After arguably the greatest Game 7 in World Series history, the dust has finally settled on this epic clash between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. And for the first time in 108 years, or rather, 108 excruciatingly painful years, the wait is finally over for the Chicago faithful: the Cubs are World Series champions.
Yet, just because the “Curse of the Billy Goat” has officially been lifted, doesn’t mean we have the answer to a question that’s been bugging us since the moment this historic matchup was set: Who would win if these two clubs faced off on the silver screen?
Although the Cubs and Indians have never gone up against each other in the movies, each club has been the focal point of their own classic baseball film. The Cleveland Indians are featured in Major League, while the Cubbies are front and center in Rookie of the Year. Therefore, in the spirit of one of the greatest World Series in baseball history, it’s only fitting we attempt to break down how these two cinematic counterparts would fare against one another on the sport’s biggest stage. Who would win this classic — and hypothetical — matchup? See for yourself.
We wholeheartedly respect the decision of Major League manager Lou Brown to trust the right arm of veteran Eddie Harris when the club needs a big win. However, when it comes to the pitching rotation in general, the Indians aren’t as stacked as the Chicago Cubs — just as it is in real life.
Not only do the Cubbies of Rookie of the Year have their own seasoned vet in Gary Busey’s “Chet Steadman” (best name ever?), but they have the rocket arm of one, Henry Rowengartner. The kid may be young (really young), but when he’s throwing the heat and hitting his spots, he’s literally unhittable. Youth aside, with a fresh arm like his, Rowengartner could easily pitch multiple games in the World Series. If that’s the case, Cleveland better prepare for a lot of silent bats.
This one is a no-brainer. Cleveland has dominated the 2016 postseason with a group of legit, reliable relievers. For the most part, on the big screen, the Indians have the same thing going for them. Just put on the song, turn the volume up, and let the fastball and attitude of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn do the rest. As long as he’s wearing his glasses, the Cubs hitters are in trouble.
In real life, behind the bats of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, and Kyle Schwarber, the Cubs should have the advantage at the plate. However, on the silver screen, we throw our weight behind the Tribe. It may take some time before Willie Mays Hayes learns to hit the long ball, but as long as he’s getting on base, you can expect one steal after another. From there, it’s all about the monster bat of Pedro Cerrano. You know he will crush the fastball; it’s just what he does. Yet, once Cerrano starts connecting on the curve, that’s all she wrote. At the plate in this world, it’s the Indians who have all the marbles.
We watched the films and we can safely say that the Major League Indians don’t have the fielding prowess of their real-life counterpart. Third baseman Roger Dorn plays the hot corner like he’s scared of the ball, catcher Jake Taylor constantly shows his age (and his bum knees), and the outfield is inexperienced and suspect at best. By the time the World Series rolls around, this group may finally start to look the part, however, for our money, we’re going with the Cubs.
We think Lou Brown is an excellent manager. The guy is seasoned; he doesn’t let his diva players get away with anything; and he is the kind of coach you want to run through a brick wall for. Under normal circumstances, this is enough to give the coaching advantage to the Indians. However, we think there’s something to be said for a coaching staff that’s quirky, inventive, and unafraid to challenge convention. No one epitomizes those traits more than Rookie of the Year Cubs pitching coach, Phil Brickma. He’s found the secret — hot ice! It’s so crazy, it might just work. We’re sold.
A cinematic World Series showdown between the Major League Indians and the Rookie of the Year Cubs has the makings of a classic. Both of these teams have a lot going for them, and each plays with the mentality of an overlooked underdog. Yet, in the end, we think the Tribe would be the last group standing. The Indians have the bats, the closers, the attitude, and the motivation to dethrone a ruthless owner who’s hellbent on ensuring their destruction. In this scenario, Cleveland rocks!
Information courtesy of ESPN.