Bugging out: why I love Cleveland

I was born in Cleveland. I was raised in Cleveland. So I know what it means to be the butt of jokes. Even worse, I know what it’s like to have your heart ripped out by some Cleveland sports team, the Browns, the Indians, the Cavs — take your pick. 88 Red Right, The Drive, The Fumble, Belichick, Modell, Tim Couch, Jose Mesa, getting swept. Clevelanders know what it feels like to feel defeat. In fact, we’ve come to expect it. But Clevelanders don’t wallow in self-pity. We believe in possibilities. Like this year, with the Cavs making the finals. Or this week, with the Indians taking a 2-0 lead over the Yankees.

In Friday night’s game, the Indians were down 1-0 in the eighth inning — after the Cleveland batters kept on squandering chances with runners on base. And, when Johnny Peralta’s long fly to center field missed being a home run by maybe 6 inches, I started feeling the same bad feeling that Clevelanders get when watching their sports team in the playoffs: mishap.

But then something really strange happened. A swarm of bugs blanketed Jacobs field, particularly on the Yankee players (seemingly attracted the most to their black caps). The relief pitcher of the Yankees was so rattled that he threw 2 wild pitches within the span of 5 minutes. It was understandable, though, because the guy had insects caked on his neck and parts of his face. Here’s a photo, but it doesn’t show all the insects on his neck. One of the wild pitches allowed Grady Sizemore to score and tie the game.

The bug infestation was classic Cleveland, though. Clevelanders will take anything to win. Even some bizarre phenomenon, or perhaps act of God, like a bug infestation.

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