As I’m writing this, I’m looking at a bright, blue sky. The temps are in the upper 50s, and there’s not a trace of snow left on the ground.
I know, I know. It’s still February, and this is still Ohio. More snow will fly, and readings on the thermometer will return us to the arctic.
But I don’t care. That’s because just a few thousand miles away, the start of the 2011 Major League Baseball season is underway. Pitchers and catchers reported to Goodyear, Arizona earlier this week, and most of Indians’ position players have already arrived.
It’s a nice dose of instant summer.
While I can’t be there, I’ve fully immersed myself into the goings on of the Tribe. I read everything I can get my hands on, watch every bit of video, follow every Twitter source. It’s like an annual ritual for me, a way to brush off the cold and grime of another Northeast Ohio winter.
It’s also a time to blow the dust off the old “optimist” button and start hitting it with everything I’ve got.
Let’s face it. We need the Tribe.
Sure, Ohio State had another solid football season, finishing in the top five in the country and beating an SEC team in the Sugar Bowl. And the basketball Buckeyes look like the real deal, despite their recent loss up in Wisconsin.
But here in Cleveland, we observe OSU from afar.
Here, we get to suffer through what is left of the Cavaliers. A 26-game losing streak doesn’t leave much to look forward to but the occasional upset (what’s up, Lakers?!) and the upcoming draft.
By the way, I told you Ramon Sessions would be a good fit.
And then there’s the Browns. While I like the direction they’re going in, there hasn’t been much to cheer about since that OT loss to the Jets. I was at the Browns-Steelers game here, and that offered pretty much a minus five on a scale of one-to-ten in the enjoyment department.
Now we have the Tribe.
For the love of God, please spare us another terrible start in April. Guys, you can’t be 10 games under .500 and looking up at the Kansas City Royals when May rolls around. And you’d better be at least .500 when Memorial Day arrives.
The official start of summer can’t include our baseball team being out of the race before it even begins.
If that happens, the sports clock will automatically reset and give us the countdown to the beginning of Browns training camp. That’s going to happen anyway, but it would be a heck of a lot better if we still cared about baseball in July, maybe even August.
Listening to the crickets at night is a cool thing. Listening to them during an Indians game is quite another.
We’re counting on you, Tribe.