Loving Indians despite World Series defeat
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.
Indians watch the Cubs celebrate World Series championship.