It was a Cavaliers summer in Ohio.
Could this be the year for an Indians autumn.
The odds-makers at SportsBettingDime.com think so.
In fact, they’d like you to bet on it.
The oddsmakers at that website say a Cleveland Indians/Chicago Cubs World Series is the most likely ending scenario for the 2016 MLB season.
Yep, you heard me right.
Despite their long World Series droughts, Cubs vs, Indians (9/1) is the most likely World Series match-up.
Here’s what the website is saying: “This week’s flurry of trades did little to change the odds at SportsBettingDime.com: “After the week-long bevvy of trades that concluded Monday, the Cubs saw their odds of winning the World Series improve from 6/1 to 7/1 while the Rangers odds improved from 12/1 to 8/1 and the Indians improved their odds from 8/1 to 7/1.”
That’s good news, but nothing I’m getting too excited about … yet.
My plan is to treat the baseball season as I did the NBA season. And that worked out well for me. Until that final buzzer went off in Golden State, I refused to celebrate.
So, when it comes to the Indians, I’m not getting my hopes up. There have too many years of disappointment.
However, I’m not writing off the Tribe, either.
There is too much history … bad history. The Baseball Gods have been laughing at the Lake Erie lakefront for years. I think they took particular delight in Cleveland’s last trip to the World Series in 1997. In Fact, BleacherReport.com, in 2011 cited Jose Mesa’s blown save in Game 7 as the seventh most devastating moment in MLB post season history. If you don’t remember, here’s a reminder. If you do remember, skip the next three sentences …
After fighting back to knot the 1997 World Series at three apiece, the Cleveland Indians found themselves two outs away from their first championship since 1948.
With a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth and Jose Mesa on the mound to close out the game, Craig Counsell hit a one-out sacrifice fly to send the game to extra innings.
The Marlins would score the winning run off Charles Nagy in the 11th inning to win their first World Series title.
So, with that reminder still fresh in my brain, I’m not counting my Tribe chickens before they’re hatched.
If you think the Cavs winning an NBA Championship was historic — the million-plus fans who squeezed their way into the team’s victory parade route thought it was pretty special — wait until the Tribe wins a World Series pennant. I have a feeling that celebration will far surpass the Cavs’ victory party.
It’s at times like these I wish I were younger. I missed out on the Cavs’ celebration. I went to bed. At my age, I’m OK with living vicariously through others.
A friend messaged her mom on Facebook about 11:30 pm, an hour after Cleveland’s Game 7 victory over Golden State. She said she was taking off from Mansfield to head to Cleveland to join the victory celebration. She’s not 25 yet, and didn’t want to miss that party. I was there with her. A few days later, a former co-worker and her boyfriend were two of the million-plus crowding into downtown Cleveland for the Cavs’ victory parade. I had no desire to go, but I was with them in spirit.
But if the Indians win the pennant, the Indians win the pennant, the Indians win the pennant … sorry, I got sidetracked, I may call in sick for work the next day … from Cleveland.
I’m going to take the oddsmakers’ predictions with a grain of salt. I’d have to be off my rocker to put all my eggs in one basket and get that Cleveland Indians tattoo on my butt I’ve always wanted.
So right now, I’m playing it cool.
A lot must happen before Cleveland wins it first World Series since 1948.
Here’s a short list: Pigs will fly, chickens will have lips, the pope will, well you know, do something in the woods, and Mr. Sese Seko, of Nigeria, will actually have deposited that $12.3 million in my bank account.
But most notably, Hell will have frozen over.
So in the middle of October, if you hear rumors of Satan putting in an order at Amazon for a winter coat and pajamas with feet in them — and the trapdoor, or buttflap — because, well, he has that tail, go ahead and book a hotel room for me near Jacobs Field. I’m not going to miss the celebration.
But a room for one night only. I won’t need it for two, because if the Indians win a World Series, just months after the Cavaliers won the NBA Title, I’m going to have a heart attack. I may die, but I’ll go out with massive smile on my face … and a Chief Wahoo tattoo on my butt.
Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer, Morrow County Sentinel and Bellville Star. He also is one of the millions of diehard Cleveland sports fan who is not as disillusioned as we were just a few months ago. If you have a comment or story idea, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.