Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Good riddance to the Yankees

This most recent Tribe-Yankee series didn't have the same feel as many others in the past.

Sure Yankee TV play-by-play guy Michael Kay (nearly two years after they first appeared in the playoffs) went on and on about the midges - as did the rest of the media, as you can see from the photo to the left.

Kay in fact claimed to have done research on the midges and discovered that they are eaten by seagulls, the presence of which at Progressive Field was an equal fascination for Kay.

And, as many past series have gone, the Tribe played it close for most of the games, but you just had that feeling that things would tip the wrong way in the end - as they did three out of four times over the extended weekend.

But the atmosphere where I live - in the middle of Yankee country - was different this time.

I didn't get harassed at all.

I went to my grandnephew's Little League game Saturday. His grandpa - my brother-in-law Roger -was there. Roger is typically pretty good with the needle, and the Yanks of course had won Friday night. But not a peep out of him during a two-hour conversation.

The Tribe had dropped to 0-2 in the series by the time my around-the-corner neighbor Glenn came driving by while I was watering the lawn. When he pulled his car over to the curb, I was sure the usual ribbing was coming. Instead we talked about our sons' work plans for the upcoming summer, and a bit about the swim club our families both belong to.

The weather was too cold here over the weekend to visit said swim club - which for me is usually a venue for baseball-related putdowns, especially when there is a Tribe-Yanks series in full swing. Since I didn't go there, I guess the weekend wasn't a true test of local sentiment. But for some reason I feel I probably would have gone unscathed had I paid my swim-club buddies a visit.

I looked high and low in the media for the usual condescension or Cleveland put-downs. None were to be found.

Even Kay, and his sidekick John Flaherty on the YES Network broadcasts of the game, had little negative to say - save the constant harping on the midges.

I'm not sure if it is a case of everyone here in Yankeeland suddenly putting aside their usual baseball arrogance, or something much worse.

I'm beginning to think that the Yankee faithful just don't see the Tribe as any kind of threat this year and simply not worth their effort.

Any other readers from this area notice the same thing this weekend?

The Yankee series marked the end of the Tribe's battles with A.L. East opponents until late August. This fact was pointed out by the best of the Cleveland sports bloggers - The DiaTribe's Paul Cousineau - in a post late last week.

In making his point that the first one-third of the Tribe's season has been loaded with games against the East - thought by most to be baseball's strongest division - Cousineau was attempting to sound a hopeful note for the rest of the schedule.

After all, there are only 10 games left against the East - six against Baltimore and the rest against the Red Sox. So it is natural to think that the schedule may get easier as the season wears on. I read that, and was heartened, I admit.

But then I did some checking.

In their games against the East so far this season, the Tribe is 12-14, for a .462 percentage.

That means against the rest of the league they are 10-17, or .370. And they are playing .415 ball overall.

So you really can't blame the preponderance of games against the East for the position the Tribe finds itself in at the moment, nor can it be used as a way to assure ourselves that things will get better.


Anonymous said...

moose say

is this season over yet - we are at the 1/3 mark and it does not get any better

The story of the season - another injury cabrera

in the third tonight - shoppach gets thrown out on 2 good defensive plays and then victor get robbed of a hit

then in bottom after 2 outs - hits, bad throws, and 2 twins runs

we will becalling these the "AAA" indians

Nate said...

You're spot on. I live in Brooklyn and am a die-hard Tribe fan. None of my Yankee fan friends gave me much of a hard time. Perhaps, it's indifference. Maybe it's the Cavs failing. I don't know, whatever it is, it's very depressing to be a Cleveland fan right now.

How special would it be if the Browns could do what they did in '07 again? Just humor us for a little bit. That would be great.

Ron Vallo said...

It's all we got going for us right now, the Browns that is.

So we might as well hope.