A week ago in this space, I boldly proclaimed the Cleveland Indians’ 2019 season to be over. If the Indians weren’t careful over the weekend, I wrote, they could find themselves 15 games back of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
We all know what happened next. The Indians took two games out of three against both the Twins and the New York Yankees. Going 4-2 against two of the best teams in baseball was a pretty surprising result. Now, don’t get me wrong. The Indians are still 10.5 games behind the Twins. The Central Division is probably out of reach unless the Twins go on an epic collapse.
The larger point is, the Indians have shown they might still have some fight left in them. This summer may not be over already after all. Maybe. With this year’s team, you never know. They could just as easily go 1-4 against the Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers this week. I think most of us as Indians fans are simply waiting for this team to just put together a string of several weeks of solid baseball. This last week was a glimpse of how fun they can still be. The key is to now sustain that against weaker opponents this week.
So that’s baseball. The other sport in which Cleveland has a team that is still going on is NBA basketball. Last night the Toronto Raptors let a late lead at home slip away. Giving the Warriors that sliver of hope is extremely dangerous, as we know as Cavaliers fans. When the Warriors failed to close out the 2016 series in Game 5 at home, that was the moment most of us fans allowed ourselves to believe. Going home to ride the energy of that crowd for Game 6 seemed like a given, and then in Game 7 anything can happen. That was the Cavs’ plan, and now that’s the Warriors’ plan this year.
The Raptors have looked more like the better team in this series. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they won one of these last two games to close out the series. However, at this point, I feel like they are in dangerous territory. The Warriors are not a team you can afford to give extra life. My gut tells me the Warriors take these last two games and become the 2nd team to ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals.
I feel so bad for Warriors fans, though. If they do come back and win this series, they can’t make any jokes about blowing a 3-1 lead after the way they reacted to the Cavs fans’ jokes in 2016. They wouldn’t want to be hypocrites, now, would they?
In general, it’s been a weird NBA playoff for me. It was awfully disappointing not being part of it anymore. It really drove home how much was lost for Cleveland when LeBron James left again. It’s a bummer, but I can still watch the 2016 NBA Finals over and over whenever I want, so not all is lost.
As a sports fan, though, the biggest adjustment is the gap between the Cavs playing and the offseason activities. For the last four years the Cavs have basically wrapped up the Finals and a week later the NBA Draft took place. Shortly after that free agency started and then Summer League started up. It felt like there was no break from basketball.
Now, this break for the Cavs has been tough for me as a fan. It’s boring. The Finals has been an entertaining one, far more entertaining than the last two, but as someone who primarily cares about the Cavaliers, it’s been quiet. There’s not much to talk about other than draft speculation, which for me lacks the thrill of NFL Draft speculation.
I guess what I’m getting at is, with the Indians being so far back in the division already and nothing at all going on with the Cavaliers, this has been a boring sports month for me and I don’t have much to talk about. So this will probably be the shortest While We’re Waiting segment I’ve ever done. So now I turn it over to you, the commenters, to pick up the slack for me. What do you guys want to talk about? What’s been on your mind as sports fans? The forum is yours.