Sunday, April 17, 2011

Welcome Back, Grady!

It was hard to come up with a title for today's post. Should it acknowledge Grady's return? The third sweep of the season? Being alone in first place? Fausto's first win? My first trip of the season to the Prog?

The big news we'll remember for the rest of the season is Grady's return. And, a blog is just a collection of headlines, isn't it? So we'll go with that.

Nice return, Grady! He did just what he did in Columbus - a double and a homer. Not bad at all for one's first big league game after about 10 months. My friend (who also had a microfracture...and explained the procedure to me as I cringed) noticed he's sporting quite a leg brace. I wonder if he'll be able to steal at all with that thing on there? Of course, he probably doesn't want to steal WITHOUT that thing but uhm...well, somebody stop me if I start yelling "Run, Forest, run!"

It was a windy windy day and I did opt to leave my foamboard sign at home. But it turns out that there's no wind allowed in the Diamond Box Seats where I sit (on occasion) so it would have been ok to have the sign. Except I probably would have lost it on E. 9th as I walked from the parking garage, so I'm glad I left it at home.

My friend (the other one, with a whole knee (not a hole-y knee!)) and I got the on-field cop to wave to us, that was cool. It took him a minute to realize that we were waving at him but then it looked like we made his day. I also brought a broom head with me. I didn't see anyone else with a broom. They didn't even have blow-up brooms for sale. All I saw were crappy little foam ones in the Team Shop. Anyway, I hadn't even looked anywhere for an official policy on brooms, but I thought I saw some kids waving broom heads during the Boston series, so I figured broom handles were no-nos. I did put my little broom head to good use. I also just wrote an email to The Indians asking about their official policy on brooms. Seriously. I will let you know what they say.

The crowd was bigger than it's been lately but still small. Thirteen thousand some. The lower bowl was pretty tight, around home plate but the outside edges of the bowl and most of the upper were just barren. I had to ask my friend (with the wacky knee) if my ears were just plugged up (hayfever!) or it was really that quiet. It was really that quiet, she said. Even John Adams (patron saint of The Positive Tribe) was pretty quiet. I did a lot of yelling, I wonder if you could hear me on TV? No one was being assholish or anything, but it is weird to be around such a quiet crowd.

However, even though we won, not much happened. But yet it was a good baseball game. It wasn't even so much a pitchers' duel as both teams scored. There never was a multi-run inning so maybe that's it. I'm not complaining because I was actually riveted the whole time.

It was like 2007...4 of our 7 hits came from Grady and Pronk, and each got a homer. Carlos Santana ALSO got a homer. Here's a was the first time Grady and Santana have ever played together in the same lineup. Pronk's AVG is still in the stratosphere at .354, which is awesome!It's legit, too. He's got 48 AB and he's 4th in the league for AVG.

Fausto got his win, and my man SIPP! came out for a perfect 8th. Chris Perez came out to full fanfare, with flame graphics on all the boards and The Prodigy's "Firestarter" blasting through the speakers. It was lol-awesomez! Especially since half of the crowd was up and leaving and the other half was kids re-shuffling around to get ready to run the bases, so not too many people saw Perez's Major-League-style entry from the bullpen. It was full of WINNING! I dug it, for real.

Tony Sipp, Chris Perez and Rafael Perez all still have ERAs of 0.00. Pestano's is only 1.80. That's new, huh?

Oh, and sadly, the Orioles' center fielder Felix Pie's last name is not pronounced "pie." It's "pee-ay". Sucks.

Quick rundown of the food at The Prog...
  • The East of Chicago pizza that they sell there is still better tasting than the stuff they sell at actual EoC stores (if it's still, in fact, East of Chicago).
  • We give three thumbs up to footlong hot dogs. While they are not as tasty as the $5 "All Beef Hot Dogs" they are better than "Dollar Dogs."
  • I believe Progressive Field is the only place in NEO where you can order Diet Dr Pepper, which is delicious but after about a gallon of it I have to pee A LOT.
  • This year's Souvenir Cup features the racing hot dogs. And you know what? KETCHUP CHEATS EVEN ON THE CUP! Shameful.
  • The Food Network steak sandwich (the one without sauerkraut) is extremely delicious and I deem it "completely not spicy" but uhm...$12? Really?
  • The new "potato wedges" at the "Suds & Spuds" stand are pretty delicious but they get cold and boring quickly.
  • The hand-made potato chips at the same stand are REALLY good but they don't give you enough for $5.
  • The best way to enjoy the biggest array of snacks at Progressive Field if you are two fat people and a pregnant lady who don't mind sharing food with each other. And you all have plenty of disposable income and/or you got free "loaded" tickets. 

Speaking of disposable income - while ticket prices have gone down a ton, food and parking prices have gone up. My "special garage" at [redacted]  went up from $8 to $10. At least with no one showing up to the games, you don't have to sit in traffic much while burning $3.85 gas. *sigh*

Up next is the Royals, who are 1 game behind us in the standings. They just lost to the laughable Mariners so maybe we have them on a downswing. Or we're just gonna crush 'em. Can't wait!

Radio Chatter:
"Today's birthday wishes go to Helen Molnar. Ninety-four years young. Her actual birthday is this coming Tuesday, but she plays bingo on weeknights and she won't be home. Hey, nothing like a good game of bingo! [...] Hope it's a good night at the bingo parlor, Helen!
- Tom Hamilton

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