It’s cold, it’s snowy, it’s raining, and the sky is grey over an empty Progressive Field. This dismal situation is not a cold winter night in December, but rather, a springtime day game in Cleveland.
As a tumbleweed dances its way between the few dedicated fans who failed to scalp their tickets before the game, we Clevelanders sit back and try to remember the good old days.
It is understandable that some of us are unable to fully recall our moments of glory, our flashes of brilliance, OUR Manny Ramirez. For as the good times fly by, the bad ones seem like they never end.
The hopefuls, mixed in amongst the sea of depressed, cynical Clevelanders, wait year after year for a resurgence of the Tribe’s former glory, believing, or trying to believe, that, in the words of Harvey Dent, “The night is darkest just before the dawn.”
Well I promise you Cleveland, the night will get darker.
Say what you will about the Indians, heck, about Cleveland sports in general, but the fact is, we have not hit rock bottom. This is not as bad as it gets.
Let me ask you, Cleveland fans: do you remember Kenny Lofton, the six-time All-Star who played nine seasons in Cleveland from 1992-2001?
Have you forgotten about Manny Ramirez? Yeah, we had Manny Ramirez. We also had Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Albert Belle, Charles Nagy, Orel Hershiser and Eddie Murray, all in the same year.
Do you remember that, Cleveland? That, was 1995, a.k.a. the last year we had 100 wins.
Remember how we won the division in ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, ‘99, and ‘01? Yes, I’m still talking about the hapless Cleveland Indians, not the New York Yankees.
I ask you, Tribe faithful, do you remember the World Series? We were there in ‘95 and ‘97, and although we lost both times, we were truly a great ballclub.
If you are confused about just where we stand as a team, then I implore you to see that WE ARE NOT THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS!
So we see now that the mighty have fallen. The once prosperous Indians have become the laughing stock that we are today. Well, painful as it is for me to say, we have not reached the trough of the slippery slope.
We can take solace in our superiority above the league's bottom feeders. However, we ought to be careful with our mockery of such teams, as the balance of the league does not favor Cleveland.
To those who compare us to the Royals and the Pirates and the Nationals, know that we have a history of success, and that until we drop to the utmost low, we still have pride in Cleveland.
For until the Loftons and the Mannys and the Thomes are forgotten, we will remain the great Cleveland Indians, and will be proud no matter how far we fall.