Let the Good Times Roll…by Patrick Langdon
Raise your hand if you are little tired today…good kind of tired…great kind of tired actually. The kind of tired that comes after the thrill of victory. “We won!” I’m sure was exclaimed more than once this morning around the coffee stations and water coolers of those of us that had to head into work today. The Tribe did what they have been doing better than anyone else lately it seems and won Game 1 of the ALDS vs. the Yankees behind an unhittable Trevor Bauer last evening 4 to zip! It was great to see our hometown team back in the playoffs and making history in the process. Even though playoffs were considered the norm in the 1990’s and even some shots at it in the 2000’s…this team…these player are exactly what every baseball fan in this town has longed for….a collective group of players who actually enjoy the game and enjoy being in the city doing it! Those of us of a certain age (read old) remember when Cleveland was a place you went to end your career or worse yet a halfway house for bright young talent that would eventually be shipped to contender for a fresh crop of marginal prospects …over hyped and underachieving ! Not now… not this team!
The first game I remember going to was as a soon to be six year old in 1975. That team and all the teams I went to see for lets say the next nineteen years were a collection of has been’s , near misses’ and never were’s. They we our guys because they weren’t good enough to be contender’s guys or they were just awaiting parole from the caverness prison that was Municipal Stadium. Or they were like Keith Hernandez.. in it for the last buck before the Just for Men and Seinfeld residues started to kick in. We rooted and cheered and even told ourselves that this would be our year …more than once! We might have been trying to fool ourselves but we could never fool the baseball gods. SI declared the 1987 team “On the Warpath” …100 non wins later and you get the picture. Baseball was the joke that well football is now in this town. Except to us it was never funny and always, sometimes even hurtfully so ..cruel! They built a state of the art training facility that was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew and a promising closer’s life was cut short in a tragic boating accident as the 1980’s gave way to the last decade of the 20th century.
But more of the same changed in 1994 we were THE TEAM but something there was always missing and they never fulfilled their promise. There were lean times and an entitlement attitude by us fans because in the 1990’s we expected to be there from now on and that’s not how baseball works…well that and Mark Shapiro was steering the ship or as Danny Boyce calls him,
Captain Conservative …never making a move or signing anyone for fear it would be a bad signing or trade. 2005 was as close as that group ever got really and we would have to wait another eleven years to get the start of what we are seeing today….and what that is, is this best baseball TEAM i’ve have ever witnessed. Most talented? Nope… probably not even second as far as overall talent here in my lifetime…but absolutely the perfect collection of players and a manager who not only gets them but gets them ALL to buy in. Mike Hargrove was a great manager but he was never this to this franchise. I’ve been on record of saying i’m not the biggest fan of Terry Francona’s management style. But its doesn’t matter if i’m not…HIS PLAYERS ALL DO BUY IN and the results speak for themselves. What i’m and all of you are left with is the feeling of being a part of history thats already been made and some thats being made as we speak! But don’t tell the six-old I used to be that this would be possible because he’d never EVER believe you! #RollTribe