Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Solidarity Movement

Chemistry and camaraderie are certainly not measurable quantities and we’re still only about 25 games into the season; but this team is, as Lou Brown would say, “starting to come together, Pepper…starting to come together.”

Realizing that post-game whipped cream pies in the face mean about as much as me wearing my lucky shirt to the game, it shows that this team is loose and playing to win, as opposed to playing tense and playing not to lose. Perhaps Dellucci, Nixon, and Hernandez do lend more to this team than 2 LH bats and a few rotten innings of relief work.

We all pointed to Alvaro Espinoza putting bubble gum on the top of people’s hats as the great example that the Indians of the mid-90’s were always loose and in on every game. The Indians stand at 17-8 without playing their best and coming back to win games they have no right winning. Maybe whipped cream pies are today’s bubble gum hats.

The greatest example of this team pulling together and acting as one unit came out tonight as Josh Barfield came around from 1B and tried to score on a Sizemore liner that Alex Rios dropped in CF. As Barfield headed toward home, Blue Jays’ catcher Jason Phillips (and his 2007 version of Chris Sabo Rec-Specs) blocked his path and successfully tagged Barfield out. Phillips got up and taunted Barfield, pumping his fist and screaming at a now-called-out Barfield.

Barfield had some brief words for Phillips, but then in comes Dellucci, from the on-deck circle, to confront this guy that looks like that kid from the “Christmas Story” in the line for Santa Claus. It’s not clear if Dellucci asked him if he liked the “Wizard of Oz” or at least the Tin Man, but harsh words were spoken and it was on. The benches cleared but (like any baseball fight not involving Dennis Cook or Nolan Ryan) it amounted to nothing.

However, other than Dellucci completely endearing himself to thousands of Tribe fans by sticking up for Barfield, the moment represented something much larger.

This team is in this thing together and they’re rolling. Whether “veteran leadership” or a sense of solidarity plays a major role in that can never be known as it’s not something that is exactly quantifiable. Certainly the talent on this team is not hurting the cause.

Whether this continues all season long and the Tribe is able to cobble together one of those magical seasons that we all desperately need remains to be seen.

Whether the additions of the veterans on this club have anything to do with it will remain a point of conjecture all season.

What is known, and measurable, is that the Indians stand at 17-8, two full games up in the AL Central and sitting on the best record in MLB.

For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the view from the top.

5 comments:

Tim said...

Two other awesome things about tonight:

a) Anderson Varejao in the dugout sweet directly behind home plate all game and

b) Golden State Warrior now less than a quarter away from one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, NBA playoff upsets ever! D@mn you NBA Playoffs! I haven't been to sleep before 1 a.m. in over a week!

Cy Slapnicka said...

is anyone else quietly enjoying this, afraid to say anything that might draw the attention of the baseball gods? i know before too long, the national media will not be able to ignore us any longer and will turn their attention from the boring story that is the yankees and red sox. and in years past, we've cussed about being ignored. but i'm perfectly happy with quietly decimating the AL. hopefully the baltimorian can continue the winning this weekend.

and PC, lucky shirts DO work. just ask my Euclid Tavern t-shirt...the cause AND solution to all of life's problems.

Rockdawg said...

I agree with Cy...I haven't made ANY pro-Indian comments at school this year (in Charlotte amongst a hodgepodge of Braves/Red Sox/Yankees fans. Then, yesterday, I wore my Martinez jersey-tee, and carried around the sports page all day so I could show everyone I talked to that the Indians had the best record in baseball. What happened next? A 3-2 loss in the tenth.

Cy Slapnicka said...

rock, don't blame yourself. last night was the result of the baltimorian letting us down and tom hamilton taking the day off.

Baltimoran said...

i wasn't at the game, blame me if they lose on sunday, better yet blame my daughter, i already know i'm not a jinx this season (inside the parker).

Watching the game last night, Rick Dempsey was the color man, most times its jim palmer this is a new station though. He was talking very nice about the tribe, but i think he was pulling it out of his rear. for instance he credited the infield with helping out the pitchers, even calling the double play combination "fabulous". he then compared Peralta to hall of famer and baltimore god, cal ripken...he sort of backed off, by saying he was speaking more of peralta's size and athetisism, but still. I guess rather than researching the team, he justs looks at the record and assumes their playing great defense and "doing all the little things" as he said it...but those of us who watched wouldn't describe the team that way...oh well, at least their winning.

my #3 live game moment: watching the man known as Cy Slapnicka almost get decapitated by a hot dog cart at Camden Yards...good times