|Picture by Chuck Crow/Plain Dealer|
Today, the Indians completed a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at Cleveland's Progressive Field. That is the third sweep by the Indians in this young season. But local fans are not completely convinced this is real.
When the Indians swept the Boston Red Sox, the Sox had yet to win a game. "That didn't count, the Sox haven't gotten on track. It was a fluke.
Then, the Tribe headed west and completed a sweep of the Seattle Mariners. "That's nothing. Seattle sucks. We should have beat them."
Today, on a chilly, violently windy day our guys extended the Orioles losing streak to seven in a row and boosted their Central Division leading record to 11-4. But there were only 16,000 fans in a stadium that can hold close to 40,000.
Monday the Indians will be in Kansas City, who were tied with the Tribe for first place in the Central Division until KC lost today, leaving them a game behind the Good Guys.
For rabid fans, this is almost like a mini-playoff series. The winner of the series will have sole possession of first place in the Central Division and could send a message that a new kid is in town. Hopes are high in KC. Cleveland fans are still skeptical.
Cleveland Manager, Manny Acta, is being lauded for making the right moves at the right time. His team is performing well offensively, defensively and from the pitching mound. Early signs are good and hope is starting to simmer along the lakefront.
So far, attendance at Progressive Field has been weak this season. I'm not buying the excuse that the weather has been less than friendly. This is a town where people watch football games with their shirts off in sub-zero temperatures. Put on a sweatshirt, jacket and gloves - it's April in Cleveland.
Pundits and radio personalities are creating a mindset that if the Indians can come out of April in good shape, this will be an exciting season and the fans will finally drop their shrouds of shame and hit the ballpark with enthusiasm and in numbers.
There's nothing like following a contender. For the moment, the feelings are excited skepticism, but by September we might have something to be wild about in Cleveland besides the weather.
Official Site of Cleveland Indians
Official Site of Major League Baseball
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