In the immortal words of Ahmad, the Cavs on-court announcer:
Are you ready for the biggest game you’ve ever seen? All the memes and all the dreams come down to this. 5 months of “The Warriors Blew a 3-1 Lead in the NBA Finals,” will Karma come to bite Cleveland in the backside — or will Karma come to reward the Indians for not winning a World Series since 1948?
Wait, I’m confused – whose side is Karma on?
Any superstitions you might have for baseball. Any rituals you might have for the Indians and/or Cavs and/or Browns (bless you), throw them by the wayside. You can still do them, but I want you to know they have no impact on the 9 innings that will be played at Progressive Field on Wednesday night. Go ahead, make sure you have THAT breakfast. Make sure you wear THAT shirt, or THAT hat. Make sure you go to Vincenza’s for lunch, make sure you spend a few moments in reflection of what it means for you and your kids. Make sure you take a moment to realize that you’re way too stressed out over a baseball game that has nothing to do with you.
Okay? All set?
Tonight, the Cleveland Indians take on the Chicago Cubs in the most ridiculous Game 7 in recent memory. Two tortured franchises. A possible blown 3-1 series lead. A possible comeback for the ages. A Cy Young Award winner on short rest versus the Major League Baseball ERA leader in 2016 (who didn’t impress me in game 3). A powerful lineup with a great manager behind it versus a scrappy, overachieving lineup with a definite Hall of Fame manager behind it. A bullpen that hasn’t been trusted versus a bullpen that has defined a postseason run.
No one knows how tonight is going to go. It could go amazingly — it could put itself in the sad annals of Cleveland history – it’s up in the air.
And so I don’t want anyone to leave this evening with an idea of curses. Curses aren’t real.
What we have here, in front of us, is an amazing Game 7. The Chicago Cubs – the best team in the league (let’s be honest here) rallied back to tie the World Series 3-3. The Cleveland Indians – a scrappy, cohesive team, are fighting to upend a great team and to end nearly seven decades of frustration. The Indians have a shoe-in Hall of Fame manager, and the Cubs might as well. The Cubs have a historically great team, and the Indians have a great team, as well.
Regardless of what happens on Wednesday night – there should be no shame, and no hard feelings from fans of either franchise. There is no Bartman. There is no goat. There is no curse. What we have here before us are two great teams fighting with everything on the line and everything to lose. This should be a great game, and it’s okay to pour your soul into it.
Just know that tomorrow will dawn regardless of what happens. And just know that no one can ever call Cleveland a cursed city ever again. Love the city you live in, and support the teams that bring you so much joy.
Tonight: Corey Kluber vs. Kyle Hendricks. Terry Francona vs. Joe Maddon. Francisco Lindor vs. Javy Baez. What a great matchup.
I just hope the game lives up to the hype. We already saw this happen in the NBA, it would be amazing if MLB could follow suit.