I wasn’t in Cleveland last weekend, but I didn’t need to be.
The excitement of a new baseball season and the high expectations of the Indians could be felt all the way down Interstate 71 here in Columbus.
A native of Brunswick, Ohio, just 30 minutes south of downtown Cleveland, I have learned to love the Tribe, Cavaliers and, yes, even the Browns.
And even though I have also come to accept the usual letdowns, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the Indians fever that took over Cleveland on opening weekend against the hated Detroit Tigers.
New standing-room seats, a new bar named “The Corner” and new bullpens headlined renovations to the 21-year-old Progressive Field, but the excitement of the new additions was shot down quickly as the Tigers swept the Tribe.
While we are only two series into the season, and I am not giving up on the season quite yet, I am beginning to think the Cleveland curse is a real thing, at least for the Indians.
Perhaps the two best hitters on the club, Michael Brantley and Yan Gomes, have already missed time because of injury, with Gomes now set to miss more than a month with an MCL sprain.
Sure, the Indians were able to take two of three from Houston, including a one-hitter. But that was Houston. Detroit will come knocking at the door a lot more often than the lowly Astros. It’s not always going to be that easy.
In short, the Indians are not ready to contend. The lack of a power bat from the right side of the plate and a consistent bullpen are separating the Tribe from the powers in the division like the Tigers and Royals.
I never believed in curses or jinxes before, but after being a Cleveland fan for more than two decades, I cannot hold my pessimism much longer.
My last hope is the Cavaliers. With the playoffs starting Sunday and with LeBron James once again donning the wine and gold in the month of April, the Cavs are Cleveland’s best chance, at least for a while, to win a title.
If they can’t win a title, at least in the next five years, I will be fully convinced the city I love is cursed.
Because let’s be real: the shiny new orange jerseys that the Browns have pumped out aren’t going to make a difference on the field. And neither is stud free-agent signee Josh McCown.