This being playoff time, I have gone back and consulted a crucial piece of Indians scripture: the movie "Major League." ...
I have already mentioned here that I think the Indians have taken on the form of the 2004 Bosox, and that is proving quite enough to beat Boston's 2007 model. (I should probably say "so far," but I remain serene.)
But it also appears that the Rockies are taking a cue from Cleveland baseball lore, or at least fictional Cleveland baseball lore. And since that story rightfully belongs to the Indians, then any World Series confrontation should go to the original lore-holders.
Now, what on earth am I talking about? Sports fans will note that the Rockies' current narrative arc has them left for dead late in the season, only to launch an incredible winning sequence -- now 21 or 22 games, counting playoffs -- on their way to the playoffs, the NLCS and now the World Series.
Fans of "Major League," meanwhile, will recall an Indians team that was not only left for dead, it was being shoved six feet under by its evil owner, played with such zest by Margaret Whitton.
Learning of their own's scheme, the splendidly beat up Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) said, "I guess there's only one thing left to do ... win the whole (bleep)ing thing."
There followed the scene in which team manager Lou Brown, played by James Gammon, unveiled a Whitton mannequin from which a piece of covering would be taken each time the Indians won a game in their playoff search.
I would love to say that the "Major League" Indians' goal was a streak just like the Rockies went on. It wasn't. Their goal was 32 wins. (Yes, I have gone back and looked at the DVD of the movie.) But the idea was the same: Our backs are against the wall, we need to win a bunch of games, and we'll do it in defiance of the odds.
There's even the idea that, like the Rockies, the Indians are basically unknown. (Insert your own snarky reference to TV announcers obsessed with the Yankees and Red Sox here.) They even do an American Express commercial starting, "Do you know us? We're a major-league baseball team." Pretty much the same can be said of the Rockies. Still.
So the Rockies stole a Cleveland story. And that's just wrong. And until they have their own myth, whether real life or celluloid, they don't get to win the World Series. At least, not against the Indians.
And they'd better not try any of that calling-a-shot-and-then-bunting stuff.
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