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The Suburbanite
  • Charita Goshay: Opening Day a dilemma for some of us

  • Today, the Cleveland Indians will host the New York Yankees, and I wish the home team well.



    However, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was 12.

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  • To borrow a bit from Ben Franklin, Opening Day is God’s way of reminding us that he wants us to be happy.
    Today, the Cleveland Indians will host the New York Yankees, and I wish the home team well.
    However, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been a Yankees fan since I was 12.
    It isn’t my fault.
    Actually, I’m part of a small cabal here who follow the Bronx Bombers. We’re working on getting decoder rings, but for now they’ll remain nameless, to protect the guilty.
    As a lifelong Ohioan, I’m not only duly obligated to cheer for Ohio sports teams, it’s practically congenital. So when my weary eyes wandered eastward, it felt a little like cheating.
    HEY, MABEL!
    People outside of Northeast Ohio laugh at the movie “Major League” because they think it was fictional.
    The rest of us know better.
    Not even ear-worm beer jingles (“Hey, Mabel! Black Label!”), or the soothing play-by-play of the perennially optimistic Herb Score, could make a silk purse out of what we clearly could see for ourselves.
    I’m no fair-weather fan. I joined the Dark Empire during its “Bronx-is-Burning” days, when the Billy vs. Reggie follies were more watchable than the games.
    I assuaged my lingering guilt by remembering that the Indians and Yankees have always been intertwined. The story has always been one of “what-if,” starting with Cleveland-born Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who only bought New York when he couldn’t get the Indians.
    The sale was engineered by Gabe Paul, who brought rings to New York in the 1970s, but who couldn’t pull Cleveland out of a hat when he was their general manager during the sad-sack 1980s.
    What if the Tribe had gotten Canton’s Thurman Munson, a six-time All-Star? What if they had held onto the ex-Indians who dominated the Yankees’ starting rosters back then? It only underscores what even a 12-year-old girl knew: You can’t give away the store and stay in business.
    I was gone, but Cleveland wasn’t forgotten. I was as happy as anyone when Indians outfielder Rick Manning caught the last out to seal Lenny Barker’s perfect game in 1981.
    BREAKFAST CLUB
    So I understood the hysteria in the 1990s, when the stars aligned over Lake Erie and the Tribe suddenly found themselves in contention. Cleveland’s lineup was baseball’s “Breakfast Club,” a who’s who of big sticks and bright young things, including Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar Jr., Charlie Nagy, Carlos Baerga and Albert Belle, some of whom played for the Canton Indians at Thurman Munson Stadium.
    This year, the Tribe is pinning its hopes on Nick Swisher, a Columbus-born, happy-go-lucky, second-generation gamer who spent four years in the Bronx.
    Page 2 of 2 - With the addition of marquee manager Terry Francona, whose dad played for Cleveland, they’ll fare better than their fans expect. Not ever seeing your team win a World Series in your lifetime is a kind of pain that should only be endured by a Cubs fan — they’re born to it.
     I’ll always have a place in my heart for Cleveland. After they folded like a pup tent during their 2007 American League Championship Series with Boston, I didn’t have it in me to stroll into work and poke my Tribe-loving coworkers with a stick. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.
    Now if they’d only give Chief Wahoo the heave-ho.
    Reach Charita at 330-580-8313
    On Twitter: @cgoshayREP