CLEVELAND — There is nothing like first place. The top gives us that giddy feeling.
Well, we're not at the "tippy-tippy top" yet, but as a Cleveland Guardians baseball team, we are running to get there. I say "we" because we all share the ride into the postseason.
Now, catch this: 2022 marks our first season of a new team name. Gotta be somethin' in that. Double play? First season with the new Guardians name, first place American League Central. Maybe that Guardians label helped; it certainly didn't hurt.
Which reminds me of another "first" in Cleveland baseball. In 1994, when the then-Indians moved to a new stadium, we could have been running for a first-place finish. But baseball's labor strike stopped the game, and Cleveland's drive to the top. A new stadium and a division-finishing first might have been ours had the strike not ended this game of balls and strikes.
But as my friend the "Old Philosopher" reminds me, "Leon, my good man, let us not labor in the past of what coulda, shoulda, or woulda been. Let us instead cast our focus on thoughts only of what is!" My friend the Old Philosopher is right.
What is true of '22 is first place in the American League Central for a newly named team. Cleveland Guardians: new baseball name, first-place baseball. There's something there.
Aside from on-field baseball "hittin' and pitchin'," the Old Philosopher and I label it magic. Maybe name change magic? Well, who can explain the record the Guardians achieved with baseball's youngest team, with a payroll far, far from the highest?
Regardless, we all celebrate first place in the American League Central, drenching ourselves in magic, and drenching in champagne as all of us eye more of both in the Cleveland Guardians postseason.