What’s It Gonna Be Cleveland?

CLEVELAND! What city are you gonna be? The new-found city of champions? The one that looked 3-1 in the eye and laughed, then hit the road and ripped the heart out of a historically good team? Or the 3-1 team that had a World Series ring in its hands and gripped so tight that it slipped right through?

Because any other year, I’d answer the question for you. Any other season, we know how this one ends. With Cleveland fan alone. Head in hands, tears in eyes, soul crushed. A long winter coming.  But that’s not THIS Cleveland. That’s not BELIEVE-LAND.

So maybe that’s it. Maybe Lebron changed all that. When he came home and lifted that spell. When he turned things around. Because that’s what I thought. And I think that’s what I think you thought, too.

But that Halloween Party LeBron threw isn’t that funny now. That house band called “3-1 lead” might’ve just booked its next gig. And those grave stone cookies mourning the death of Steph and Klay — the baker’s got that frosting gun ready and I think I can already see her spell-checking Naquin.

So what’s it gonna be? Because the team I saw roll out there last night? That wasn’t New Cleveland. That was the old dogs. The ones that saw the moment — and instead of seizing it, tripped on their feet and watched it roll right by. Because how else do you explain that first inning. How else do you explain your centerfielder getting gun shy on a fly ball and going Little League circus with an “I got it, you take it” moment in the biggest freaking baseball game your city has ever seen?

How else do you explain Josh Tomlin going from Gaylord Perry in Game 3 to GasCan Plenty in Game 6– getting his first 2 outs in 5 pitches and then needing 43 to get five more outs. And after Terry Francona yanked him and gave the ball to Dan Otero, Otero went VINTAGE Cleveland, giving up a rocket shot grand slam to Addison Russell that pretty much ended Game Six right there.  

So what’s it gonna be Cleveland? Because any other year, I know how this one ends. And it’s usually with you, drunk in a puddle of despair and pain.

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