A look back at Cleveland’s recent baseball heartbreak
1997: Cleveland Lost the World Series to the Florida Marlins in Seven Games
Though they finished just 86-75 in 1997, this Cleveland team was loaded with talent, led by Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Omar Vizquel, Sandy Alomar, Marquis Grissom, David Justice and Orel Hershiser.
Game 7: Just like in 2016, it came down to extra innings in Game Seven, though it shouldn’t have. Cleveland had the 2-1 lead in the ninth inning; closer Jose Mesa had a great regular season with a 2.40 ERA. In the postseason, though, it was a different story. After pitching a scoreless eighth, he gave up two hits and a sacrifice fly to Craig Counsell to tie the game in the ninth. Edgar Renteria hit a walk-off single off Charles Nagy in the tenth and Cleveland lost a heartbreaker.
Since 1995, this team and fanbase have been so close to winning it all several times only to come up short. At this rate, who knows when the Guardians will break their current drought. With the way this team is currently constructed, it would be lucky to sneak into an expanded playoff next season. The Guardians are far from the favorites because they don’t seem ready to make the upgrades they need to, and until they commit some payroll to this team, they won’t have to worry about a World Series collapse anytime soon.