Lov­ing In­di­ans de­spite World Se­ries de­feat

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - Stan Fischler MSG Net­work Hockey An­a­lyst

HERE, THERE AND EV­ERY­WHERE

20-20 Hind­sight on the World Se­ries; or lov­ing the Tribe de­spite the loss.

Any time a team gets as far as the In­di­ans in such an un­der­dog fash­ion I im­me­di­ately know that I have to root for that out­fit: which I did.

As if I needed more rea­son, it was pro­vided by my baseball nut, friend and col­league, Glenn Pe­traitis, when the Tribe was lead­ing the Se­ries three games to one.

“I know why I’m pulling for Cleve­land,” I said, “and it’s be­cause I love when long shots come in and win. What’s your ex­cuse?”

It didn’t take long for Glenn to an­swer since he’s as much a New Yorker as Michael Bloomberg, al­though not quite as rich.,

“Chicago,” he explained, “is known as ‘Sec­ond City’ for a very good rea­son; it will never catch New York which is num­ber one. And if Cleve­land knocks off the Cubs it will keep Chicago down where it be­longs — in sec­ond place.”

That kind of rea­son­ing may not ap­peal to you but it seemed per­fectly all right with me. So I cheered the In­di­ans to the very, rainy, aw­ful end.

Which is not to take any­thing away from Chicago, the team. With 20-20 hind­sight, I have to con­clude that the Cubs wound up champs for the sim­ple rea­son that “Ge­nius will out.”

In the end — and re­mem­ber they played a se­v­engame se­ries for a rea­son — the bet­ter team pre­vailed; but just barely.

Or, as the very won­der­ful An­drew Miller put it about his Tribe pals, “No­body gave up.”

Then again, the same could be said for Chicago and full credit for their come­back.

If any­thing sur­prised me — apart from the Cubs win­ning Games Five, Six and Seven — was how hard I took the In­di­ans loss since I spend most of my time root­ing for the team with baseball’s best uni­forms — the Oak­land Ath­let­ics.

But I dug deep in my brain and re­called how I pulled for Cleve­land in 1948 when Lou Boudreau was both man­ager and short­stop and he guided the In­di­ans over the Boston Braves in a very con­tro­ver­sial World Se­ries. loved that Se­ries and the city of Cleve­land too.

Al­right, al­ready, it’s time to pull the cur­tain down on the 2006 baseball sea­son once and for all, With that, I leave you with the death­less words of the In­di­ans sec­ond base­man Ja­son Kip­nis. “We will be back!”

Why worry about the Rangers?

Over the course of a half-cen­tury I have learned that Rangers fans — no mat­ter how well the club might be do­ing — al­ways seem to over­worry about their beloved Blueshirts.

This was ev­i­dent to me the other day af­ter chat­ting with my pal, Hal Gel­man, who lives in Orange County and has fol­lowed the Blueshirts since 1950.

At first I thought he would glow about the club’s fast start and how well new­com­ers such as Jimmy Ve­sey and vets like Michael Grab­ner were do­ing. Not to men­tion the fact that his fave club was run­ning away from the East­ern foes. Not quite. Gel­man man­aged to find a fly in the de­li­cious Blueshirt broth.

“They’re win­ning too much,” he blurted.

To which I shot back, “What does that mean? Don’t you want them to win?”

“I do, of course,” he con­tin­ued. Then Gel­man explained that he feared all this win­ning in the Au­tumn will turn the Rangers goal sticks dry in the Spring; oth­er­wise known as play­off time.

Thing is; this fel­low wasn’t kid­ding be­cause, of course, he IS a Rangers fan and worry is part of their psy­che, whether they win, tie or nab a shootouttwo-points.

Hey, it’s a long way from here to April when the sec­ond sea­son be­gins but I’ll pro­vide this bit of ver­bal balm to the Sev­enth Av­enue Faith­ful.

1. Goal­tend­ing: Ex­cel­lent; 2. De­fense, solid enough; 3. Four well-bal­anced for­ward lines; 4. Ex­pe­ri­enced coach.

Rest easy, Pal Hal, rest easy. There’s no rea­son to be blue about the Blueshirts!

Can bas­ket­ball ever catch foot­ball in Amer­ica?

Writ­ing re­cently in the Wall Street Jour­nal, Ben Cohen be­lieves that the NBA will soon by­pass the NFL on the root­ing scale.

Cohen points out that big-league bas­ket­ball has some of the big­gest stars in sports and these high­pro­file hip­sters give hoops a big boost.

“NBA fans are young, di­verse and tech savvy,” writes Cohen who points out that the league has blos­somed on line.

Mean­while, the NFL has been plagued by such is­sues as head in­juries and a de­crease in youth par­tic­i­pa­tion.

What’s more the qual­ity of pro foot­ball play has slipped and so have tv rat­ings.

Given a choice be­tween watch­ing an NFL game of an NBA con­test, I’ll al­ways go for the grid. A sev­en­foot gi­raffe of a bas­ke­teer drop­ping a large ball into a hoop is not my idea of chal­leng­ing sport.

For­ward pass­ing or dipsy-doo­dling through a men­ac­ing line is.

Then again, I’d pass up both of them for a good hockey game!

Au­thor-colum­nist-com­men­ta­tor Stan “The Maven” Fischler re­sides in Boiceville and New York City. His col­umns ap­pears each week in the Sun­day Freeman.

AP FILE

In­di­ans watch the Cubs cel­e­brate World Se­ries cham­pi­onship.

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