We were all witnesses to what looked like another devastating blow to Cleveland sports Monday night. Prized Indians rookie catcher Carlos Santana was bowled over at home plate by Boston Red Sox rookie outfielder Ryan Kalish, then carted off the field.
Any Clevelander with long-term memory immediately flashed to Ray Fosse being bowled over at home plate by Pete Rose in the 1970 All-Star Game. That collision broke a bone in Fosse’s shoulder. Some say it ruined a blossoming career.
Before Monday Cleveland sports fans might have convinced themselves they just didn’t care anymore, not after everything that’s happened to our sports teams the last couple of years. Then the future of the Indians crumpled to the deck and was carted off the field.
Cleveland fans crumpled right along with him, falling into the pose familiar to comic-book fans everywhere: hero on his knees, arms stretched toward the heavens while he’s screaming, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”
In the past few months Cleveland fans have had everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them. Monday night, the kitchen sink ran over Santana, knocking him right out of his shoe. Santana stayed down for before trainers put a large orange splint on his leg and carted him off the field.
No matter the outcome — after the game Indians officials said they didn’t believe Santana suffered any damage to his knee ligaments — Cleveland fans fear the worst. Monday night was a just-when-you-thought-it-couldn’t-get worse moment.
Clevelanders can watch every Browns game this season, preseason included, and most likely not see a collision that looks worse than what Santana suffered.
But look on the bright side, Indians fans. Kalish was out. The Indians won, 6-5. And Santana’s not dead, at least.
Cleveland sports fans’ hopes? That’s a different story.