Hello…my name is Dan, and I’m a Tribe-aholic. Ok, I know what you’re thinking, another whack job Indians fan ranting about the Titanic disaster that is the 2009 Cleveland Indians season, but really, that is not the case. Not this time. You see, I am writing you as an addict, and to tell you about a miracle that you have control over. One that can change the course of mankind forever.
But first, let me tell you about how I got here. It started when I was only 11 years old, in 1965. At first, it was because I wanted to be part of something, a part of a group. So I would watch the games on an old black and white Sylvania. Leon Wagner, Larry Brown, Max Alvis, roaming the field in Municipal Stadium. Then I was in High School and before I knew it, I graduated to fan clubs, going up to the lakefront with a group of other addicts to get a fix and go to a game, hoping Gomer Hodge was not just an opening day anomaly and praying John Lowenstein would lead us out of the wilderness, all the time telling myself it was no big deal, I could stop if I wanted to.
But you know how that goes. Along comes college, and then you’re looking for that next big high. I went to school in NJ, and that meant late nights at Yankee Stadium watching Buddy Bell be embarrassed on the hallowed grounds that Babe Ruth once walked. I was so far gone by then, I thought trading Nettles for Charlie Spikes was a good idea. That losing Chambliss would be no big deal, he would amount to nothing. Looking back, I should have seen the signs, but I was in too deep.
I got married, had kids, but their childhood is merely a blur of Chief Wahoo and bad baseball. Every spring, around March, the family would start to disengage knowing that the madness would soon start. Obsessing over whether Rich Yett could really be a viable starter, would they get anything for Swindell before he walked (no), was Brook Jacoby better than Cal Ripken? (no). Why my wife stayed I’ll never know.
But Mr. Dolan. Something has changed. And I owe it all to you, sort of. I mean, it’s not that you did anything directly, but it’s the people you have hired, specifically Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge. Addicts will never be able to quit on their own, they always need help, and Mr. Dolan, whether intentionally or by accident, you may have found a way to wipe out all addiction. You see, thanks to Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Wedge, I have been clean for close to a year now; no urges, no relapses, no missteps. I have been clean, sober and Tribe free. It is truly a miracle! I live in Chicago, and the Indians playing the White Sox used to be an obsession, but two nights ago the Indians were absolutely embarrassed, and I felt nothing. The next night, they make the previous evening’s travesty look like a courageous effort, and I yawn. My family rejoices, my friends are relieved, and I feel free.
Mr. Dolan, please realize that you have two people in your employ who can change people’s lives. Have them take over the Drug Enforcement Agency, and before you know it, people won’t care about Heroin or Cocaine. Have them promote and market alcohol, and drunk driving will be eliminated. Mr. Dolan, by putting Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Wedge in charge of things people love and care about, you are guaranteed to kill any desire, passion or interest they ever had before. Trust me, I know. I used to love the Tribe, and anguish over them regardless of how bad they were. But now? Who cares?
To paraphrase…God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (the Tribe will suck in April, draft badly and acquire every soft throwing lefty in existence); the courage to change the things I can (no, I WILL NOT buy tickets to the game); and the wisdom to know the difference (Peralta has not been a viable SS since 2006!).
Clean, Sober and Tribe Free