Does any one else find it ironic that the two starting pitchers in the 2009 World Series are consecutive Cy Young winners? No, in fact, there is a lot of truth and justice in that fact. Cliff Lee and C C Sabathia should fell proud and justified in..wait,... What?...did you say Lee and CC?...I know those guys, I'm from Cleveland, what happened? Just 14 months ago they were in our line-up, together.
Lets go back just a little further. Do you recall Paul Warfield, Ernest Byner, and Bernie Kosar? Did you know they all have Super Bowl Rings? That's right folks, the year after they were chased out of Cleveland, they all got their much deserved rings. Good for them! The same will be said of Cliff Lee and Carston Charles Sabathia after the 2009 Series. Both will have Pennant rings and one will have a World Series ring. Good for them, they deserve it! So that begs the 60 year question, WHAT ABOUT US? The Fans of Cleveland...the die-hard, blue collar, heart-broken fans in Cleveland.
When was the last time a Cleveland Team was on the other end of that trade? When was the last time a Franchise owner from our city took the chance, spent an ungodly amount of money and "Went-For-It"? Funny you should ask.
So I hear that the Cavs picked up Shaq. Wow, that's really strange for a Cleveland team. That means the unstoppable force, James, meets the immovable object, Shaq, on the same team, in Cleveland?! Well, with this being the final year of LeBron's contract, some Cleveland owner decided to go for it, or has he? Stop right there! Who said this is LeBron James last year in Cleveland? Ohhh, just every one, including LeBron. Not Really. Every one has hinted to this fact, no one has said it, at least out loud. Well folks, this is my point. No one HAS to say it because as Cleveland Fans we are soooo conditioned to the fact of always trading our brightest stars.
What if the Tribe actually signed CC Sabathia when his contract came up? We would still have Cliff Lee, Victor, Casey et al. The chances are CC and Cliff would both be vying for a ring on the same team, and more importantly, so would we, the great fans of Cleveland. There are no guarantees here, but there is probability and great hope, a winning tradition and winning attitude that breeds success.
What if the Cavs do sign LJ for the next 3-5 years and continued to add players around him? I think we would all like to see where that goes. Visions of the "Bad Boys of Detroit, the Jordan led Bulls, or the Kobe and Shaq show in Los Angeles, but alas, the visions of Cleveland fans will probably be a reality for the Nick's. And the Indians, well once again we have a handful of draft picks and prospects, but the reality is another rebuilding year or three, and the rising of a few bright stars in Cleveland and hence, the trading cycle continues.
That leaves the Mangini Browns. First order of business, unload Kellen Winslow, bring in a squad of mediocre Jets. Second order of business, trade Braylon Edwards, bench Brady Quinn. I remember vividly, the last time a JETS coach took the reigns in Cleveland. Bud Carson inherited a perennial playoff team and still brought a squad of Jets with him. We went 9-6 and 1 that year. Limped all the way to the AFC Championship game. The entire Cleveland collective saw the table turn that year in the ugliest way. And yet, dare I say his name, Atr Medoll called a press conference and said, Bud deserves another year, after all, he took us to the brink of the Super Bowl. The truth is, the Browns took us there, not Bud.
Marty Shottenheimer had established a winning attitude and tradition in Cleveland, and those core players that remained scratched and clawed their way to that ugly game, simply know as "The Loss". Marty's first year was just the opposite. he inherited a downed franchise and led us to an 8 and 8 record. The Browns sneaked into the playoffs, but the entire Cleveland collective walked away from the Wild Card game, against the great Marino led Dolphins, wide-eyed and filled with exuberance. We all KNEW there was something magical in the air for 1986 and beyond. Bud Carson's next year was so pathetic, I actually don't remember. We can sense these tragedies or the magic before it happens. Which feeling does the Cleveland collective have right now?
Do we have to endure the rest of this seaon under Mangini just to see if all those draft picks pay off next year? Are the Browns buying into the current coaches' schemes so much that they are stepping up their game? Do we as fans sense the magic on the horizon? Stop trading our best talent! Those are the guys that raise the talent level of the whole team. If they're not a cancer in the locker room, (Milton Bradley, T. O. etc.), then let them stay, let them play. If Quinn was given a longer leash, we may still be 1 and 6, but with Kellen and Braylon, I doubt it. Quinn and the Browns would be gaining confidence and momentum. And when a young QB with his talent has that light turn on, then we all sense the magic.
I dare the Cavs to shock the Nation and resign LeBron. Right now, he IS the future of championships, he IS the Cleveland star that can cease the day. Or will the Cleveland faithful sit back and shake our heads once again, and watch our owners, "Trade the Day Away".
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