Indian fans are a passionate bunch. One of my favorite memories was coming to Cleveland in 1997 to cover the Major League All-Star game. I was working in Denver, and came to follow Larry Walker, who ended up having a very funny moment with Randy Johnson. The star of that game, though, was Sandy Alomar Jr. Only fitting, since he was playing in front of his own fans, and those fans were filling Jacobs Field every night in record fashion.
Sixteen years later, the attendance records are a distant memory, but the passion is still there. It hasn't shown at the turnstile the past few seasons, but in a way, that actually derives from the passion. Many Tribe fans, so upset with the lack of spending on free agents, they actively stayed away.
I've been tough on Tribe management in the past, for not making moves before the trade deadline while the team was still in contention, and I've been tough on Tribe fans, for not showing up at the park while the team was still in contention. Well, management has done its part this offseason, and then some...and I have a feeling the fans will follow up as well.
Swisher...Bourn....Reynolds...Stubbs...the lineup has changed dramatically, giving the Indians speed at both ends, power in the middle, and an outfield that won't miss many fly balls.
The rotation is suspect, but the bullpen is strong, and the fact is, we're talking baseball almost two months before Opening Day. Indians fans are as excited as I've seen them since moving here seven years ago. I experienced what that ballpark can be like when things are rolling. I'm hoping to experience it again this summer.
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