It’s Friday, what a better time for a hot take. Before I spit my take, I’m going to start by addressing what happened over the weekend, considering everyone has cherished reminding me everyday this week. The Cleveland Indians swept the Red Sox and David Ortiz played his final playoff game, his final game at Fenway and his final Major League Baseball game. Forever. I’m not sure there’s a better representation of a Monday out there.
Fortunately, we still have a little over two weeks of baseball left this season. That’s right, I’ve come to grips with Boston’s season being over (I haven’t) and I’m still looking forward to watching more baseball. With the divisional rounds wrapping up last night, we’re on to the championship series.
Here’s where the hot take comes in: the Cleveland Indians are winning the 2016 World Series. For the sake of this hot take, we’ll assume the Chicago Cubs have steamrolled through the championship series and would be the Indians’ opponent.
All season, I never had anything against Cleveland (basketball and LeBron included). After an atrocious outing by Boston in Game 1 of the ALDS, I still didn’t hate them. Following the homerun derby that was Game 2? Sure, maybe a little bit of misdirected hate that should have been anger towards the bodies that took the field for the Sox Friday night. And by Game 3, I was too depressed to hate anything.
If you’re going to not only eliminate my team, but also make us look foolish and end Papi’s career with you popping bottles on our field, you better not lose in the next round. A lot of people develop hate for their team’s eliminators, but I’d be even more upset if they dominated us, and then either lost the ALCS or blew it in four in the final. That’s like a second blow to Boston, when the guys who beat the snot out of you couldn’t even advance another round.
Statistically, it’s not an impossible feat for the Indians. The ALCS gives us a fairly even hitting matchup, despite the Blue Jays mashing 221 homeruns this season compared to Cleveland’s 185. The Indians, however, scored 18 more runs than Toronto and topped the Jays .426 slugging percentage with .430. The two contenders are nearly even in OBP, Indians (.329) and Toronto (.330).
Not to mention Cleveland has Andrew Miller—I bet whoever got rid of him is kicking themselves right about now. When an opposing team sees Miller warming in the pen, they’re tempted to pack it up and come back after he’s retired five of your best guys. In 26 games as a closer this season, Miller gave up just five runs in 29 innings, with 46 strikeouts. His postseason ERA is 0.00 with two hits, no runs and seven strikeouts (ignoring the fact he faced a lifeless Red Sox offense).
Sure, the Cubs have a lot of motivation to win this one after 108 gold-bottle-less years, in addition to being a filthy baseball team. But you’re telling me, the team that just obliterated the first place Boston Red Sox out of nowhere, doesn’t have crazy momentum going forward? The Cubs have something special this year, and it’s almost hard not to love the team. It’d be nice to see the curse be broken for Chicago, but then we couldn’t keep talking about how long it’s been since the Cubbies have won it.
Say the Indians do pull this off, and Cleveland celebrates its second professional sports championship this year. I won’t necessarily be bitter, but I also won’t be dancing in the streets. It’ll be a win for Francona and at the same time a hard slap across the face to me. I’ll be sitting at home pretending I’m on a duck boat, while hoping the party at Napoli’s is as lame as the first party I threw in high school where nobody was allowed to turn the lights on.
Molly Burkhardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.