There was a point during the latter part of the 2005 season where I felt I needed a break. I couldn’t help it; I was giving it my everything and the relationship was just stagnant. No matter how hard I tried to open our channels of communication, the end result was always the same: one more for the “L” column.
The frustration was such that I phoned my brother; “I can’t take it,” I said in despair, “if things don’t change in the next couple of days, I’m filing for divorce.”
Being the jackass he tends to be when it comes to these matters, he shrugged it off with a wise-crack snicker.
“That’s alright man,” he’d say with sarcasm, “there’s always next year.”
He was half-right. Of course, that’s what I had claimed every year since we were swept out of the 2000 playoffs in the first round.
But I mean, how could I instill trust in the relationship. Towards the end we would have stretches like: Seattle, L, Texas, 2 losses, then one win and then another loss. Yes, we put some winning streaks together but it all paled in comparison to what the Indians were doing. What with winning 29 out of 30 games, people were acting like they were going to the World Series.
That’s when our faith in the long ball suddenly paid off. Cleveland rolls into town, they beat us 7-5 in the first game to climb to a couple of games out.
Next night, 6-6 tie in the bottom of the ninth, then Joe Crede stands firm at the plate. A couple of pitches later, he launches one into the left field bleachers. We win.
It took us that far into the second-half of the season to snap out of a .500-ball slump.
This year, it’s June, and we’re not ahead in the Central; we’re behind, and we’ve started our .500-ball slump sooner than expected. Thing is, we just won a game tonight against those division-leading Tigers (the Liger) in come-from-behind fashion.
But for some reason, it doesn’t feel right. It feels like a win the Royals suddenly pulled out of their mitts (or the draft).
In the seventh, we had the bases loaded with one out, Thome at the plate and Konerko on deck. Strike out; pop out.
But thank God for Alex Cintron. Three-run bomb in the bottom of the eight to go up 4-3. Oh and Bobby Jenks is automatic.
(The parrot, btw, is Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson, Sox TV announcer and he really says all that).