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Thome’s Birthday Blast

August 28, 2011

I told people last night that I was back in Cleveland early because my company wanted to get me out  of NYC before Irene arrived. The truth is that I wanted to be back for Jim Thome’s birthday.

I’m glad I made it. The slugger thanked me and the 33 thousand other adoring fans who showed up in true Thome fashion- with a home run.

After watching Thome hit 334 home runs in an Indians uniform, you’d think Cleveland would be tired of the routine by now. Yet somehow, it seems even better the second time around. Thome’s 335th round tripper, a blast into the bleachers in the 6th, tied the game up for the Indians at 4 and ignited both the team and the crowd. It was a ‘Field of Dreams’ worthy moment of the past coming alive.

Of course, even with his return to Cleveland and even after hitting his 600th career home run this year, it is not the year of Thome. It’s the year of Cabrera.

The Indians’ star busted out of his recent slump with a bang.

Cabrera went 3 for 3 last night and drove in the game winning run with a 3 run homer in the 8th. His late inning heroics are becoming as expected in Cleveland as Thome’s high socks. It’s almost shocking teams are still pitching to him after the 7th inning.

“Cabrera has done it for us all year and he did it again,” said Acta.

Perez also served up his usual: an intense save. Wilfred made a gem of a play to foil a sacrifice bunt by throwing out the advancing runner at third before striking out the final two Royals of the night. For a second I actually thought Jose Mesa was on the mound, because Perez brought the heat and the fans were louder for the final out than they have been in 10 years.

The Indians’ win seemed to inspire everyone last night; even those not in attendance. Downtown was bustling after the game and Thome’s birthday celebration continued in every bar.

Hopefully the Tribe can stay inspired and find their way into the playoffs. It certainly would feel right this year, especially now that Jimmy is back.


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