Larry, Paulie & Dough-lan: The Three Stooges

Have you ever been out driving on the highway and pulled alongside one of those flatbed trucks which was hauling several giant spools of cold rolled steel? Did you ever consider the possibility of the driver of the truck suddenly having to swerve, even slightly, causing one of those rolls to come loose and pay you and your car an impromptu visit?

Let me disclose right here and now that that very possibility has always freaked me out a little – okay, a LOT – and I always speed up or slow down to prevent my having an accident – in the driver's seat. Hopefully, you handle hypotheticals with a little more grace and dignity than I (I've since learned to go with the plastic seat covers).

Anyway, the reality if the worst were to occur is this: you wouldn't suffer because it would be over in seconds. The bad news: you'd be out on the pavement for a while until authorities could get their hands on an industrial-sized spatula with which to scrape you up. But again, I defer back to the good news: you wouldn't be in any pain. So, don't sweat the small stuff.

Regardless, it's not a pretty picture, is it? Well, neither is Major League Baseball in the land of Cleve, last I checked. So, in keeping with the above scenario, imagine this: The car passing the flatbed truck contains Cleveland baseball fans. Let's say it's a Yugo that's been treated like you-know-what for the last dozen years or so. No wait – let's make it a Smart Car since the inherent irony in the name would be oh-so obvious and therefore quite laughable.

The truck is Cleveland Indians Inc. The truck driver is either Larry or Paul Dolan. Pick your poison. No, really. The huge sections of cold rolled steel are baseball reality. The straps that hold the rolls of steel in place are there courtesy of the Dolan Ownership Group.

In other words, that cold rolled steel is being held in place by duct tape, chewing gum (used) and dreams (known in the Progressive Field offices as "What ifs?"). But not to worry – the restraints have been certified as being "adequate" by Grady Sizemore's personal physician. And Travis Hafner's back doctor.

You notice as you're driving alongside the flatbed that the driver (just for fun we'll call him "Paul") and the passenger (play along with me here, let's call him "Larry") are sharing fast food. You do a double take as you see they're eating a Damon Double-burger, a Lowe-fat shake and (I'll apologize in advance for this one) a Duncan Donut. The driver reaches for something in the bag, a scuffle ensues and the flatbed swerves.

And suddenly it hits you – no, not the cold rolled steel –- although actually that would have probably been preferable to the cold rolled reality which just crushed your dreams for yet another baseball season.

Yet again, the Dolans ordered this year's ball-club from baseball's version of the "dollar menu."

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits.

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Volume 4, Issue 18, Posted 10:54 AM, 09.05.2012