All of this talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers ear-popping ascent in the NBA has roused memories of the last time that lake-burning city had a chance at winning a major sports title. The year: 1997. The team: an Indians squad loaded with spry versions of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Sandy Alomar Jr. The rub: A recent expansion Marlins team, built with haste and lots of money, beat the long-suffering Tribe in the eleventh inning of a seven-game series.
You could say that in the interim, both teams went to Hell and back, except that only the Marlins truly made it back, winning the 03 series just to rub clay in the face of the Indians. Both teams these days are young and respectable, the Marlins more the former, the Indians, the latter. Purists decry interleague play, but this is precisely the sort of matchup the majors need. Party like its 1997 tonight at 7:05 at Dolphin Stadium.
Thu., June 14, 7:05 p.m.