Not for one shy second do I doubt these 2007 ALCS Games starting tonight will be anything but a complete battle of wills.
The Cleveland "Tribe" (not in mine...) has just had some great practice; they defeated the all-powerful Yankees in four games. The Yankees, a team even when having a sub-par season, easily cruising into the Wild Card Playoff spot. Now merely a footnote in 2007 baseball history all the same.
But their residue remains.
It wasn't at all a walk in the ballpark for the Indians but they overcame the real Eastern Division Menace and now walk away with a little bit of by proxy World Series experience. They've defeated a team, and its masterful coach, Joe Torre (may he rest in peace), that has seen the Series 19 times to their now current nemesis' meager twice winning debuts.
To note, as well, as one sports commentator puts it, the Red Sox are no longer the 'Underdog' team but the newly crowned replacement "Evil Empire".
Everyone will be rooting against Boston this year (minus the obvious).
We have no 86 years of Trophy dry spell misery to spill tears over, no diminutive budget that won't allow acquisition of top players and we certainly no longer have any "Curse" hanging over our caps, bats and mitts to fault should we fall from the Bean(town) Stalk. It all means Jack now ...
"Luke, I am your father."
1948: Cleveland's last magic number still waiting to be retired.
2004: Boston's headstone RIP engraving to the "Bambino"s legacy.
Who wants what more? Who will see the most symbolism in numerics over the next 4 (possibly 7) games in the coming days? The Sox have sure-handedly undone the Indians in past divisional series but every year is a different story. A different team. A different desire. And if the Tribes dominance over the Yanks is any indication of what's in store - then apparently there's a mighty hatchet to bury.
So, Wahoo, Tribe! Red Sox Nation is truly excited to meet you in The Playing Fields during this most important of Octobers; we're always up for a challenge.
Just remember: Do not feel disgraced should you fall; you've played amongst giants.