Your first place Cleveland Indians. The beauty of this series is that the Indians will exit it still in first place. What could be more beautiful? Winning both games. Going up more than four games on the Tigers and beating their two heavy-hitters? Look, you'll settle for a split, want to avoid losing both, but if you can sweep?
Oh if you can sweep, it will be a so sweet May. The Indians send Kluber and Jimenez, the Tigs have their guys in Scherzer and Verlander. Scherzer is undefeated, Verlander is coming off two tough spots (one against the Indians). Kluber coming off one of his better starts, while Jimenez is on a run of confidence boosting starts. The Indians offense is running on all cylinders, and the Tigers can catch fire at any time.
If this series is uneventful, it may be the biggest disappointment of the young baseball season.
Use words of awe, amazement, disbelief. There is this weird twist of joy, hope, and trepidation with this team right now.
We are joyful for what's happening on the field. We hold around the hope that this is for real. Yet we carry around the trepidation after what has happened the past two years.
I believe at one point last year, I told everyone, myself included, that it's just time to enjoy this. Set aside the trepidation and suspend your desire to buy in or cash out. Just enjoy what the Indians were doing.
I'm not going to do that this year. You do what you want. You take the approach you want to follow this team with as they enter the summer months. You can be hopeful, awestruck, tentative, not convinced, a straight-up believer, or you can just choose to enjoy it.
Regardless of what the Tigers did against the Rangers on Sunday Night Baseball, YOUR Cleveland Indians were coming into this week in first place of the AL Central and the hottest team in baseball. They've got one more left against the Mariners, and win or lose, they're going to welcome Detroit into Cleveland as the leaders of the AL Central for a first place show down.
Is this what it's going to be all summer? Because it sure as heck looks like it. Detroit and Cleveland look like the class of the Central right now. Kansas City looks okay and they may be in it, but the way the Indians look? Detroit and Cleveland could be taking this one to September.
Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
First things first of course. There's this little matter of Eric Wedge's Seattle Mariners, who are one game away from being swept in four games.
The last time I did this little adventure into the world of Twitter searches, I came away amazed at how creative some people were at bashing Ubaldo Jimenez.
We reached the brink of insanity with watching Ubaldo after he went out and had one of the worst games of his Indians career. Twitter exploded. I even had enough. I was ready to discard Jimenez along with his dirty socks.
This time, it's a little different. Maybe I'm preying on the vulnerability of Cleveland with this, but I'm sick and tired of seeing Chris Perez bashed for his pitching.
You can hate him for his mouth, which got him in trouble last year, but to wish death upon another human being over a baseball game? Perhaps it is the anonymity of Twitter that let's people get away with these things. I have no clue why people say the things they say.
They still say it. I'll have some good tweets for your viewing pleasure. The ones that can be creative in their dissing of Chris Perez get their just due. They're clever, witty, and tasteful. If you can rip someone in good fun, you are a good fan.
If you wish death upon someone because they gave up a few home runs, you need to seek help.. Or you need me to tell you why you are wrong, which I'll most absolutely do.
Do you remember where the Cleveland Indians were on May 18th last year?
Do you want to remember?
Trust me, it isn't bad. It's actually quite good. It's what followed makes the memory a touchy subject. The Indians went 46-77 after May 18th. A steady slide down the standings. That record was the worst in the AL Central over the span of May 19th to the end of the year. If they had not caught fire to start the season, they might have made the Astros look good.
The losing streak, the implosion of the rotation, the left field mess, the injuries. There wasn't much good going on with the Tribe after May.
Yet we sat here, with our Indians three games up on the Tigers in the division, thinking, hoping, and believing that perhaps, there would be a run made out of this start. We weren't sure how, but maybe this rag-tag bunch of players that were assembled had some sort of extra factor that helped over come the talent gap other teams had over the Indians.
Yeah about that.
That's the word there, talent. When it comes down to it all, you can do a lot with an "it factor" or intangibles, and leadership. But none of that means anything unless you have talent. No team goes to the playoffs without talent. They can win a World Series with the other stuff, but they can't get to that position without players.
We're talking major players.
And that's your separation. That makes this year's Cleveland Indians team much better than last year's team. Take a trip with me as I show the incredibly different Cleveland Indians teams that share the same record.
If you asked me before the double header if I'd take a split, you know I most certainly would. Yes, I would. Why am I good with a split? Because nothing changes going into the rest of the week and that to me is the important thing. Nothing changing based off two games with the Yankees.
Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
Say what you want about this lineup that seems to be pieced together with scotch tape and Elmer's glue, but the Yankees are in first place and after the first two games, just to win one would have been ideal.
Of course two wins would have been better, but after Sunday's big comeback, you had to wonder if the steam that has been powering the Indians train would soon run a little low.
Indians fever...Be a believer...In the Cleveland....INDIANS!
Photo - AP via Yahoo! Sports
First place say whaaaaat?
You just get that feeling, especially after beating Justin Verlander on Saturday, that it didn't matter that the Indians hadn't led for a single pitch of Sunday's game until the top of the 10th inning. That club was going to find a way to take this series and send out the opening salvo to Detroit.
You're not taking the AL Central without a fight Detroit. Put up your dukes.