At this time, you're either following the Cleveland Indians, or you're not. The team is currently in first place in the AL Central, much like this time a year ago, and is winning in a similar fashion.
What I've been unable to understand is just why the city is so hesitant to get on board with this squad. To a point, I get it. The Dolan Corollary gives some fans pause.
"They don't care about me," this bunch says (with gusto). "Until they spend money, I'm not going to go to the ballpark."
While I in no way, shape or form will discourage a mentality, wouldn't it behoove that group to stop for a second and examine who exactly this is hurting?
The Tribe has made money the last few years; the Dolans have continued to turn a profit. So it's certainly not hurting them. Is it possible that really all fans are doing is hurting themselves?
Well, it is Cleveland.
There is no excuse not to take notice of the Indians. This is the second-straight season that the club has played well into at least the second month of the season. Cleveland is winning in dramatic fashion, and the players are affable, a real-life Major League bunch of farmhands, home grown talent and savvy veterans.
Weather in Northeast Ohio is better this year than it has been in recent memory, rain delays aside. Tickets are easy to get and are cheap. I implore baseball fans to find a more economical deal than the $15 seat with $10 of concessions built-in that Progressive Field offers during weekday afternoon games.
I don't have the luxury of being in the city anymore, but I'm jealous of those who do. Major League Baseball is a privilege for those fans with easy accessibility; While I understand the tentative nature of getting behind another Cleveland team with the lingering fear that soul-crushing losses are just a step away, the fact that baseball is so readily available from a marketing and promotions crew that bends over backwards to come up with appealing draws is dizzying.
Sure, it bothers me that the team goes for the bargains and sells away the best players when things get bad. That said, it's reality. This isn't a unique problem to Cleveland, rather, the sense of entitlement after said players are lost is.
The "woe is me nature" of the city and the self-fulfilling prophecy that Murphy's Law will, in fact, reign over the Cuyahoga throughout eternity may make for a compelling drama to guys like Samuel Beckett or Paul Thomas Anderson, but it doesn't exactly serve a constructive purpose on any platform, save for perhaps talk radio.
A World Series might not be in the cards this year (especially not if a right-handed bat isn't around the corner to save the day), but it doesn't make you a bad person if you choose to enjoy the ride while it lasts.
If you're going to buy what the Browns are selling for yet another year, why not choose to support the team that has already made that big jump in the past two seasons?