Dear Uncle Ed,
I know the once-Washington Senators now-Minnesota Twins are your team. What can I say? My mother should have taken you to an Indians game instead of a Senators game all those years ago. Maybe then you and I would be rooting for the same team. I like Minnesota. I will admit that your fondness for the Twins has rubbed off on me, because I typically find myself rooting for them unless they’re playing the Indians.
Today was one of those days when they played the Indians. Usually the second-last game of the season is meaningless. At least it is in these parts (and things haven’t been all that rosy for the Twins the past few seasons either). But now that the Indians are in the thick of the race for the American League Wild Card slot, I need to ask you, niece-to-uncle, to consider changing your allegiance.
I know Saturday’s game was a tough loss for a Twins fan. First there was a two-hour+ rain delay, which is always frustrating, then there was a tough call at the plate in the 5th. Look, I’ll even admit it–in looking at the replay, I think Aviles was out. But that would have made the final score 4-1 instead of 5-1. It still would have been a loss for a Twins team that’s now just biding time, but a huge win for the Indians in that it places us a full game ahead of Tampa Bay and Texas for the Wild Card.
Honestly, you have to love the Indians a little bit. Scott Kazmir–Scott Kazmir, who a year ago was pitching for the Independent League Sugar Land Skeeters–struck out 11 guys in 6 innings and only gave up 2 walks. Come on. That’s a hell of a story. Or how about Yan Gomes, who caught his 84th game for the Indians this season and has become our every day catcher, even though he’d only caught 9 major league games before this year (for Toronto in 2012). He now has the second-highest caught-stealing percentage in league. I know, right? Who are these guys?
Look, they’re the team who beat the Twins today. It was a good game. Your man De Vries retired the first 11 Cleveland batters and struck out 7 in the first 4 innings. That’s saying something. But the Indians offense has finally found the way to wake up. I think it has something to do with the 5th inning–that’s frequently a big one for us.
Here’s another cool thing: The Indians have won 20 games in September. Do you know the last time they did that? 1948. Cool huh? They did it in 1920 too. I’m not saying this is destiny, and I’m not asking you to root for the Indians forever. But for this post-season, if it can’t be your team, why not the Indians?
Yours in baseball,