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Major League Baseball, as we are loving to hate it, was still hanging on despite Commissioner Rob Manfred’s attempts to kill it. So far, he has pulled the “Manfred Card,” forcing players and owners to take the field even without a labor agreement. He has told the players he must see fewer COVID-19 positive test results or he will cancel the season. Apparently, players are not following mask and social distancing rules.

At the same time, the NBA and NHL seem to be getting along with their commissioners.

Despite all of that, the Cleveland baseball team needs to remember how to play the way it has played over the last few years.

On paper, the team looks good. But games are not played on paper. For those who think that good pitching stops good hitting, there is more to the game than that.

The Tribe is attempting to navigate stormy waters without manager Terry Francona, who is dealing with a gastrointestinal issue, leaving the team in the hands of coach Sandy Alomar. This is in a year when the Indians need Francona more than ever. It may be a year that proves starting pitching is not the name of the game, but instead it might be the bullpen pitching that is most important. What it might prove is the Indians acquired Brad Hand one year too late. He was unstoppable last year with Cleveland and San Diego.

The Indians’ bats aren’t doing much, either. They are getting hurt by a lack of production from Franmil Reyes as well as anyone else in the lineup, including the injured Roberto Perez, who was a big surprise last year.

Since we don’t know what a 60-game season looks like, its ridiculous to say, “Don’t worry, we will catch them.”If a team gets way out in front, nobody is catching anybody.

Now that I’ve been seeing baseball again, I don’t want it to end. Preferably, I would like to see the Indians in action during the month of October. Then we can worry about next year, next year.

Interstate 71 rivals Cleveland and Cincinnati played their only series of the season in four consecutive games this week. Will either or both teams be playing in the postseason this year? Will there be a postseason? You tell me.

Read Les Levine online at Follow Les at JewishNews.


Letters, commentaries and opinions appearing in the Cleveland Jewish News do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Cleveland Jewish Publication Company, its board, officers or staff.

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