BOSTON -- Many of the faces on the Cleveland players looked blank, their eyes dazed, their movements stilted, as they attempted to comprehend what exactly had just happened. They looked like victims of PTFD: Post-Traumatic Fenway Disorder.
The series choke job complete, the loss of a 3-1 ALCS lead now a long, bad memory, Cleveland searched for an answer to the obvious question: How did everything go so horribly wrong?
|The bumbling Indians hand the Red Sox a ticket to the World Series. (Getty Images)|
The Indians retreated to a calm and quiet clubhouse. Such a contrast always occurs in these moments, but this difference was starker than most because the collapse was uglier than most.
Did Fenway Park cause these Indians to become unnerved? Did the sudden Paul Byrd news and his wholly unbelievable excuse for being caught double-fisted with performance enhancing drugs -- the tumor made me do it -- distract the Indians in Game 7? Was it a talent mismatch?
Inconsistent bats, an inability to finish, nerves in Game 6 as steely as soaked rigatoni. It all went bad for the Indians after it looking like it would go so right.
Boston 11 Cleveland 2. Mentions of the phrase "Red Sox Nation" between now and the start of the World Series: one gazillion.
Nice performance, Cleveland.
What's the matter? Couldn't get a fresh supply of HGH in time for Games 6 and 7?
There's still time to hire Joe Torre, you know.
Or a new BALCO chemist.
If you're looking for the Indians to get a swell pat on the back for a golly-good effort, this is not the place.
This shouldn't have happened. The Indians had the Red Sox in their mitts and lost. They had them. It was this close.