Wake up Boston, The Indians are Coming!

You know it occurred to me.  Just how important is a mission statement and a vision?

The mission statement isn’t lost on anyone in an Indians uniform. Walk through the clubhouse, and Mark Shapiro’s blueprint is easily found. “To sustain a championship-caliber team that competes – passionately, relentlessly and professionally – and in the process makes a positive statement about its collective vision and core values.”

 “A lot of us are just hoping to get out there and show what the Indians are all about,” said Ryan Garko, Cleveland’s 26-year-old first baseman who was watching reruns of his favorite show, “Smallville,” last October. “We don’t get as much attention as the Yankees or Red Sox. That doesn’t mean we don’t have great players. This is a chance for us to show the country we have superstars and great pitching like the other teams.”

After silencing the Yankees and their obnoxious fans in the City That Never Sleeps, Cleveland’s Indians arrived in Boston to a sleepy midday town.

Crowded subway cars gave away the scent of choice here: Au naturale.

Really, aside from a radio jockey’s offer to personally finance the fumigation of Jacobs Field from the Canadian midges, there wasn’t much talk about the American League Championship Series.

A light mist fell over Boston. The tarp lay on Fenway Park. The grass is fresh cut.

The Indians are ready to write the next chapter in a season that is nothing but bizarre.

Hope and promise started in April at Jacobs Field with a flurry.

Literally.

The home-opening series against Seattle was snowed out. Then the Indians played a “home” series against the Angels in Milwaukee. And to get here, they clinched a spot in the ALCS on a balmy 85-degree night in New York City – in October.

“This year … it’s been fun. It’s been cool,” catcher Kelly Shoppach said. “We had a good time with it, to be the home team in a visiting ballpark with a roof on it. … The Milwaukee fans showed up and hosted us right.”

The elements, the doubleheaders in Seattle, the Milwaukee homestand. These were tools for Eric Wedge to sharpen his team’s mental toughness.

“We’ve been through about every imaginable adversity you can think of,” he said.

When the bugs flew in last week, they pestered the mentally weak Yankees. Joba Chamberlain walked Grady Sizemore and advanced him two bases on wild pitches, including the game-tying run.

But Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona? They were like charms around his head.

This season, this run, these young players on a comparative shoestring budget are four wins from playing in the World Series.

Nothing about this summer made sense, yet, all makes perfect sense now. Yes, maybe the stars and the planets have aligned to break a world championship gap that’s closing in on 60 years.

The Indians, in Boston at least, have no chance. No one should expect any different.

It’s been that way all season. The Indians are too this and not enough that. They’re vanilla.

“All year long we’ve heard how we can’t keep up the pace,” pitcher Paul Byrd said. “We can’t put the Tigers away. We’re going into a slump. There was a feeling of this is too good to be true. Now, we’ve beaten the Yankees.”

In Boston, the British aren’t coming. The Indians are.

Paul Revere isn’t making a midnight ride to warn anybody, either.

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1 Comment »

  1. The Pudgeman Said:

    You shoulda let ’em keep on sleeping! Go Tribe!! B4T


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