In­di­ans hope to em­u­late Cava­liers ti­tle bash

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Mem­o­ries of the Cleve­land Cava­liers’ NBA cham­pi­onship cel­e­bra­tion pa­rade last June in­spire the Cleve­land In­di­ans as they try to com­plete their first Ma­jor League Base­ball ti­tle run since 1948. The In­di­ans lead the Chicago Cubs 3-2 in the best-of-seven World Series with game six Tues­day in Cleve­land, where a sev­enth game if needed would be played to­day.

No ma­jor Cleve­land sports team had won a crown since the 1964 NFL Browns un­til LeBron James led the Cava­liers over Golden State in the NBA Fi­nals. Peo­ple jammed city streets to glimpse the vic­tory pa­rade.

Now the city could have an­other one just over four months later. “I watched a lit­tle bit of the pa­rade,” In­di­ans pitcher Josh Tom­lin re­called. “It was tough to get here. The city was in full sup­port of what they ac­com­plished. What they ac­com­plished was huge and it was cool to watch. “The sup­port the city has given us all year long has been huge. So it would be an honor for us to be able to have an­other pa­rade and to see that sup­port that the Cavs got as well. But our main fo­cus right now is to try to win this thing so we can have a pa­rade.”

While the Cubs fa­mously own Amer­ica’s long­est sports ti­tle drought, hav­ing not won the tro­phy since 1908, and had not reached the World Series since 1945, the In­di­ans have base­ball’s sec­ond-long­est fu­til­ity streak and had not reached a World Series since 1997.

“A lot of guys have been here a long time and never got to ex­pe­ri­ence any­thing like this,” Tom­lin said. “It’s some­thing that we’re hum­bled to be able to do.

“We un­der­stand it’s not just about get­ting here. It’s about try­ing to win as well. There’s nobody in that club­house that’s com­pla­cent. It’s not like we have a 3-2 lead, it’s just go­ing to hap­pen. That’s not the mind­set we take at all.”

They know bet­ter. Af­ter all, the Cava­liers were down 3-1 be­fore ral­ly­ing to win the last three games of the NBA Fi­nals, an un­prece­dented feat. In the World Series, six teams of 46 that had the chance have won the crown by tak­ing the last three games.

“We’re here for a rea­son, and we un­der­stand that,” Tom­lin said. “We’re good. We don’t have to do any­thing more than what we’ve been do­ing and it should be good enough.”

TICKET PRICES BE­LOW CHICAGO

Fan sup­port has not trans­lated into huge re­sale ticket prices like those in Chicago, where $20,000 ticket pur­chases were made. For game six, the cheap­est seats were go­ing for $700 with stand­ing room nearly as much, the bulk of seats were go­ing for be­tween $3,000 and $4,000 and some hope­fuls were pric­ing tick­ets near $10,000 — all about half what the cost had been in Chicago.

That doesn’t mean peo­ple are not into the In­di­ans. Fans filled their home sta­dium to watch tele­casts of In­di­ans games in Chicago. And a huge cel­e­bra­tion last Tues­day greeted both Cleve­land teams as the Tribe played the first World Series opener ever seen in the city at the same time the Cava­liers raised a cham­pi­onship ban­ner be­fore their home opener, a party re­mind­ing peo­ple of the June pa­rade that In­di­ans man­ager Terry Fran­cona watched from the up­per deck of the sta­dium.

“It was won­der­ful for the city. It was hard not to get caught up in it,” he said. “From that van­tage point, I think they were ex­pect­ing 700,000 and I think they about dou­bled it. And from up in the up­per deck you could see the peo­ple com­ing across the bridge in droves.”

“Also you saw how the Cavs re­acted. There was sheer joy, but the way the Cavs han­dled it-they were so out­go­ing with the fans-it was re­ally cool. “It’s hard for me to un­der­stand how peo­ple get so caught up in base­ball some­times, ex­cept that when it’s an­other sport, I get that way.” — AFP

CHICAGO: Cleve­land In­di­ans’ Mike Napoli, cen­ter, and Coco Crisp, left rear, par­tic­i­pate in an op­tional team work­out at Pro­gres­sive Field, Mon­day in prepa­ra­tion for base­ball’s up­com­ing World Series Game 6 against the Chicago Cubs tonight in Cleve­land. — AP

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