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ospect and has won both of his

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Fri Apr 21, 2017 at 01:00 pm

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The night before Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, Cleveland Indians general manager John Hart couldnt sleep. Cleveland Browns Hoodie . His team -- one nobody predicted would go to the World Series -- had just won Game 6 in Miami against the Florida Marlins. Win and he would be bringing home the first World Series championship to Cleveland since 1948.At 3 a.m., Hart got up and walked out onto his deck at the Fontainebleu Hotel in Miami. The moon was out, casting a dim light over the Atlantic Ocean. In the quiet of the night, he came to peace with whatever the results would be as clarity came to him that night in the form of a memory. He remembered playing baseball in his backyard as a little boy, dreaming of being in Game 7 of the World Series. Now here he was. He had done everything he could to get the Indians to this point. Win or lose, he would be at peace.I can tell you this, the game is about the players, said Hart, who is now the president of baseball operations for the Atlanta Braves. You need good players to win. You dont always need to have the best players, but you need good players.He had good players in 1997. They won 86 games and the American League Central Division title. But their postseason journey would begin in the American League Division Series, facing the New York Yankees, who won 96 games and were the reigning World Series champions.Just getting to Game 7 of the World Series wasnt easy.Highlight: 1997 American League Division Series vs. New York YankeesJohn Hart (Indians GM, 1991-2001): In 1997, we were a little different team than those young, core Indians teams we had. We took three core pieces away. I traded Kenny Lofton for Marquis Grissom?and David Justice. We had two new faces there. I signed Matt Williams to play third base for us. I moved [Jim] Thome over to first base. We didnt have Eddie Murray, so we were a different club.Chad Ogea (Indians pitcher, 1994-98): That group of guys were really close-knit. Youd go in the locker room before the game and guys are hanging out, playing cards, and having fun.Mike Hargrove (Indians manager, 1991-99): Things didnt come as easy in 97 as they did in the previous seasons. Probably not until late in the 97 season, I felt like we finally found our identity and came together.Chad Ogea: There was a moment during the year where we werent playing up to expectations, and it was at Toronto about halfway through the year. We were probably playing at .500, just kind of not really showing what we could do. We had a players only meeting, and everybody was like, Hey, lets just do what we are supposed to do, have fun and dont worry about all the other stuff going on. Lets just take care of business. In Toronto on Aug. 7, the Indians had just lost a two-game series to the Blue Jays and were 57-52 with a slim 3?-game lead in the AL Central. From that point in the season, the Indians would go 29-23, the second-best record in the American League and would win the division by six games over the Chicago White Sox. The Indians run was just behind the Yankees, who would go 30-20 from that point and would be the Indians ALDS opponent.Mike Hargrove (Indians manager, 1991-99): At that time, any time you play the Yankees you knew youre in for a tough deal. They were awfully, awfully good and always a challenge. You go into something like that. You want to win, you expect to win, you know that you are going to have to be on top of your game, and guys are going to have to execute, and do what they do best. And we did.The teams would split the first two games of the division series before heading to Cleveland.Charles Nagy (Indians pitcher, 1990-2002): Like any team, when you are on the road in that type of environment, Yankee Stadium is a great place to play, but it is also tough place to play, especially during the playoffs. Whenever you come out and split two games in New York, we were feeling good about ourselves. We lost the first one, won the second. So, we had a little momentum going home.Chad Ogea: We were glad to come back home. That ballpark in Cleveland is just a great place to play. We knew the fans were going to be a little bit rowdy, because we were playing the Yankees. You didnt want to play anywhere else. I came up in the organization in 1991 when they lost 105 games, and then I was there when the big stadium was built. They call it magical. It really was. It was a great place to play, the fans were great.But the Indians stumbled as the Yankees won Game 3, 6-1. In Game 4, ahead in the series two games to one, the Yankees got a two-run lead in the first inning. In the eighth inning, trailing 2-1, Indians catcher Sandy Alomar was set to face the Yankees Mariano Rivera, a 27-year-old, right-handed reliever who was second in the American League with 43 saves in his first full season as New Yorks closer.Charles Nagy: Mariano is Mariano, everybody knew, and knows, how good of a pitcher he is. He was very dominating at the time. We were very fortunate that Sandy came through for us.Mike Hargrove: If you look at statistics, right-handed batters had more success against Mariano than left-handers did, which kind of goes against normal logic. Riveras big pitch was, and always was, that cutter that he threw. It was a tough deal. Sandy always came up big in big moments. I always liked having Sandy at the plate when there was a big moment.Chad Ogea: Sandy hit it out. When [Rivera] came into the game, you thought the game was over, but that was Sandys year. He had a great year and it was fitting for him to hit that home run and beat Mariano Rivera. ... We got to him, which not many people did. The group of guys we had were veteran guys, that kind of stuff didnt enter their mind, it was like, Hey well beat anybody they put on the mound. In the top of the ninth inning, Michael Jackson put the Yankees down in order. With the score tied 2-2 and Ramiro Mendoza pitching for the Yankees, Marquis Grissom led off the inning with a single to right field. Grissom moved to second base on a bunt by Bip Roberts. Omar Vizquel hit a ground ball that bounced off Mendoza and past Derek Jeter into the outfield and Grissom scored all the way from second: Indians win 3-2.Chad Ogea: It was a little bit of a celebration, but everybody knew there was Game 5 to go.Cleveland fans remember how the home run by Sandy Alomar changed the mood of the entire city. Compared to Game 4, Game 5 was somewhat less harrowing. The Indians jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four innings and hung on to beat the Yankees, 4-3. Cleveland was headed to the ALCS to face the Orioles.Charles Nagy: Everybody wanted a rematch from 1996 with Baltimore and New York. So everybody was looking ahead. We were kind of like the underdogs. We knew what we were doing. We had been in the playoffs before. ... We just felt like being the underdogs, we just wanted to spoil that party and make sure that didnt happen.Chad Ogea: Thats the type of team we had. It was like a magical season and a magical time in Cleveland. It seemed like every time we got in those situations something happened special that turned the game around. Wed win a game, and keep going and keep going. It seemed like destiny that we were going to win it all.Mike Hargrove: Its a sad thing to say this, when we first got into the World Series in 1995, I called Tony La Russa and Tom Kelly, just to pick their brains, because they had been there. I got some great advice from them. The one thing Tony said that always stuck with me was, Mike, dont get so wrapped up in the goal that you forget to enjoy the journey. Fast forward to 1997, I was so wrapped up in the results I forgot to enjoy the journey. Its a good thing to think about it, but you are so intensely wrapped up into it. I never really stopped to think about beating the Yankees.Heartache: Game 7, 1997 World Series vs. Florida MarlinsThe Indians won the American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles four games to two. Grissom, one of Harts offseason acquisitions, was named ALCS MVP. The Indians were back in the World Series for the second time in three seasons. After losing to the Braves in 1995, the Indians wanted redemption and the franchises first title since 1948 against a Florida Marlins team that was built with high-priced free agents -- the antithesis of how Hart built Clevelands roster.Craig Counsell (Marlins second baseman, 1997-99): There werent dramatic games before Game 7. It was, the teams kind of did their jobs and won their games. Obviously, Game 7 kind of changed that. It was probably known for more of the cold weather in Cleveland, that is probably the thing people remember from it. It snowed in Cleveland. It was absolutely freezing during the Cleveland games. So it was kind of a big contrast from Miami to Cleveland.After three games in Cleveland, the Marlins headed home with a 3-2 series lead. But the Indians got another brilliant one-run performance from Ogea in Game 6, who also won Game 2. With the series tied at three games apiece, it was Nagys turn in the rotation.Charles Nagy: The night before, when we won Game 6 they called me into the office, and told me that they were going to make a switch and Jaret [Wright] was going to pitch Game 7. I was disappointed at first. Thats what you live for. I was lined up to pitch that game. I was prepared for it. But then, all of a sudden, you have to change gears, you cant feel sorry for yourself, you have to do whats best for the team. I was going into the bullpen.Mike Hargrove: It maybe was the hardest decision I ever had to make. Charlie is one of my all-time favorite players that I managed. But I also knew that Charlie would understand my decision, and he wouldnt go off in a corner and sulk.Chad Ogea: Everybody always asks (about Nagy not pitching Game 7). With the team we were facing, Jaret Wright threw exceptionally hard at that time. I think they had seen Charlie Nagy. He had been around for a while. But they had a lot of veteran guys, those crafty hitters, where they can hit that guy who changes speeds.For six innings, Wright handled the Marlins, striking out seven and giving up one hit before facing Bobby Bonilla in the seventh inning with one out and no one on base.Craig Counsell: The story goes that Joe Black (former Brooklyn Dodgers right-handed pitcher) gave him a piece of advice. Joe Black was sitting in the first row by the Marlins dugout. The stands in Pro Player Stadium were very close to home plate. Bobby was always talking to everybody, and I think Joe gave him some piece of advice, and Bobby hit a homer.Bonillas homer in the seventh inning cut the Marlins lead in half. No runs were scored in the eighth. Heading into the ninth, the Indians were leading 2-1 and three outs away from their first title since 1948. The Marlins Moises Alou led off the inning with a single off of Jose Mesa. Bonillia struck out.Charles Nagy: I was in the bullpen. We had one out in the ninth inning and everybody was, like, hyped-up, because we are two outs away from winning the World Series. We didnt know what was going to happen. We were getting ready to jump on the field and celebrate, and then all of a sudden things took a turn.Charles Johnson singled to right field and Alou moved to third. Counsell came to the plate with one out and runners at the corners. Craig Counsell: I took the first pitch, fouled off the second pitch and [then] hit a ball really good to right field. Manny Ramirez made a nice play. I think the crowd was going crazy -- they should have been.Counsells sacrifice fly scored Alou and tied the score at 2-2.John Hart: Jose Mesa had done a great job closing for us all year.Mike Hargrove: As a manager all you can do is put people in positions where their talent can dominate. And put them in good positions where they can do their jobs. We felt like we had the people where they needed to be. We felt like Jose Mesa gave us the best chance to win. It just didnt happen. Thats just the game.Charles Nagy: The next thing you know, you have to grab your glove and everyone starts warming up again.With the score tied and headed to extra innings -- only the third World Series Game 7 to head to additional frames -- the pressure was at its peak.Charles Nagy: I was warming up and I caught a spike and almost fell on the mound. I think it broke the tension for me, to almost fall in front of a packed house in the World Series. ... I was able to, after that, make some pitches and get the guys out in the 10th. Then I went back out in the 11th. Bonillia got a leadoff single and they tried to bunt him over. We almost doubled them off at first. We had one out and [Counsell hit] a ground ball to second, and Tony [Fernandez] tried to turn a double play and get the guy at second.Craig Counsell: Youve got another at-bat, and this time you have a chance to win the World Series. You are just trying to have a good at-bat, get a base hit and try and set it up for the next guy. I rolled over a groundball and Tony was trying to make a play a second base. That kind of set up everything, really.The ball scooted under Fernandezs glove and trickled into right field. With men on first and third, Hargrove ordered Nagy to walk Jim Eisenreich to load the bases and create a force play at home. Devon White grounded to Fernandez, who cut down Bonilla for the second out. That brought Edgar Renteria to the plate.Craig Counsell: The big thing was, Edgar had been so great in those situations. ... There was no guy that anybody on the team wanted up more than him. He was just the guy you wanted up at the plate. ... On third base I had an easy job, I didnt have to be risky. I didnt have to make a great decision. It was just touch home plate.Charles Nagy: I got ahead strike one. The second ball he kind of didnt hit it all that well. It was just one of those that kind of knuckles to you, and it tipped off the top of my glove.Craig Counsell: I remember touching home plate. Gregg Zaun was one of the first players [to reach me], but I dont exactly remember what happened after that.Charles Nagy: I was just trying to dodge Marlins, dodge media, and just trying to get to the dugout. You see the disappointment on everybodys faces on our team, and you make your way back to the clubhouse.Mike Hargrove: A real good friend of mine, probably one of my best friends ever, is Rich Donnelly. He was the third base coach with the Marlins. And I always had a lot of respect and a good friendship with Jim Leyland. I remember when [Counsell] scored, I looked at Rich first and then at Jimmy. I saw them celebrating and I said, OK, thats enough. I didnt stay out there. I didnt want to sit there and suffer publicly.John Hart: When we got beat, the players came in [to the clubhouse] and there were a lot of tears. ... Youre devastated. To sort of have the team that was probably the least talented team in that run we had in Cleveland, as far as the numbers and all the personnel -- the lineups we had in 94, 95 and 96 were ridiculous lineups. But we still had a really good team. ... To get that close and have it snatched away was a heartbreaker. But God, there were just so many great things we did.Mike Hargrove: I had a person ask me the next year in spring training how long did it take me to get over losing Game 7? And I said, Just as soon as it happens Ill let you know. I had a person ask me about two months ago, How long did it take you to get over that? And I said, You know what? Just as soon as it happens Ill let you know. Its something that never goes away, but you certainly value the experience and to chance go to a World Series. Very few people get the chance to go.John Hart: Thats been the thing that has driven me all the way along the line. I dont think that winning or losing the World Series measures who you are. Its not like something that I look up and go, Well, we didnt win that, so my life is going to be broken. If anything its helped me to understand, its a little wound you carry with you, and you are sad you didnt win. But its the old thing: you pick yourself up off the ground and you go right back at it.Charles Nagy: To get so close, we were one out away, just the disappointment in that, just knowing the history of Cleveland Indian baseball, and sports in Cleveland, and professional sports at that time. The way the city embraced us, it was disappointment that we werent able to win the World Series. ... But I was very fortunate and lucky. Cleveland always will have a big place in my heart. Womens Bernie Kosar Black Jersey . Louis Blues. Shane Hnidy joins Brian Munz for the broadcast on TSN 1290 Radio at 7pm ct. Emmanuel Ogbah Browns Jersey . -- Most satisfying to Russ Smith about No. http://www.brownsauthoritystore.com/Authentic-Cody-Kessler-Browns-Jersey/ .C. -- Glenn Howard needed an extra end to move into the Masters Grand Slam of Curling final.Rafael Nadal returns to the clay courts of Barcelona on Wednesday to play Marcel Granollers. The Spaniard is the top seed at his home tournament and you can watch his first match live on Sky Sports 1 HD at 12.30pm.Nadal is fresh off a title at the Monte Carlo Masters and heads into this weeks Barcelona event seeking back-to-back clay courts championships in the build-up to the French Open. Highlights as Nadal beat Gael Monfils in Monte Carlo final His third-round opponent, Granollers, is competing in his hometown but, as the world No 50, has been handed the toughest possible opening ddraw. Gary Barnidge Womens Jersey. Nadal has won all three of their career meetings to date, with one coming on clay in Rome four years ago.One to watch Rafael Nadal (left) and Kei Nishikori pose with the trophy Japans Kei Nishikori is the defending champion in Barcelona and opens his campaign against Thiemo de Bakker.It will be their second career meeting (Nishikori won the first earlier this year) and is likely to provide the Japanese champion with a routine first challenge. But his prowess on the red dirt, having won the competition last year, will send a warning to the rest of the field.Surprise in store? Alexander Zverev is always an exciting watch The unseeded Alexander Zverev will fancy his chances of progressing past world No 35 Thomaz Bellucci.Zverev, the 18-year-old from Germany, is rated as the sports top teenage prospect and has won both of his previous matches against Brazils Bellucci.Watch the Barcelona Open on Wednesday live on Sky Sports 1 HD at 12.30pm. 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