Little Love for the SI jinx

Let me make one thing abundantly clear: I don’t believe in jinxes. I don’t carry a rabbit’s foot. I don’t freak out whenever Friday the 13th rolls around. In other words, I’m not superstitious.

Consequently, I had no worries when the Cavs began their first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. It would merely be a tune-up for a presumably more difficult series against the Chicago Bulls in the following round.

In fact, a much younger coworker had asked me about Cavs playoff teams of the past and I immediately thought of the “Miracle of Richfield” team of 1975-76, primarily because the team Cleveland lost to in the Eastern Conference finals were the same (then-)mighty Boston Celtics. That season, the Cavs seemed like the team of destiny until Jim Chones broke his foot, ruining a legitimate shot at winning a world championship.

I looked at this year’s demolition of the Celtics sort of like payback (yes, 39 years later) to the Celtics for what happened way back then. I mean, this year we were up 3-0, most likely going to sweep the Celtics, and I figured, “What could possibly go wrong?”

I got my answer soon enough: Kevin Love was mugged – literally – by the Celtics in Game 4 and suffered a season-ending shoulder separation. Coincidence? I think not. On the other hand…

So the Indians, as everyone knows by now, were poster boys (Kluber/Brantley) on the cover of Sports Illustrated not long ago. Heading into the season, the Tribe looked very strong, pitching-wise, but my biggest concern was the pathetic offense.

A month into the season, and what do you know? The Indians have done their very best to imitate the 1962 New York Mets, who went 40-120. Much like the Mets, this team can’t hit. And on the rare occasion they do score a few runs, the pitching falters. The bullpen so far has been a complete disaster.

True, the Indians were staggered by the loss of injured catcher Yan Gomes – arguably one of their top three or four players – for a couple of months. Carlos Carrasco dodged a bullet – or more accurately, didn’t – when he was struck in the face by a line drive, so it’s safe to say Lady Luck hasn’t exactly been smiling down on the Indians. If you believe in that sort of thing. Which I don’t. Kinda…

The good news is the Indians haven’t committed as many errors this year, but I pretty much attribute that to the fact that at times it appears they forget to try and actually catch the ball.

As the expansion-era Mets manager Casey Stengel – famous for offering “twisted” spin to his baseball expertise – said, “Never make predictions, especially about the future.”

And, after what’s transpired so far this year in Cleveland – actually, not only this year but for the last 50+ years in Cleveland sports – I’m starting to wonder if I’ll ever learn that lesson.

That’s not to say that if one of these days you see a rabbit hopping around on three feet instead of four, I had anything to do with it. But, as Casey once said, “There comes a time in every man’s life, and I’ve had plenty of them.”

When it comes to sports in Cleveland, I’ve had too many of them.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:20 AM, 05.05.2015