Cleveland Indians: Still No Respect for the Tribe
The Cleveland Indians are one win away from a World Series championship. So why is all the talk around baseball still about the Cubs?
What if I told you there was a team in the Major League Baseball playoffs that was a single win away from claiming a championship and putting an end to a 68-year title drought? What if that same team had lost only three times in the postseason, tearing through three of the most high-powered offenses in the game? And on top of all of that, what if they had done without two of their top three starting pitchers and their best hitter?
Sounds like the kind of club that the baseball media would be showering with attention, right?
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Of course, we all know that the Cleveland Indians are that team, and yet most of the talk by baseball analysts on MLB Network and ESPN, the words written by publications like Sports Illustrated and MLB.com, and even MLB’s social media accounts can’t get enough of the Chicago Cubs.
Fans in Cleveland are used to seeing their teams be treated like second-class citizens, and it’s no secret that the Indians’ players themselves are well aware of it. Perhaps at no time has then been more apparent than after Sunday night’s Game Five loss, as the narrative around the World Series quickly became centered on the Cubs rising from the dead like some sort of baseball deity.
“Any concern the Cubs bats have come alive and you’ve awoken a sleeping giant?”
“Any concern you guys have hit a wall?”
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) October 31, 2016
The Tribe seems content with being “the other guys” in this series, which probably does serve to reduce some of the pressure of postseason play. Yet, the players being okay with it doesn’t make it okay.
“The pressure is still on [the Cubs], pitching coach Mickey Callaway said after Game Five. “We get to go home to our great ballpark and great fans and maybe do something special.”
MLB and those that cover it should be ashamed for the bias that has been shown. From the division series to the World Series, Cleveland has been the class of October, outplaying the Boston Red Sox, the Toronto Blue Jays, and, yes, the Chicago Cubs. There’s no Bill Murray in the stands at Progressive Field, and no $150 million contracts on the field, but the Indians endured more adversity throughout this season than any World Series participant in recent memory, and that effort should be respected.
Cleveland’s fans of course understand this, and as long as a World Series championship is won, the Indians will have the last laugh. The real question is will anyone in the baseball media be paying attention when they do? Or will be the Cubs remain to be the story, even in defeat?