Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Cleveland thing

Try this scenario on for size:
After going 2-for-4 today, Casey Blake is batting .348, good enough for 11th in the American League.
Can he keep it up? You'd think not. But say he does. Say he's hitting .320 at the all-star break and gets named as a reserve to the AL all-star team.
Say he keeps it up for the rest of the season and finishes with a .318 average, 24 homers and 80 RBI.
He's a free agent, and suddenly teams with deeper pockets than the Indians are interested in our once-overmatched whipping boy.
You see where I'm going with this? Sure you do.
The White Sox or Tigers swoop in with some once-unthinkable five-year offer for Blake, the Indians then predictably say "too rich for our blood" and withdraw from the Blake sweepstakes. So Blake signs with the White Sox and spends the next five years tormenting the Indians, and their player-hating fans.
Then the piece de resistance: October 2008, when the White Sox win their third World Series in four years: Blake, after hitting .390 in the series with a pair of walk-off homers, wins MVP.
We then see Blake on TV, side by side with best hunting buddy Jim Thome, gleaming and talking about how great this is for Chicago and how Chicago has the best fans in the world.
And, in the case of Blake, how can we argue. We hated the guy while he was here and hitting .230.
But if history tells us anything, it's that when Clevelanders get bitchy, we always get our comeuppance. And then some. So don't assume Blake is going to be the resident stiff here forever. He might get the best of us all.
It reminds me of a sign hanging in my classroom when I was in eighth grade: "Dear Lord, please let my words be sweet and tender, for tomorrow I might have to eat them."
Corny? Yes. True? Most definitely.

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