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Outtakes: Spring has sprung and baseball is back

Frank Weaver Jr.
Suburbanite correspondent
Frank Weaver Jr.

Part one of two

Once again, it's that time of the year, folks. It's baseball season and that means my season. Other than Mom's apple pie, it's as American as Memorial Day cookouts, Fourth of July picnics, street, bike, boat parades or celebrating the birthday of this great nation with flags and gigantic firework shows. This year baseball's goal is to play for a full season.

You remember last year; the year of the world wide pandemic. That was the year all die-hard fans, including yours truly, waited and waited and waited for that first pitch of the season. Team previews by the so-called experts were exciting and had been so much better than expected that we all secretly suspected this could very well be the year. But then, as with so many times in the past, the Tribe jinx re-appeared and, like always, it seemed to impact the team.

As a result, instead of a 162 game schedule, thanks to the COVID-19 disease, we played just 60 games amid televised, imitation fans. To keep from spreading the disease, as well as any sports witticism, these corrugated fans, too, maintained a social distance of six feet apart. Those first few rows of seats were filled with life size cardboard image fans from first base all the way around home plate and past third. And yes, those cardboard fans smiled, did the human wave and wore a face masks, too!

Yes, the Tribe did make the playoffs with 35 wins and 25 losses, but they could have advanced much further if only they had been able to maintain a fully rostered, healthy team. In the end, starting pitcher Shane Bieber did win the Cy Young Award but we lost short-stop Francisco Lindor through a forced trade and other good pitchers the same way. In those deals we did manage to fill the roster with some nice looking, healthy young players; all of whom have exceptional potential.

Among the four the Tribe received on the Lindor trade included 22 year old prime candidate, Andres Gimenez, who is expected to take over the shortstop position, They also received a number of prime pitching prospects. It is expected that one or perhaps two could join ace Bieber as a starter.

We all have a favorite sport. For some, it's hockey or soccer. For others it's boxing, stock car or thoroughbred horse racing. Still, others like golf, fishing or hunting.

Baseball is my sport. I'm addicted to it. Football follows a distant second and then it's a tie between basketball and boxing. Once the last game of the World Series becomes history, then, and only then, do I turn my undivided attention to the fight for the pigskin and a spot in the Super Bowl.

This season commenced with the Tribe's game on April 1. I had no intentions of missing it. Nor will I miss any games of the almost fully scheduled list which they usually televise. If a conflict does arise, I'll simply record the game and play it back later.

If you watched the televised first game on April 1, don't become alarmed by the Tribe losing. Baseball was never intended to be a cold weather sport and the result of that season opening Snow Bowl in Detroit, where at times it resembled a white-out, should have reminded you that when conditions are like what they were that Thursday afternoon, regardless of who was pitching, the win could've gone either way. Instead, in his endless attempts at hanging on, Ol' Man Winter won.

Easter Sunday's win was more like it. What surprised me the most is how the so-called experts ignored the Tribe and picked other teams to win their divisions and to make the playoffs, including a wild-card berth.

In part two next week I'll stick my neck out on that issue and predict how the Tribe might do.

Comments may be emailed to: Frankweaverjr@aol.com