A Cleveland Fan Says, "Thank You Manny"

Jim Bertsch@jrjbertschContributor IApril 15, 2009

It feels good to have Manny say what he has about Cleveland. He deserves a big thank you from all of us Cleveland fans. Cleveland gets dissed so often in the national media -- you know who you are Charles Barkley. 

It is great that a celebrity player consistently (for nine years!) tells the world how much he misses Cleveland. Jim Thome, LeBron James and CC Sabathia all deserve kudos from Cleveland fans because they have spoken out for Cleveland.

They continue to tell the world how greatly they appreciate Cleveland and its fans.

All except LeBron, have taken the money and ran, but the fond memories they have for Cleveland remain with them. You can argue that actions speak louder than words, but it is clear, if Manny could go back in time, he would stay in Cleveland.

When Manny speaks highly of Cleveland, the LA and Boston media pass it off as "Manny being Manny." Why?

The alternative leads to some unbearable thoughts, "Our fair city is worse than Cleveland! We are paying this guy how much money? Our marquis player, would actually prefer to live and play in a place like Cleveland?! Not possible."

"Manny being Manny", dismisses those thoughts. It allows them to believe that Manny is a little off his rocker. "Whew!  That was too close."

All is right with the world when they can safely delude themselves into believing that Cleveland is not a place for the elite, but is still "The mistake on the lake."

The consequence is as subtle as it is insidious. The endearing phrase we used for Manny in Cleveland, gets twisted into a harsh dismissal that questions his sanity.

With regards to Manny coming back to Cleveland, Manny put it in the correct perspective when he said that it would be fun to finish where he started. There was no plan behind that thought and Manny knows that it will probably never happen, but hey, what's wrong with dreaming a little?

I would like to dream a little too! What if Manny, Thome and Sabathia all decided that they would like to finish their careers in Cleveland?

They plundered Boston, New York, LA, Chicago and Philadelphia for their cash. Now it is time to return to the place where it all started. Where it was fun to play baseball!

Why not play pro bono?

Each of them could finish his career in Cleveland. Each could give up the baseball business and have fun playing the game again.