As my trip to Las Vegas winds down, I couldn’t resist leading off with a final gambling metaphor.  You may be wondering what in the world I’m talking about, and how it involves the Cleveland Indians; let me take a moment to explain.  When I woke up yesterday, I had no plans for the day and felt like watching some baseball.  After I realized that Anaheim (and the Indians) was four hours away, I decided to rent a car and drive down there for the day.  At least one person I know referred to this scheme as “hair-brained,” but at least it kept me out of trouble for a while.

            For this road trip, I decided to take my trusty “rally cows” as travel companions.  While I feel their magic primarily has a home field advantage, I figured that perhaps they could help combat the power of Anaheim’s dreaded rally monkey.  (And yes, my cows travel with me.  I’m terrified of flying and they keep me sane – just leave me alone on this one!)  Once I arrived at Angel Stadium, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Indians were getting to Dan Haren early in the game, as they put up a run in the top of the second.  The last time the Indians faced Haren, he was almost unhittable; this development seemed very promising.  This was a game that I honestly thought the Indians would win.  Carmona was sharp until the sixth inning, and the two runs they put up against Haren seemed like they may be enough.  In games like this, the margin of error is so slim; the first team to make a mistake is usually the one that pays the most.  In this case, that was the Indians.

            It started with a bobbled ball at third by Adam Everett that allowed Vernon Wells to be safe at first.  That led to three unearned runs for the Angels and gave them the lead.  My seat for this game was right next to the left field foul pole, which gave me a great vantage point of Austin Kearns.  When Peter Bourjos came to bat in the eighth inning, I thought to myself “why is Kearns playing so shallow?”  With such a close game (especially one where the lead switched several times), I really thought he should be deeper.  Shin-Soo Choo appeared to be almost to the warning track in right field.  It didn’t take long for this to burn the Indians, as the next batter, Erick Aybar, doubled to left center.  This put the Angels up 6-4, and was enough to eventually win the game 6-5.  I hate to kick a guy when he’s already down (i.e. playing badly) but I really dread seeing Kearns in the lineup.  Even though he singled home the run in the top of the second inning, he struck out to end their promising rally in the top of the eighth.  He’s hitting .159 with a .465 OPS; I know that he needs at-bats in order to try and find his groove, but I still hate seeing him play at this point.  To be fair, I’m not sure if he’s specifically to blame for the field positioning in the bottom of the eighth, although his offensive woes are obviously his own fault.

            Overall it was a nice day trip to Anaheim and a beautiful day for baseball.  For a short time on Sunday, it looked as if my rally cows defeated the rally monkey.  Alas, it was not meant to be.

The Rally Cows, in shame, outside of Angel Stadium


  • Ray Keller says:

    I really enjoyed the rally cows story and I too can remember the days when my brother and I used to sit in bed listening to the the games as low as the game could be heard at just to hear how our beloved Indians would do. It was probably safer that our team stunk during our youthful days because the beating we would have receive would have been regular. Watching this weekend on my computer I too found my self hoping for all the miricles we could get. I realize being a dye hardened Cleveland fan in his early forty’s, I haven’t had much to cheer about and allot of anti-acids swallowed in my career. I still believe that this season will be something special and am always in the mood for a great supprise. I have been keeping up with the minor league teams as well and this seems to me that this might just be the start of something special. (Oh God I hope I haven’t cursed us)

    Ray Keller currently in Maryland.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    I know what you mean – every positive thing I say, I think “crap, I hope that doesn’t curse us!” I’ve joked in the past that it doesn’t matter what I say/do because the Indians will always find a way to let me down. It’s not a matter of “if,” just “when” and “how crushing will it be?” It’s been kind of fun having a more positive outlook lately though!

    By the way, I lived in southcentral Pennsylvania for a while and used to catch the Indians each time they stopped in Baltimore. There were always a ton of Indians fans around…always had a great time. I was still glad to move back to Cleveland in 2007 and see the Indians full time though!

  • Nick Tozzi says:

    I’ve hated the rally monkey since the 2002 World Series so I appreciate you taking your rally cows to Anaheim. The Giants were up 5-0 in game 6 in Anaheim and were closing in on a championship before the rally monkey’s evil voodoo led to a 6-5 Angels win. Anaheim then won game 7 at home, 4-1.

    The rally monkey’s reign of terror must eventually come to an end so be sure your rally cows keep up the good fight!


    P.S. A lack of a Tribe title since 1948 has frustrated me so greatly that I forgot for a moment that we’re talking about stuffed animals. Oh well, whatever works is fine with me!

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    You know, I’d always been a bit indifferent about the Rally Monkey until Sunday. When the schtick is geared toward your team, it really starts to grate on you after a while! At least the Giants were able to win one last year.

    There was a moment last night where I thought “I’ve now written two posts that were kind of centered around stuffed cows.” At this point, I’ll take anything as well!