Believing that the Cleveland Indians had a chance to make the playoffs is like believing that the cute girl in your eleventh-grade math class is really into you because she smiled at you when you handed her the pencil she dropped.
Realizing the Detroit Tigers are going to win the division is like watching that girl walk out of school and get into a Camaro driven by the football team’s starting quarterback, who gives the girl a French kiss as she gets into the car, and laughs as he peels out of the parking lot at 50 miles per hour, burning rubber all the way.
There is more to be said about this team and the way the Tigers swept this series, and the way the Tigers swept the series the last time the Indians played them in Detroit, but for now I’ll just state the obvious: this version of the Cleveland Indians, comprised as it is of banged-up players with torn hamstrings, AAA players who got called up way too soon because of injuries, erratic starting pitchers, and aging sluggers who are long past their prime–this version of the Cleveland Indians simply doesn’t belong on the same diamond as the Detroit Tigers. I didn’t want to believe that, but it’s true, and I can no longer pretend otherwise.
Maybe this team can contend next year, once our starters are all healthy and focused on winning games. For now, the Indians should just focus on trying to play sound fundamental injury-free baseball over the next three weeks. It’d be nice to see them finish above .500, but honestly, that really doesn’t matter much to me any more. This team took Cleveland for a great ride in April, and it was a lot of fun, but even though Steve Perry and the rest of his band may advise otherwise, I’ve stopped believin’ that this team is a contender. Not this year.