to a barren venue of only 100 people. Now you could see this in one of two ways: One, he’s a true professional and in knowing that no matter how few of his fans might still exist from that one hit he penned 18 years ago, he still needed to give everything he has when fortunate enough to be given the chance to perform for those that did stick around. Or, the other way you could just see it is simply as the hubris of an artist who only wrote one more hit than you have, a long time ago, yet still lives in the delusional rock star fantasy life that it once afforded. In other words, he thought there was still going to be a full club of fans screaming his name and his lyrics. Especially in his home town.

Before you spend too much energy contemplating this either/or, believe me, it was clearly the latter.

Yep, good old Cleveland Dick P.

Reality is that once you stop to matter in the world of public favor, people stop caring. No matter how many Jock Jam mix tapes they might have made with your song on it a decade to a couple decades ago. And of course the same applies to it not mattering how many days your team spent in 1st place throughout the beginning of the year, when being in 1st place at the end of the year is all that matters.

Don’t contemplate this segue too much as well, clearly it’s going to be a stretch. I just wanted to tell you something funny. And write, “Old Cleveland Dick P.”

So, let’s roll with it. Sunday following the Tribe’s being swept in Detroit to fall from what was 1.5 games coming in, to becoming 4.5 games going out, manager Manny Acta didn’t say that there were a lot of people depending on the Indians to be awesome, but he might as well have when he said, “these are occasions where heroes are born.” He was specifically referring to the Tribe losing Sizemore, Choo, Kipnis and Hafner to injury this year each for a month or longer (in the case of Grady, much longer) and the obvious need for someone on the roster with a bat in their hand to step up. With all of those guys out last night, only scoring 2 runs that both came from a couple errors, losing to a last place team and ultimately falling farther out of 1st place than they’ve been all year (now 5.5 games), if there is a hero in the making, they had better make quick with it.

Told you the segue was somewhat a stretch. Watch as I keep selling it though…

At the beginning of the year I gave you the sliding scale of what to expect from this team. Most called me crazy when I said they were capable of winning 88 win games and that they’d be in the hunt for the playoffs. Even if that was mostly based on a pretty certain fact that any team at or around .500 was going to be in the race for the pennant in the Central Division. However, in knowing what I was talking about (or at least insisting that to be the case), I also knew that with the rash of injuries which have seemed to ruin this team since 2007, to factor that in would be a wise move. I did, and used the sliding scale idea of predictions by saying if all went wrong and injuries decimated the team once again, that they would win 78 games.

A ten game swing between good fortune and bad. Yeah, so sometimes being right can hurt too. And as the injuries have mounted and the difference now is it going from a lot of people hoping that heroes were to be born this year, to looking like we might just all be depending, or hoping yet again, that the team will be awesome next year.

Okay, enough segue play. That said, on today’s tap is a double header for the Indians against again, said worst team the Mariners. Realistically this fatalistic view I’ve just painted with only 38 games left could change and a 5.5 chase of the leader, could be trimmed to 4 games over night. With Choo back in the lineup after getting a late scratch yesterday so he could be with his wife who went into labor carrying the couple’s third child, a girl, the team’s chances in general do improve.

Meanwhile, On the front end of the pennant chase, the Tigers are going against the Rays with Verlander having already gone yesterday, and getting his 19th win in the process. The Rays are really good, and are also the toughest opponent the Tigers face until the end of next week.

The Rays need to win their next three, and the Indians need to win their next three. Either way though, if a lead of 5 or more games is still in play on Labor Day when the Tigers come back to town, the only realistic thing Cleveland fans will be looking forward to is the next week when the Browns season kicks off.

Speaking of the Browns, before we go, some real news (and REALLY good news at that) came out of camp yesterday when Joe Thomas signed an extension for 7 more years. Read that, all kinds of great quotes to perk up even the most ardent skeptic Cleveland fan. It was also fun listening yesterday to the national pundits rave all day long on radio and television (aka – filling their NFL news quota for the day) that Colt McCoy is, and will be, great. All of a sudden like.

Funny that, didn’t notice too many of them making much mention last year when he was drafted.

I like this Browns team, and like even more their direction, but much like my prediction of the Indians to start their year, when it’s time to start the Browns year, I’ll give you that prediction too. Right now though, well, at least for a few more days, I’m not on an NFL quota yet. Go Tribe.


-Mike James

PS – 8 days and still no sign of there being any results on “The Search for a Real Cleveland Sports Bars” in town. Keep them coming, folks. And hurry, you have about 30 minutes to take that long lunch you’be planned to get down to Progressive Field and catch some afternoon baseball.

If you’re interested in the Thome rumors that are justly rampant (specially since Haf is in a walking boot and will likely need surgery), here’s all the info you need on the topic to understand the chances of it happening. It is possible. Stay tuned. And stay tuned tonight as I’ll be giving the 2nd game of the double header a DC Show perspective from the press box.

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Posted by on Aug 23 2011. Filed under Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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