Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hafner, History and Helpful Hints

So the Tribe went out with a whimper, not a bang. Well there were bangs - 5 of them actually - but none off our bats.

David Huff lost his shit for real and gave up 3 homers and 3 earned runs. "Luckily" for him, Lonnie had a big error and so did Hannahan so there were 4 un-earned runs. Still it was 7 to nothing when he left.

Then Vinnie of all people lost his shit later on and gave up 2 home runs. Can you imagine?! He looked like he wanted the mound to open up and swallow him alive when the second batter in a row went yard. He actually didn't finish his inning and had to be taken out. He got a standing ovation when he left and I HOPE my 18,092 companions were cheering for the same reason I was - to say "it's ok Vinnie, please come back and be awesome next year."

Sandy got a ton of love tonight, seeing as how he had to come out like 5 times to switch pitchers. He got almost a standing ovation every time! I'm pretty sure he was blushing.

What do you think about the manager thing? Between Alomar and Francona. I honestly do not envy whoever has to make the decision. Francona clearly has the experience and the know-how and would be an absolute all-star for us. Sandy is un-proven (and why was he passed over so much by other teams?) but the fans go bananas for him. Heck I want to win as much as the next person but I go bananas for Sandy over Francona too. Who knows? Sandy could actually be an amazing manager and could take a team to the top. But it's a gamble. It'll be a head versus heart decision. I actually think it's going to end up being Alomar because he's got the marketing edge, seriously. Plus the players seem really in to it. And if the players are in to it then they will make him look good.

So, Viva del Santo! Expect tons more of that song from me next season.

Speaking of standing ovations, Travis Hafner had a bit of a night tonight. He got a standing O on his first at-bat, lots of claps on his second, crazy excitement for his third when he got a hit (presumably his final as an Indian) and an honest-to-goodness freak-out on his fourth and final at-bat. He tipped his hat to the crowd before stepping in, which was totally awesome. I was standing there with my camera out and ready but I was too busy cheering to take a picture, so all I got was him putting his hat back on. Duh. Here's my Pronk pics from tonight though:

Travis Hafner on deck

Getting his hit in the 4th.

Putting on his hat after tipping said hat.

Final at-bat.

Final ball in play.
It was not fun at all to watch this, to be honest. It was way too close to pet euthanasia  or something. I've always liked Hafner - he basically replaced Thome for me as our home-town heavy hitter. He filled the place in my heart that Thome left when he left town. But all baseball players must end their career in Cleveland sometime...sigh.

It was also awkward thinking that it'd be the last time we see Choo (hopefully not!) and maybe Jack (who played first) and Kotch (who didn't play but still signed stuff before the game cuz he's classy). I was right there in the front. It was the definition of bittersweet.

In other not-so-depressing news, Miguel Cabrera got the Triple Crown today. It's mind-bogglingly exciting considering what a feat it is, how rare it is (15 ever) and how long it's been since baseball had a Triple Crown winner (1967). There are fewer Triple Crown winners than perfect game pitchers. There are fewer Triple Crown winners than perfect game pitchers!!! 

Also tonight I said "low-carb be darned!" and got my favorite food at the ballpark - the Signature Steak sandwich from the Food Channel booth at section 172. I also got my other favorite food - fresh cut fries from Spuds & Suds at section 163. I did NOT get my other other favorite food, the cotton candy, because I had to drive home. But seriously if you like cotton candy I highly recommend the cotton candy at Progressive Field. It has fruity flavors not just "dye"!

I also was intrigued by the "Triple Mix" of popcorn (butter, cheese and caramel corn) at the stand at section 175 so I grabbed me some of that. Pretty good but their cheese corn is TOO good and TOO cheesy. It would have been better as just a mix of caramel and butter. My dog totally totally loved it, though!

Another thing I tried this year that was so-so was the fried Snickers. I decided that you can't really make a Snickers bar taste bad so frying it doesn't make it taste bad - it just doesn't add $3.50 worth of taste. I did enjoy the overall taste better than the fried cookie dough and the fried Twinkie (tried those last year) but I think that's because I enjoy Snickers more than those things.

Oh yeah I also tried the Po Boy, which is ok I guess except I don't actually like bbq pulled pork, which is a good portion of what a Po Boy is. So WTG me! My friend got one and he ate his right up so I can say it's not BAD.

Two other food things from this year that I hope stick around next year - the discount refills and the $8 Classic Combo. Over 14 games I think I saved like $30 on pop by remembering to bring my refill cup back. I forget how much a pop costs cuz I keep getting the refill, so I don't know how much I actually saved. But it worked for me. I didn't get the combo (carbs) but my friends usually did and it's just a darn good deal.

Two thumbs up for the deals! Let's see them again next year!!

Oh also, speaking of food - if you can eat I highly recommend snagging some club seats at least once in the year. You will more than make up the cost of the tickets in food. You may make it up in soda alone. And it's GOOD food, not just stale nachos or something. Pass up the "All You Can Eat Seats" and go Club. Here's my post from the 4th of July about the seats. Do it!

Two more things to share with you about going to games. First is parking. The deck next to the field is only $12. There are parking lots further away that cost more! And they're not as secure. If you get there soon enough, always try the deck first. If the deck is full, swing over to Prospect and 8th (across from the Winking Lizard) where it's only $10, or $8 on slow nights. I've never seen that deck fill up and it's a quick walk in to the stadium. There's actually another deck right next to it that's the same price, and a tiny little lot closer to the Q (still off Prospect) that's only $10 too.

The other thing is Perfect 10 Voucher packs. I give these a thumbs down. Having to stand in line to get tickets is stupid. Just stupid. Yes you do save some money on fees and maybe it helps "force" you to go to games but the new Ticketmaster ticket buying system is AWESOME. You get to choose your exact seats from a map and stuff. It's sort of actually worth the fees to be able to get it all taken care of before you hit the ballpark.

One thing I will say, though - the cheap seats at Progressive Field, which are the upper half of the bleachers and the upper half of the upper deck - are awesome seats. They're like $10 too, with or without vouchers. If you're taking a fidgety kid to the game, get those. Even if you want to sit and watch the game intently, get those. Only bad seats in the park are deep in right and center, I say. Everything else rocks.

Hmmm what else? Oh yeah - there's a service now where you can buy stuff from the day's game, like bases. Seriously! And they're not too crazy expensive - like $150. That's about all the recon I managed to get on the situation, other than the place to do it is a booth outside the main Team Shop. But I think that's pretty awesome and I have to remember to do it some day.

Also don't forget that if you go to a game and it's your first game stop at a Fan Services booth and get a first game certificate. I doubt you have to be a kid to get one, by the way. Also there is some sort of game passport book thingy but I never got a grasp on that this year. I should have - I went to a lot of games! If anyone knows, tell me.

I guess that's it, then. My impression on 25 games in 2 years (14 this year!) and some stuff I learned, and ruminations on the last game of the season.

Oh yeah I surpassed 20,000 views some time in the past month so that's cool - I hadn't reached 10,000 yet by the end of last season so I guess I'm picking up steam. Got a couple of good links in, snagged a ton more Twitter followers and had like uh...33 comments. Kind of low on comments compared to last year but I did get some re-Tweets and whatnot so whatever.

Oh hey if you have a swell transistor radio like I do, it's time to flip over from AM to FM. On my radio, AM 1100 shares the dial position with FM 87.7 which is a mind-blowingly awesome new radio station for people who were in to the latest music incarnation of 92.3 before it went sports, and 107.9 "The End" from back in the day. Holy cow, boffins - I'm totally listening to a transistor radio during the day because it's so good! Dig it!

All right so I'll hit you up soon with a recap of Hammy and Rosie from this year. Probably next week. Until then, everyone leave a comment, ok? So I feel like doing this again next year.

See you in April! 

Good night!

Radio Chatter:
"I know many of you want to know when they're coming to town so you can get tickets for Christmas..."
- Tom Hamilton on the Houston Astros

"This ballclub is playing for him like they are trying to make the statement 'We want this guy as our manager.'"
- Tom Hamilton on Sandy Alomar

"Is it true you get the car for the winter of no one wins here?"
- Jim Rosenhaus on the grand slam bonus inning

"I have a feeling, Rosebud, with a 7 to nothing score we're going to be seeing a lot of first-pitch swinging. Guys want to get out of here. [...] The White Sox have already ordered a pizza. They scheduled the delivery for 9:30."
- Tom Hamilton

"This shift might be more productive if they took the two outfielders and put them in the upper deck in right and right center."
- Tom Hamilton

"I don't know Rosie - I like Detroit. Which probably means they'll get swept in 3 games."
- Tom Hamilton on the playoffs

"It's been a great summer, we had a lot of laughs along the way. Glad I could be there for you!"
- Jim Rosenhaus, the straight man

"You Cleveland Indians fans are what makes this the best job in the world. We appreciate your support and we look forward to talking to you next spring!"
- Tom Hamilton

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Good Game, Greasemonkey!

Today was a nice game to show off our "team spirit" I think. Our ace pitcher was ace. Our crazy closer was nuts. Our slick star was starry. Our veteran big basher had a big bash. And in the end it was all the young kids who came around to win it.

Now, inbetween all that stuff it was kind of gut-wrenching having to listen to 1-1 baseball for the second-to-last game. One would want nothing else but to see a lot of action from both teams.

But we did get one thing we wanted and that is one more quality start from Masterson. He went 6 today and only gave up one earned run (a homer) on 4 hits and struck out 5. So...good. Bring that back with you next year, ok?!

If we were REALLY lucky we'd have Smith and Pestano pitch their two perfect innings (close - Vinnie gave up 2 hits) and then Perez shut it down but that didn't happen. He walked a guy then gave up a 2-run homer. Oops! Not a good day for him to be doing that. Then he beaned a guy up near the ear and all of Chicago (well, half of Chicago but all of the White Sox) gave him an earful. After the inning was over, he ran over to the guy he hit (and we all said "Uh oh...") and apologized and told him he didn't mean to hit him and they were cool.

He also apologized sort of for ripping on the management and basically said that Manny Acta was his problem. Huh. Dude definitely is the classic "bad boy" boyfriend - he keeps doing shitty stuff then getting out of it with sweet words.

Anyway I hope we still got Perez next year. He's our only excitement. And his intro graphics/music is awesome! I hope to see him tomorrow at the game, too.

So the White Sox's starter was pitching a no-hitter for a while until Choo broke that up with a homer in the 4th, and that was the only thing he gave up until Kipnis walked in the 7th. They brought him back in the 9th, after 104 pitches, and he proceeded to give up a single to Surprise Brantley...

...and then a 2-run homer to surprise Hafner!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! How cool was that, seriously? I hopped! I hooted! It was fun fun times!

I bet Chris Perez hollered loudest!

After that there were 3 more innings in which Barnes, Rogers and Seddon didn't give up any runs. All three have been pretty solid lately really. Barnes hasn't even given up a hit in 5 appearances. Rogers did have an upset yesterday but everybody had an upset yesterday. He pitches hard, too. Chris Seddon improves every time we see him. And - hair!

We did manage to get 5 hits off the Chicago relievers after getting just 3 off the starter. Jason Donald, who was in for Brantley who was in for Lillibridge who was in for the injured Brantley at center (work with me here) got a double in the 10th but Other Vinny couldn't hit him in.

The top of the lineup did nothing in the 11th or 12, and it was Chisenhall the second batter in the 12th who got on with a single. Then the Death Knell For Other Teams was sounded and they intentionally walked Russ Canzler. I have a small and un-tested (laziness) theory that most of the times other teams have put our guys on, it ends up costing them. I know it happened when I was at that Detroit game in September and I am pretty sure it happened again and oh yeah it happened tonight!

After Hannahan struck out (remember when he was our "clutch guy"?) Jason Donald - the greasemonkey! - got an RBI single and won the game!

Way to go greasemonkey!
You should watch the video, it's very feel-good. He tags first then runs towards the mob with his helmet off instead of waiting for the mob to come to him. He is very excited! Too bad it's not the last play of the last game but whatever - I'm excited to see what we'll do tomorrow!

Tomorrow I'll be at the game down by the plate. Probably will bring OMG ASDRUBAL!!! with me cuz why not? Look for us on TV! It'll be David Huff versus RHP (4.47). No problem, right? It's gonna be a real good time I think and I'm going with my bestie so you know we're gonna have fun no matter what!

See you there!!

Radio Chatter:
"Somebody tried to catch that [foul] ball and...somebody will be in a cast tomorrow."
- Tom Hamilton

"Ya hang a slider and this guy will make it 2-1 Chicago."
- Tom Hamilton on Dan Johnson

"This isn't exactly Usain Bolt but it's Jose Lopez pinch running for Dan Johnson."
- Tom Hamilton

"You could tell the hitter it's a slider and they wouldn't have a chance with this one the way Rogers is throwing it."
- Tom Hamilton

"Free Guinness for everybody if Hannhan ends it here!"
- Tom Hamilton in the 12th

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Indians Buy Me Dinner But I Have A Headache, and Nobody Gets In

The White Sox don't get in to the playoffs, I mean. They needed to not lose any games and Detroit to not win any games the rest of the week or else they'd be eliminated. While Cleveland would have liked to be the one to give Chicago a loss, it was actually Detroit got the win that got the Sox their E. So sorry.

The Indians did not come close to winning today. Today's game was nothing like yesterday's game, except there was a grand slam. Only not by Asdrubal, by the White Sox. The Indians lost bad. Kluber was bad, the bullpen was bad (well not Joe Smith. Yay Joe Smith!) The batters...the batters were super bad. Or the Sox's starter was super good. We got 2 hits - one by Choo in the 3rd and one by PH Cord Phelps in the 9th. We also got 2 hit-by-pitch, one by Asdrubal in the 4th and one by PH Neal in the 9th.

And then it started to rain.

Anyway, aside from the baseball game it was Social Media Appreciation night! I think anyone who signed up to get in to the Social Media Suite got invited, which means I got invited even though I'm not good enough to go to the suite yet. They sent us a complimentary ticket and invited us to come as early as 4:30 for dinner on the Budweiser Patio. Free dinner! Needless to say, a lot of people showed up. Hot dogs, chicken, bbq pork, mac & cheese, potato salad, chips, popcorn, cookies and soda. We also got a free shirt which my sleeping dog will now model for you:
Not dead, just sleeping. Woah - metaphor!
We got to eat and enjoy the view:
And almost get hit by foul balls.
After a while, @VinnieP52 showed up for Q&A. For some reason they totally could not get the microphone to work so you had to read his lips or strain to hear or just forget about it. In general he was cool though. I asked him if the league had any rules about Twitter and if you could take your phone to the bullpen. He said no tweeting an hour before and until an hour after the game. No phones in the bullpen of course. Answers I pretty much figured on but hey I thought I'd keep it on topic.

How could you not like this guy?

This baby has something to do with Vinnie. I think the guy once asked Vinnie if his wife would get pregnant again and he said "Yes" and here is proof of his psychic abilities.

Some social mediaers. Recognize anyone? Sadly, @Jobu_Lives was not there - I was looking for him!

After Vinnie I ate more cookies (free cookies, yo) and then Mark Shapiro came and answered a lot of questions. They got the microphone figured out for him. Everyone asked pretty good questions too about the team and the future of the team and stuff. Shapiro sure is a smooth talker, I tell you what. People like to hate on him but they've probably never heard him speak. He got to where he was for a reason.

Everyone had on name tags with whatever you wanted to put. Mostly everyone used their Twitter handle. I put "The Positive Tribe" though because I'm not very Twitter-y. It was kind of funny walking by everyone and staring down their chest to see if you recognize anyone's name. I didn't recognize but like I said, not too Twittery. Probably some folks there were some of my awesome followers, no doubt. But I didn't know.

I did stop and chat with this guy because I don't know why - scary beardy is something I feel comfortable with I suppose. He's a pretty cool fellow. Google Stalking him later on I found his rap song about the #BullpenMafia and well you wish you would have thought of it first! Two thumbs up DStew! That's some Positive Tribin'!

According to DStew's Twitter he stuck around and met some dudes from Sports Time Ohio but I went down to my complimentary seat, really just not being familiar enough with STO to be able to chat. The seats were pretty good.
Always a pretty sight.

Baseball stretching or gay porn?
I had made plans with my friends to go to this game like a month ago, so I had them grab some Perfect 10 Voucher tickets and meet me inside. I also noticed that the section of seats assigned to the Social Media group was pretty sparsely filled (everyone stayed and enjoyed the patio, which is enjoyable) so once I determined that two seats in section 131 were going to be free for sure, I had my friends come down and sit down with me. Appreciate!

A couple foul balls came close to us. One hit the large guy 2 rows ahead of us and we were all quite relieved. The fella in front of us was trying pretty hard to snag something but all the rest were out of reach.

I did notice a distinct lack of kids around us so when the Fun Bunch came around I gave a great holler and they walked up and handed me a swell canvas bag. Normally I'd let the kids have all the Fun Bunch swag but tonight it was all me!

As the game wore on the crowd got pretty restless. And then sparse. The guys in front of us were having a great time yelling at the Sox while they were on base. One guy said "ADAM DUNN YOU SWING THE BAT LIKE A GIRL!" as loud as hell and then "I KNOW YOU HEARD ME DUNN!" and Dunn turned around and waved! Ha! That is pretty high up the ladder when it comes to crowd yellin' I gotta say! Another guy was heckling them about Detroit winning. Not as loud but still funny.

It was a pretty fun time altogether even though we lost like a motherfuck and I did have a headache (no doubt from the cookies. I STILL have a headache now!) It did start to drizzle at the end but the weather was quite nice otherwise and didn't get too cold. I wore my Kipnis shirt, my Wahoo waffle shirt and my jersey and 2 pairs of socks and I was good. Didn't even need the hoodie, scarf or gloves that I lugged around all night. At least I got a swell bag to put them in!

Oh hey check this out - if you come up with any good ideas for any of the following, tweet @dncindians (the Indians food service company) and you could win 4 Club Lounge tickets! If you recall I went to the Club Lounge on the 4th of July and it's awesome!

So try to come up with something cool and send these guys a tweet:
- Ideas for "Burger of the Month"
- Ideas for "Pizza of the Month"
- Idea for  a "Fried Delight"
- New food at the stadium

Their food is actually quite good, I think, and there's a lot to try at the park. It'll be fun to see what they come up with next! And no I'm not even getting paid to say any of this, I'm just fat.

Ok so tomorrow I am NOT going to the game but I'll be listening at 7:05 to Masterson versus RHP (3.37). Probably - now that they're eliminated it might be LHP (0.00) or something. You better be there - I'll see you there!

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Woah baby! I bet you were wondering where I've been all day and whether or not I caught this game huh? I'm sure the whole time you were watching the game you were like "Oh man, JJ is gonna dig this!"

Well I missed it live because I had a ton of stuff to do this afternoon but when I finally got home and saw the box score in my inbox, I immediately cordoned off 4 hours for playback. Why four? Well sometimes I get distracted and I have to rewind and listen again. And sometimes it's just that great I gotta listen again!

Isn't this how you guys do it too?!

In case you missed it, we won the game 15 to 3 and had a 10-run inning that included a grand slam by Asdrubal. We got 19 hits and 5 walks and the BEST part... only 10 left on base! HOLLA!

Zach McAllister had a great last game! A quality start (that's 2 in a row and half of his last 10 starts) with 6 2/3 innings and only 3 runs. Only 5 hits, too! How he managed to do that with only 2 strikeouts, I don't know. We didn't even turn any double plays today or anything! I hope Zach makes it on to the roster next year. He wasn't lights-out this year by any means but he gave us a lot of length (only 2 appearances of 22 were fewer than 5 innings) - a good strong young guy. And wow, I didn't know this but he's huge! He's six foot six inches and 240 pounds. Wow!

Thanks to Zach going so long we didn't need much relief, and that's good considering everybody and the Ghost of Bob Wickman even pitched last night. Sipp finished off the 7th and did the 8th with no consequence, and Frank Herrmann did the 9th all safe and sound.

Would you believe that with 19 hits that not everybody hit today? Of course you would, because it happened yesterday too with TWO guys not hitting and 21 hits! But everyone did get on base. I don't think I could lower my standards and change my scoring system, though - I mean they are gold stars WITH EYES not like, just dots. Gotta keep it lofty.

Choo got his 43rd double today and Alex Gordon got none, so he's now tied for 4th (you're right - Alex Gordon not getting a double has no bearing on his spot in the standings as he already has 51. But still - Choo got 3 doubles this weekend and Gordon got ZERO so who's the leader of this weekend huh? Neener neener!

Oh yeah Choo also got both his hits in ONE inning and his second hit was a 2-RBI single, and both times he came around to score. And he stole a base. He's got a 10-game hitting streak with 17 hits in those games and 10 RBI. KIM NAE YO!

Thomas Neal came in for Choo in the 8th because of course, and he got himself a hit. More Neal!

You know Jason Kipnis was going to be a huge part of a huge game! He went 2 for 3 with 2 walks - giving him 9 walks over his last 4 games. He got an RBI [ground rule] double and came in to score 3 times!

Cord Phelps came in as his replacement in the 8th and he also went 1 for 1 with an RBI!

Asdrubal, you think he got another pain shot today? Last time he hit a homer was after he got a pain shot in his wrist. Then today he was THE MAN!! He put down a nice bunt single and came around to score in the inning. Then everyone else got on base and scored more runs and OMG ASDRUBAL GRAND SLAM!!! GRAND SLAM!!! GRAND SLAM!! I don't know if we've had other grand slams this year. I think just one. Can't remember when or who. BUT THERE WAS ONE TODAY WOOHOO!!

Asdrubal was 3 for 5 on the day with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored!

Vinny Rottino came in for him in the 8th but he did not get a hit. Aww...

Can you believe that Lonnie Chisenhall didn't get a hit? He didn't! Yesterday he was batting cleanup and he told Sandy Alomar "It's about time!" and he did awesome but today, nothing. Well he did walk so there's that. He only left 2 on base.

LaPorta came in to pinch for Chiz in the 8th and got a 2-RBI double! As Tom Hamilton said, it's nice to see him in the game making a difference. Of course you know what's going to happen next - he's going to make some horrible error next game or strike out 5 times or something. Oh, Matt!

Hannahan had a super big day! He went 3 for 5 with an RBI  double and 2 runs scored. How that guy left 4 on base is anybody's guess!

Oh, Brent Lillibridge - you were so not bad yesterday! Today, nothing but a walk. Pray on it, brother!

Casey Kotchman was in on things today, and not in the "guy who left the winning run on base three times" way he was in on things yesterday. Today he was making a difference going 2 for 5 with a run and a RBI. And surely stopping every ball that came his way.

Lou Marson was in today. I think Santana is out with a sore knee. Do you think Sandy Alomar - 9-time knee surgery recipient - asks Santana every day how his knees feel on a scale of 1 to 10? (Well, uno a diez) If he answers anything lower than a 7 (siete) he's got to sit out. Hmm...

Anyway Lou Marson was the first Indian to get a RBI today with a single in the 2nd! He then went 3 for 4 with a walk and came in to score 2 runs! Nice to see him just pop in and be able to get stuff done.

Zeke was out today and he may have been the dude with the sore knee. I was listening to Sandy's post-game interview with only one ear. Someone has a sore knee and thus got the night off. Anyway Jason Donald, the greasemonkey, was in his place in center (Brantley still in and out with a pulled groun). I don't think he's every played much OF at all. But according to Hammy and Rosie he is quite the athlete and he was working his tail off out there. Maybe that's a better place for him than third - longer reaction times. Anyway, he did this. WAT! You go, greasemonkey! At the plate he went 1 for 4 and scored 2 runs and got an RBI. I tell you what that was pretty Carrera of him!

So we come back around to where we were in the beginning of the season - thoroughly embarassing the Royals. I must say, it's pretty fun! I would have loved to have been at today's game but there were 18k who made it so good on all you!

Tomorrow we start our final series of the season, against the White Sox. The series where we can CRUSH THE WHITE SOX HOPE FOR THE PLAYOFFS BWAHAHAHA! It's a 7:05 game, Kluber versus LHP (3.69). A dude who's a transitioned reliever. Hmm.

I'll be at the game. Before it starts I'm supposed to go to this Social Media Appreciation thing. I get a free ticket, a free t-shirt and a free DINNER! Just for having this fancy blog! And I get to meet a player and some dudes from STO and get to be all "Uh, I don't know who you are because I don't have cable." Gonna be awesome. Unfortunately I can't watch the game from my primo seat they gave me, as I am meeting some friends up in the nosebleeds (where I belong!) but the seat is in "nose broken by foul ball" territory down the right field line so really I'm not too sad.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"We ought to call down to Steve Smith, the third base coach - I wonder if he has his cell phone with him - to tell him to hold up Choo at third even if Cabrera hits it off the wall."
- Tom Hamilton wants to give away the Grand Slam Payoff Inning prize, dangit!

"Unless there's a major miracle at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, Hochevar will end the season 8 and 16, his worst record in the big leagues."
- Tom Hamilton

"The Angels can surf in the Pacific come Monday. They won't be going to the playoffs."
- Tom Hamilton

"Jeffres is the kind of guy who might throw it 100 miles per hour. He also might throw it against the backstop."
- Tom Hamilton

"Those ratings mean absolutely nothing because nobody has the time to go around and scout every high school player in the country. But, you can sell magazines pretending you do."
- Tom Hamilton on high school player rankings

"I don't know that Brent Lillibridge has ever had a strike called on him that he agrees with."
- Tom Hamilton

"And that's how you get some people to notice you. In a 15-3 rout you bust your tail and make that kind of a play!"
- Tom Hamilton on Donald's good catch in the outfield

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Wow! Fourteen innings of non-playoff end-of-September baseball. RIVETING! Hahaha!

Actually it worked out great for me because I had a ton of housecleaning to do and got a late start so I was able to clean along to the second half of the OSU game (also riveting!) then 5 hours of baseball. My house is super clean!

Oh man so our pitching was bad then good, then our hitting was bad then good then bad again. The best part of this game was our bullpen's 10 scoreless innings. The worst part was either Jeanmar Gomez, or Casey Kotchman.

Normally I'm a fan of Casey. I don't expect much of him at the plate, just that he is an awesome first baseman. And I think he saves as many runs at first as he doesn't get at the plate. But lordy lordy...tonight, he was the last out in 3 extra innings. He went 0 for 4. It was just sad. Mostly because I wanted Casey Kotchman to be the hero (Hooray!) but also because 3 times we almost won it but didn't.

Overall I'm pleased with the game, though. Weird I know because we lost and also failed to score a ton of times. They left 20 guys stranded tonight! But it was a pretty exciting game all told, and by this point is anyone surprised when the team strands a lot of runners? So it's not like suddenly I should be mad about that tendency. I made peace with it sometime around the end of July!

So after 3 glorious David Huff starts in place of Jeanmar Gomez, Jeanmar popped up again this time in place of ... Jiminez? I don't even know who. Someone has a sore ankle that's not Hernandez. Anyway our next best guy is apparently Jeanmar Gomez who did the same crap he was doing before he was sent down, and the same as before he was replaced by Huff. Same ol' Jeanmar! Three innings and 6 runs, all of them coming in one inning with 2 outs. Ho hum.

As I said though our bullpen was dynamite. Seven guys combined for 10 scoreless innings with only 2 hits! The first was Chris Seddon who pitched 3 scoreless innings giving up just one hit. I generally like that guy - he can be trusted. After that with one inning each was Good Tony Sipp, Frank Herrmann, Esmil Rogers (who apparently has a wonky delivery that got him warned by the umpire), Vinny Pestano and Cody Allen. Scott Barnes threw 2. And then since we couldn't use Perez again, I guess, we had no one left but Scott Maine who inevitably gave up the winning run in the 14th. Erk.

Pretty nice show by those guys, otherwise. They've all been known to blow stuff up lately, even Vinnie. To go 10 like that with no runs is pretty special!

In 14 innings, it was still not a day when everybody hit. Even though they got 12 walks, not even everybody got on base! See the aforementioned Kotchman and the kid he replaced, Canzler - they combined for 7 plate appearances and goose eggs across the board.

Choo had 8 at-bats tonight! He actually didn't have that great of a night, comparatively - he went 2 for 7 with a walk. He got 2 RBI yes but he also left EIGHT on base since Asdrubal, Brantley (late additions) and Zeke were all getting on base before him.

Kipnis was back in the 2-spot and he had a chance to do it big a couple times but instead he walked 3 times and got no hits. Sad that he didn't get to be the hero but definitely mature when he takes his time and gets the walk instead of swinging at garbage! Broke his hitting streak, though.

Santana did the same - went 0 for 5 with 3 walks - and showed some restraint himself, getting those walks at times when we could have really used a hit.

Lonnie Chisenhall had his second 3-hit game in a row! Today he was 3 for 7 with a walk and since he was on base so much he got a run and a RBI. One of his hits was a double. There was an article on the Tribe's front page today about how he's opted not to play winter ball and is just going to relax. Now we know his motives for wanting to come back from his injury so early - get out of winter ball! I say the Chiz totally deserves it and I HOPE he's part of our starting roster next spring!

Hafner, Donald and Cord Phelps teamed up in the 6 slot for a total of 1 walk, 1 HBP and 2 runs. Meh.

 Brent Lillibridge actually had a great night tonight going 2 for 3 like he did yesterday. And also no errors! It's been a banner series for Brent - his average is up over .200! (Seriously though I like the dude for some reason. I just think he's an awful shortstop.)

Asdrubal came in as our secret weapon in the 8th. Mystery Cabrera! No one was really sure if he'd be able to come in but not only did he come in he got a clutch double in the 9th to tie the game on 2 RBI!! AWESOME! He didn't do anything the rest of the game, though. Well except not have an error, that's pretty good.

Thomas Neal was in and he got a hit. So that's pretty cool. Even cooler was when he was taken out for Mystery Brantley who came in after Mystery Cabrera and went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored!

Zeke was 9th again and is still impressive. Today he went 2 for 5 with 2 walks. One of his hits was a double. That gives him a 7-game hitting streak with 12 hits in those games! Unfortunately no one was hitting ahead of him or behind him so he didn't score any runs or get any RBI today. Shoot.

I hope everyone enjoyed the game - especially the 17k who were there and ESPECIALLY the ones who stayed! Lots of good cheering and it sort of seemed like people showed up to see Sandy. Maybe? They did give him a standing ovation when he came out to argue/discuss a call. Stay fiesty!

Tomorrow is McAllister versus RHP (5.43). No problem, right? Dude's got 15 losses! Everyone might be tired for the 1:05 start after playing extra innings tonight but at least both teams are in the same boat (although we did use 2 more players than them).

Tomorrow's the day they choose the Hargrove Suite winner. Hope it's me!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"David must be having a good year too, based on the picture of his homecoming date."
- Tom Hamilton on the one of one of the execs

"At your homecoming you had to dance with a broom."
"Now, don't talk about the St. Elizabeth's girls like that!"
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus

"He and Carlos Santana, it's like the first day of kindergarden, like they're meeting each other for the first time, the way they're going through the signs down there."
- Tom Hamilton on Jeanmar Gomez

"They are like your labrador rolling over to have you scratch his belly."
"They're no longer a schnauzer, nipping at your pant leg?"
- Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus on the collapse of the Red Sox

"If they don't know who they're listening to by now, to heck with them."
- Tom Hamilton doesn't want to break for a station ID this late in the game

Friday, September 28, 2012

Enter Sandy

Looks like it's not only the White Sox's turn to have a late-season skid, but also the Royals. And here we are to be a part of it - yay! It also could not be a better time for Sandy Alomar to take over as manager. Not because Manny Acta was running the team into the ground or anything - we all know he wasn't to blame - but because our team is on a little upswing and the last 2 teams we're facing here are on a bit of a downswing. Also the fans have been calling for Sandy since uhm...last year so it's nice for him to start off at home.

I got a baseball with Sandy and Manny's autographs on it last week. How about that? I can't tell if it's lucky or unlucky for anyone...

So, on to the game.

Our new favorite guy, David Huff, is now 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA. He went 6 solid innings today giving up only 3 runs and striking out 5. Yeah he gave up a homer but to Billy Butler who is dying to get #30 (it was #29). Huff only threw 89 pitches but Sandy was following Manny's lead - get your quality start and get the guy out of there before it goes south!

Cody Allen was back to his old self today. He threw an inning and gave up nothing. Scott Maine had the opposite fate - he didn't even get an out but gave up 2 runs on 3 hits. NOT COOL!

Even Sandy recognizes the value of Joe Smith and put him out there to finish the 8th. Chris Perez rocked the 9th and got his 39th save. Awesome - still 5 more chances to get his 40th!!!

The top of the order was solid tonight but there were so many hits, the bottom of the order got in on the act too!

CHOOOO went 2 for 4 with his 41st AND 42nd double - both of them packaged with an RBI! That puts him tied for 4th in the league with 2 other dudes for doubles! He also walked and scored a run. He's got an 8-game hitting streak with 13 hits in those games!

If Choo wasn't exciting enough, ol' Cord Phelps was shoehorned in the 2-hole (Asdrubal out with wrist again I guess) and went 3 for 5 with an RBI. Gotta love the new guys having a good September!

Kipnis was knocked down to 3rd, and kept up his hitting streak (10) going 1 for 4 with a walk. His one hit was pretty awesome, though - it was a 2-out bases-loaded single that scored 2. Choo and Phelps couldn't get anything done but The Kid came through! He got another RBI on a force-out, earlier in the game, for a total of 3 plus he got his 31st stolen base!

Santana didn't get a hit tonight - Ended his little hitting streak but he does have a 4-game walking streak. And his OBP for September is .389, so not bad. And look - we managed to win without Santana having a multi-hit game!

How is Russ Canzler doing? Just fine, thanks! He went 2 for 5 tonight with a run and is keeping his average over .300 (.313). So he's got a 5-game hitting streak with 10 hits in those games.

The Chiz Kid had no hits against lefties in 22 at-bats so far this year. Then tonight all of a sudden he's 3 for 5 against lefties. Bam! One of them was even a RBI double (his 4th double). It'd be pretty nice if something has "clicked" for him and he suddenly is hitting lefties like a champ. Heck it'd be good for any of our guys to hit lefties like a champ so it might as well start with him!

Brent Lillibridge was at short today and made ZERO errors AND he went 2 for 3, got hit by a pitch and scored 2 runs. A red letter day for Brent!

Zeke continues to be on the ball there in the 9th spot. Today he went 3 for 4 with an RBI and came around to score 3 runs. Incredible! He's got a 6-game hitting streak with 10 hits in those games, plus he's scored 7 runs and gotten 4 RBI! Who knew that goddamn Ezequiel Carrera would be such a useful addition to our team?? Now if only he were 50 lbs. bigger and had an arm we could put him in right - I hear there's an opening in 2013!

Still tied with Minnesota for last place. That blows! But we've got 5 more games against teams we've got no problem with all of a sudden.

Here's something nice - we won't lose 100 games this year! If you're curious we're 66 and 91. Pretty crummy, I agree. But hey at least the problem (Acta) is gone now - right?! (Woah, slow down, sarcasm)

Tomorrow is another one at 7:05 against the Royals at home. It might be rainy...but I hope people come out to the game anyway. Winning baseball! Go see who's on tap for next year!

I just sold my last two Perfect 10 Vouchers (for half price, yech!) but never fear, I've still got 2 more games on my slate. Monday I'm going to a special Social Media meeting which is swell, considering they keep passing me by for visiting their Social Media Suite. This seems like a pretty good consolation prize. And perhaps if Mark Shapiro is there I will plead with him to not get rid of Perez.

I'm going Wednesday too with some primo seats from StubHub. I've gone to the last 4 years final games so I've decided it's a tradition now and I made my friend go this year (she's been to 3). Gonna be cool. Free stuff!

Anyway, that's then, this is now. Tomorrow another rout of the Royals? Maybe! Tomorrow is Jeanmar (ack) versus RHP (5.06) that we had a good game against last week. Should be a good game...

See you there!

Sorry about the lack of Radio Chatter today. It was sort of solemn with Manny being gone, and sort of pro praising Sandy. I did what I could!

Radio Chatter:
"David Huff trying to make a statement this year. Basically 'Don't forget about me, I'm still here.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"There won't be any hugs after that ceremony."
- Tom Hamilton on Omar's retirement after blasting the Toronto club in the press

Thursday, September 27, 2012

This Must Suck For You

I'm sorry, Chicago, but this is not how a first place, playoff team plays in September. Well, I mean, you weren't the team with the errors but you got fewer hits than the last place team that just beat you, and you gave up 12 walks. TWELVE!

And, Chicago...we even gave you Justin Masterson! Who has the ability to implode at any moment. Now, you did take advantage of him slightly in the first when he threw 34 pitches and you scored 3 runs but that was it! Wow! He went 3 2/3 more innings and you only scored one more run and got 4 more hits. Tsk!

Frank Herrmann, who is awesome lately (well, forever) was up next and finished the 5th then got 2 in the 6th. Sipp pitched one out - three pitches - to end the 6th and got the win. HA! I wish we only needed him to pitch 3 pitches every game - we'd win a lot more!

Then we got the Perfect Ending only...well, sans Vinnie. Still testing out Esmil Rogers, I guess. Smith, Rogers and Perez pitched the last three and managed to give up 0 runs. It's pretty sad when Youk grounds into a double play and then Paul Konerko pops out to end a game. That's pretty shitty, Chicago!

Our boys were apparently all about patience today. They saw 217 pitches which was 45 more than Chicago saw. The average is 146! We got 12 walks out of that - and Carlos Santana got 2 almost-grand-slams, too.

The game was 3 hours 44 minutes long tonight.  We prolonged their misery!

Top of the order not as solid tonight BUT that's only because Asdrubal left after the first with a pulled muscle. Dammit dammit dammit, Brent Lillibridge. Who had another error, by the way.

Choo extended his streak to 7 games, with his 40th double of the year. He came around to score after that. Later on he got a force out for a RBI. A little light in the on-base for him today but whatever - RBI!

Kipnis extended his in-Chicago hitting streak to 11 games this year, and his current hitting streak to 9. He went 1 for 3 tonight with 3 walks! Three! I guess he can wait aaaalll night. He then went on to steal his 29th and 30th base (woohoo!) and his hit was a 2-run single. Love that Kid!

From @Indians:
With 2 SB's tonight, @TheJK_Kid becomes 4th Indian over last 25 seasons w/ 10+ HR, 80+ R, 70+ RBI, 30+ SB; joins RAlomar/Lofton/Sizemore

Santana also had the patience bug today and HE walked 3 times. One of them was an RBI walk after 12 pitches, with him crushing a couple of foul balls. That's right, with the bases loaded. I actually think it's quite a huge leap into maturity when a guy can crush two foul balls within feet of being grand slams, then go on to take the walk. Big, big turning point, Santana!

ERMAHGERD RUSS CANZLER!!! All right, so he didn't get a home run tonight (as he did the last 2 nights) but he still went 2 for 4 with an RBI and is batting .307 with 23 hits in his 21 games with us. So, yeah Russ Bus!

For some reason Canzler was taken out for Rottino in the 7th. Sort of weird cuz Other Vinny's average is near half of what Canzler's is. Must have to do with Vinny's great fielding (not sarcastic - dude has an arm!) and Manny thinking there might be some plays at the plate. But you know how Canzler got homers in his last two games? Well his replacement hitter, Vinny Rottino, got one today instead!! Go Vinny! He's proving to be a much more useful utility guy than Brent Lillibridge, that's for sure...

Hafner was in tonight. You sort of forget about that guy when Russ is around. Especially when he goes 0 for 5.

Lonnie was in, working his way to a spot. He went 1 for 4 with a walk and came around to score a run. He hasn't done anything amazing in a while, but I think he's keeping it solid.

Sweet Lou was the catcher today and he walked 3 times, for the second time in 3 games (also against KC on Sunday. He didn't try to steal today like he did Monday. I think he's learned his lesson - no more taking off on Pierzynski!

Zeke got a stolen base, though, and he went 2 for 5 on the night with a run scored. One of his hits was a double! He's actually got a 5-game hitting streak with 4 runs scored in those 5 games. It'll be interesting to see what the outfield lands on next year with Zeke as a possibility along with Brantley of course and Choo gone. Maybe Torii Hunter? HA!

SO we took 2 of 3 from the White Sox and now they are a whole game out of first and we are tied for 4th/5th with the Twins. Do we have momentum to carry us through a good solid series with the Royals, and then one last push against the Sox to beat them down? Kind of exciting, don't you think?

Tomorrow is Thursday night football, Browns versus Ravens. Sorry to kill your winning buzz but it's the truth. No baseball to compete with or anything.

The next Tribe game is at home on Friday against the Royals. Our new favorite guy David Huff versus LHP (4.88). We might actually have this one. Tune in to find out!

See you there!

PS If anyone is looking to join the Nordonia Lancer Band Alumni group, go here!

Radio Chatter:
"Carlos Santana has hit two foul grand slams."
- Tom Hamilton

"Now remember - kids in Detroit go to school too. Thirty-eight thousand at Comerica tonight, twenty thousand here in Chicago."
- Tom Hamilton comparing fans

"How long has this game been going? Well Kim Kardashian he at the game and she's on her second boyfriend since the start of the game."
- Tom Hamilton in the 6th

"He either catches that ball or they take him off the field in a stretcher."
- Tom Hamilton on a liner to Santana

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Ur Stadium, Spoilin Ur Playoff Hopes

Detroit and Chicago are neck-and-neck here in the Central. Also, this being the Central, their records are so "bad" compared to, say, all but one of the West teams, that the only way they're going to get in to the playoffs is to win their division. But they can't both win! We'll be playing Chicago for 4 of their last 7 games so there's a pretty good chance we're all that is standing in the way of them getting in to the playoffs. Such drama!

I don't know who I want to see in the playoffs less - Detroit or Chicago. I think I want to see Detroit go so we can see Verlander get murdered like he did in the All Star Game. Hahaha!

Eh, being on a losing team makes one so...spiteful, doesn't it?

Anyway we won today so the Sox and Tigers are tied. We've got one more tomorrow then close out the season against them.

Kluber was the starter today and he was like WUT! Awesome job - can't believe this kid knocked down these veterans so hard. He gave up just 2 runs in 7 innings, both of them on the long ball. But that's to be expected in that park. Heck, even Chris Perez game up a home run! He only needed 4 strikeouts to get it done.

Pestano and Perez closed it up for us. Vinnie has regained his composure and had good inning, only giving up one hit and striking out one. Perez had a run to give up and he did, like he usually does. He even walked two! But it worked out for him in the end and we still won and he still got his 37th save. Whew!

The top of the order is still red-hot right now, with a big thanks to Russ Canzler bringing up the rear behind our veterans who are hitting like veterans.

Choo continues to be gonzo, today going 2 for 5 with his 4th 2-hit game in a row. Holy smokes! He's got a 6-game hitting streak with 10 hits and 5 RBI in that time. Today he got one of those RBI. Man is he going to get paid well next year...dammit.

Jason Kipnis, steady as she goes - the kid's got himself an 8-game hitting streak with 12 hits in those games. Today he went 1 for 4, giving him a hit in all of the 10 games we've played in Chicago this year. Hometown boy!

Asdrubal stayed in line with a hit today too. Unfortunately it didn't result in any runs or RBI. But he does have a 3-game streak!

Santana went 1 for 3 with a walk today - a 5-game streak for him! He scored a run, too. They have him figured out much better today than yesterday when he walked 3 times. Today he struck out twice, oops! But he did throw 2 guys out at second!

The guy they HAVEN'T got figured out is Russ Canzler! Woohoo! Dude went 3 for 4 today with a homer, single and double. That's two homers in two days, 4 hits and 3 RBI! That's .296 for him in September, and his career!

Matt LaPorta actually doing decent for Matt LaPorta. Probably because he is DH and didn't have a chance to mess up on the field. He went 1 for 3 today then Cord Phelps came in and did nothing.

Thomas Neal was in today (giving some dudes some rest I suspect, plus Brantley out with a groin injury). He didn't get a hit but he got a RBI and a run. He got on in the 4th on a fielder's choice/botched double play then came around to score. Nice hustle!

How about Ezequiel Carrera? Four-game hitting streak for him plus an RBI tonight. Meshing nicely with the top of the lineup, no doubt. Good to have a hitter in the outfield while Brantley's not there.

Back to regular nighttime baseball tomorrow, at 8:10. It'll be Masterson versus LHP (3.45). Eh...stranger things have happened. These boys are on a ROLL! We haven't won 2 in a row since September 3/4/ Woohoo!

I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He sqwaks like a cat who had a rocking chair just crush its tail."
- Tom Hamilton on the White Sox official scorer

"This ball park has all of the charm of a root canal."
- Tom Hamilton

"Corey Kluber is just dominating this White Sox lineup right now."
- Tom Hamilton

"Will the Cabrera error open the door for the White Sox?"
- Tom Hamilton in the 8th (it didn't)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Compelling Baseball

Tomorrow's game is at 2:10, don't forget. It's an afternoon game.

Ok so, it turns out that after scoring 15 against the Royals, the Tribe had a bit of pep left in them and were able to play a May-caliber game against Chris Sale who's having a really great year.

Also our Zach McAllister was on the ball today, man! Six innings, 2 runs scored (quality start!) He struck out 7. Man that kid is a striker - he's got 101 strikeouts in 112 innings, or about a 90% strikeout/inning ratio. Jiminez is under 80 and Masterson is just over.

We were lucky because we got to use Smith and Pestano as God intended, and Smith didn't let us down. But I'll be damned if one Vinnie Pestano didn't give up the game! I could hardly believe it either! But he got 2 on base and that Adam Dunn - yes the very Adam Dunn that was so utterly, utterly bad last year - came in and hit a 3-run dinger on 2 outs with 2 strikes. Jaws dropped.

We were down by 2 by that point, and could only make up 1 run in the 9th so in the end we lost. But we did have 13 hits and 3 walks, as well as 5 extra base hits, and only lost by 1 so I'll be darned if that wasn't a great game!

Choo had a mediocre night (1 for 4) until he got this MONSTER double making him 2 for 5 on the night with an awesome RBI. (Yeah awesome RBI!) He's got a 5-game hitting streak going on with 2 hits in each of his last 3 games! CHOOOOOOOOO!

The JK Kid, Jason Kipnis, was also feelin' it in his hometown tonight, also going 2 for 5 and coming in to score a run with a ton of hustle in his feet. If you watch that video, Asdrubal stood and watched the ball for a second while Kipnis hustled his ass off. WTF Asdrubal? (No I won't be making a companion sign for "OMG ASDRUBAL!!!" Although that'd be funny with all his errors this year...)

Kipnis has a 7-game hitting streak with 11 hits in those games!

Speaking of Asdrubal, that double WAS pretty sweet. He went 2 for 4 on the night with 2 doubles. He had 2 hits yesterday too, so all top 3 of our lineup has had some great games lately!

Carlos Santana, coming off 2 homers last night - either they are afraid and just throwing him junk today or he's got laser vision because he went 1 for 1 on the night with 3 walks. Seriously! Poor guy only got 1 run out of it and no RBI but you know what? He didn't have any LOB!

Did Michael Brantley hit tonight?
I wasn't in, baby!
Ha ha fooled you, all you people who said "Of course he did!" But in his stead, good ol' Russ Bus Canzler got himself a 2-run homer. He is still the real deal, I'd say, hitting .269 thus far. Him getting a hit anymore is almost as exciting as Brantley. Almost! Half smiley :]

You know what's crazy? Canzler got 2 RBI, the most of anyone on the team tonight, but he left 5 on base, also the most.

Other Vinny Rottino didn't get a hit BUT he was showing off his awesome arm again. Maybe not Choo-like but every time he's been in the outfield he's making big throws. Observe: Out at the plate!

The Chiz Kid Lonnie Chisenhall is still sayin' alive, although he's been cool lately. They want him to play now and face all the good Major Leaguers he can, and he had a good chance against Sale. He ended up going 1 for 3. They took him out later and put in Jack at 3rd and Kotch at first, and I'm pretty sure Kotch saved another hit, maybe a run, so ALL HAIL KOTCH!!

Sweet Lou Marson was the catcher today and he was over-achieving on the bases, because he got caught stealing twice. It wouldn't surprise me if catchers wanted to steal off AJ Pierzynski just for the thrill of it, and Marson thought this might be his last chance. He did not succeed! He did go 1 for 4 on the night.

Zeke has been pretty hot stuff lately, getting on base, making things happen. Tonight he went 2 for 4 with a run scored and has hits and runs in his last 3 games. That's interesting....can a dude be a good number 9 hitter? Is that a strategic spot? I think he's there for a reason, otherwise Lou or someone would be down there. I guess when you've got a guy as productive as Choo batting first, you do need to be careful who you throw in at 9th. And Zeke it is!

Anyway it was refreshing to hear a real solid two-sided baseball game tonight, with some good pitching and even better hitting. Good game, everyone! Line up for butt pats...? No...?

Tomorrow's game is at 2:10, as I said. Don't forget! The printed schedule says differently, the Google Calendar schedule says differently. I had to scratch it out with a pen to make sure I got it right.

The game will feature Corey Kluber versus LHP (5.09). Hmm...well we got 3 runs off LHP 2.82 today so I have high hopes for these guys if Kluber can keep it in check. It could turn out to be awesome!

I only have one Radio Chatter item for you today. I was listening but I was distracted by budgeting. Thinking of all the money I'm going to save by not going to baseball games all winter, or something.

It's at 2:10 - don't forget! See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"There isn't a White Sox heart that isn't in their throat right now."
- Tom Hamilton after the final play

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Good Ol' Day

Remember back in April when we were awesome and the Royals sucked really bad? We came in and beat them good on their home opener, then proceeded to sweep them that weekend, scoring 32 runs in 3 games. This first series did sort of cast a pall on subsequent series when we couldn't get a ton of runs or even a win off these Royals that we so soundly thumped in the beginning of the year. But, whatever happened between then and now and however different our respective rosters are today as compared to April, it it certainly felt great to "re-live" that first series today and score a bazillion runs off the Royals!

More runs today than the Browns had points, by the way. Giggidy!

Did you know we've only scored double digits in 6 other games this year? I was at 2 of those game, actually - ha! We've never scored 15 runs in a game this year and the last highest score we had was 13-7 against the ROYALS in APRIL. The Royals have been the loser in 3 of our 7 double-digit scoring wins. So I suppose you could say that today's score was pretty unexpected but  if it was going to happen at all, it was going to happen against the Royals.

The last time we scored double digits was July 18.

Here's another interesting factoid, though - all the other teams we scored double digits against are all in the playoff hunt still (well, thanks to the new Wild Card rules). Reds (clinched), Angels, Rays and Orioles.

Enough with stats - on to the game!

David Huff is our newest starter, taking over for Jeanmar Gomez (thank God). Today was his second start and 4th appearance of the year. He did decently last time, but really had it going on today! He went 5 2/3 and only gave up 1 run and 3 hits. He only had 86 pitches so he could have gone more, but I think Manny Acta was just erring on the side of caution and playing the percentages. And also, as usual, is afraid that our starter could blow up at any moment as many of them have proven is possible.

In his post-game interview on WTAM, David Huff said something interesting. He said that Jack Hannahan basically told him to not fuck around on the mound and get in and out of innings quickly so that batters can keep up their momentum without spending too much time on the field. That's pretty interesting advice if that is what happened today - and not only did Huff's quickness on the mound help the bats but also helped his game as well.

After a walk and a single in the 6th, Huff was taken out for Rogers, who quickly got the last out. Then he gave up a double and a walk, then a run on a sac fly. Stupid Rogers.

But wait - here comes Tony Sipp! Two more runs scored. Tony Sipp, you absolutely break my heart.

Joe Smith came in to save Sipp's ass, then Vinnie Pestano did the final inning. With Tom Hamilton cackling about how Chris Perez is all but gone already. Noooooo! Stop it with your rational talk! Oh how I wish I had done something about the situation when I met Mark Shapiro the other day at batting practice...

Anyway, Pestano threw 11 pitches, 9 of them for strikes and struck out 2 to end the game. Gosh he is awesome!

Can you believe that with out 16 hits (and 8 walks) and 15 runs that today was not an "Everybody Hits!" game?! It's true. But not for lack of trying - our lone hitless Indian was Sweet Lou Marson - who walked THREE times and scored a run! Another tidbit is that almost everyone scored a run save for Casey Kotchman who had an RBI!

We had a good "classic" lineup today, that in fact was only 2 players different than the April lineup. Hafner and Duncan/Cunningham were in the original lineup and today they were replaced by Marson and Carrera.

Choo was the leadoff today and of course that was different in April but it worked out just fine today! He went 2 for 5 with an RBI, a run, a walk and a stolen base. So he was doing a little bit of everything - just like the Choo we love! He's got 6 hits in his last 4 games.

Kipnis had a great day too, playing a great 2-slot batter. He went 2 for 6 with a stolen base, an RBI and 3 runs scored! And his 4th triple of the year! He's got a 6-game hitting streak with 9 hits in those 6 game. Leave it to Jason Kipnis to finish out this year as strong as possible, right?

Asdrubal also in line with his two top-of-the-order buddies - he went 2 for 5 with a walk, scored 3 runs and got 2 RBI. He didn't even need any extra bases or steals to get all that - just solid hits with dudes on base.

Carlos Santana had a marquee day! After getting his multi-hit game yesterday with no RBI to show for it, today he went crazy on the RBIs and got himself FIVE RBI, courtesy of 2 home runs. He also had a RBI single, which was turned into a double on a throwing error. So, in his last 10 games, he's got 16 hits and 10 RBI! That is Kipnis-level performance right there! He also got his 18th homer today - I wonder if he'll make it to 20?

Did Michael Brantley get a hit today?
Three hits, baby.
That's a 6-game hitting streak for him with 9 hits in those games. Smooth!

Casey Kotchman made good on his average today and went 1 for 6. Plus he threw in an RBI for you because he thought you'd like it.

The Wise Celtic Sage Jack Hannahan was all over it today going 2 for 3 with 2 walks. That gave him a chance to get one RBI and score one run. Erin go bragh!

Zeke almost was the lone guy who didn't do shit today, but in the 7th he got an RBI on a fielder's choice. then in the 9th he finally got his hit, and another RBI and he came around to score. Viva la Zeke!

As I said, Lou Marson was the only guy not to get a hit but he had some sort of laser vision at the plate as he walked 3 times and didn't strike out once. Being on base that much, he was even able to come around and score a run!

Our team hit .372 today. They still left 9 on base! LULZ!

So what do you think about the ability of our "classic" lineup that only included one rookie? (Zeke - who was here for a bit last year too) Do you think it was them who got the 15 runs, or the Royals pitching that gave up 15 runs or a solid combination of both? Or was it the Royals' defense - they do have the worst defense in the AL. Or was it David Huff's work of keeping the game going while only giving up three hits?

I think with 15 runs we can say that it must be a combination of all those things. We DO have a good lineup and they DO have the ability to hit. There's just some piece missing that's keeping them from putting together RBIs.

For now I'm just going to enjoy this harkening back to that good ol' day in April when we had just finished a sweep of the Royals and scored 32 runs in one weekend. We only scored 21 runs against them this weekend and only won one game but still - it was great fun!

Tomorrow we take on the White Sox, still in the Central time zone so at 8:10. It will be Zach McAllister versis LHP (2.82) and a team that is fighting hard to stay in first place. I think we're just going to have to sit back and be pleasantly surprised if these guys can bring their big bats across the state line in to Illinois.

I didn't do any Radio Chatter today. I had the game on in my ear while I was watching the Browns game, which is funny because it's not like I needed to pay attention to the Browns game audio to know what was going on. Then after the Browns game was over I was sitting there all pissed that I didn't write anything down and also I didn't get to see this game on television. Frustration!

Anyway, 8:10 tomorrow - see you there!


I went out tonight, and had a really nice time. Went to a clambake at an old friend's house, with some current friends in tow, and met some new friends. Then there was a bonfire, and a movie on a giant inflatable screen. A really nice time indeed!

Then I came home and saw I had a postgame alert email from and was like "oh yeah, missed today's game." Then I saw the boxscore and I'm pretty sure I let out an audible groan.

I still listened to the game, just in case anything exciting happened. Turns out nothing exciting happened. Cord Phelps got his first Major League home run but it wasn't actually his first Major League home run because he got one last year.

Ubaldo didn't do well, he gave up 5 runs in 4 2/3. The bullpen did good, so yay. Jeanmar came in to finish it. Weird.

Ten hits, four walks, 9 left on base. Carlos Santana had a multi-hit game but it didn't do it for us - he didn't get any RBI. Kipnis sat out while Phelps played second. Asdrubal was in, no longer hurt I guess, but shut down at the plate. Russ Canzler still a hit machine. Choo did some bad baserunning. Thomas Neal had an error but it didn't lead to a run. Matt LaPorta left 4 on base.

Blah blah blah. I've seen this game like 40 times now since the break. At least this time there was no Johnny Damon!

Tomorrow is newbie on newbie - David Huff versus RHP who is coming off a stellar season in Triple-A Omaha. Maybe tomorrow will be totally fresh.

The game's at 2:10 so you get an hour of ho-hum football before you put 3 hours of ho-hum baseball on in the background. At least that's what I'm going to do. And do laundry, just for something different.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"With Justin Masteron and Ubaldo Jiminez, there's no middle ground. When they win, they are overpowering people. When they lose, boy they go down hard."
- Tom Hamilton

"I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but how can you be Ubaldo Jiminez on the mound and forget about Hosmer running to third? It's the little things, especially when you're not pitching well."
- Tom Hamilton

"There's nothing like coming to Kansas City Missouri and watching adults and children lift their beer mugs and sing along with Garth Brooks."
- Tom Hamilton on KC's trying to shoehorn "Friends In Low Places" as a theme song

"If you get picked off while down three, you may not want to go back to the dugout."
- Tom Hamilton

"Little mistakes like that are why the Indians have been in such a tailspin since the All Star break."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, September 21, 2012

Royal Pains

Ugh! The Royals! Usually I can say "boy those guys always have our number, don't they?" but this year we sort of had them going. Plus I used that excuse with the Twins this year. And everyone else that we were could have easily beaten but didn't.

Everyone has our number. It's written on the collective MLB bathroom wall. Meh.

Alex Gordon wasn't even in today! That should have been our saving grace! And I just lost my blog post which was almost done and now I have to re-visit this mess. ARRGGHH YOU ROYALS!!

Justin Masterson did not do what we needed him to. He did go 6 innings but he gave up 4 runs. Not cool. Lonnie Chisenhall didn't really help him at 3rd (he didn't help McAllister much on Wednesday, either) but technically none of those misses were errors, so Justin is on the hook for all 4.

Cody Allen came in and much to my surprise gave up 2 more runs - in just 1/3 of an inning! Not sure why I am surprised at this point...I realize he is not the same 0-run fella he was for his first month here. But dangit, why can't we have an awesome reliable bullpen again?!

Well, Joe Smith was before Allen and he was reliable. Rock on, Smith. Scott Maine finished the 8th with no incident.

Aside from The Chiz and Zeke, the lineup was pretty "old school" tonight, including a visit from Hafner! They got themselves 10 hits and 2 walks and even a hit-by-pitch (Choo! Just like old times!) but in that old school way, 9 guys were left on base.

Asdrubal had another good night after a night and a half off. I wonder if he got another shot in his wrist? He went 2 for 4 with his 32nd double, and came in to score a run after sealing 3rd. Fiesty! So he's got a 5-game hitting streak with 7 hits in those games!

Santana went 1 for 3 and his hit was a huge 2-run single! He's been getting RBIs along with his hits lately, belaboring the point that when he hits we win. It's not me - it's him!

Did Michael Brantley get a hit?
You know it! (And a RBI)
 Hafner was in the lineup with help from his friends LaPorta and Other Vinny Rottino. LaPorta got it done with one hit, but that's all that happened with those guys. Just the one hit. It actually coulda been better for Hafner, but he was robbed by this new kid from Akron, David Lough. Nice catch, kid. We'll be watching!

Kotchman was in and he was still rollin' from yesterday - he went 2 for 3 making him 5 for 8 over his last two games. Oh Casey, you are so solid yet so mediocre...will you lose your job to the bumble brothers LaPorta and Santana? It may be so...but do you really see LaPorta pulling this off, or Santana putting forth that much effort? No.

Speaking of effort, Kipnis can stay.

Ezequiel Carrera apparently had the best bunt my brother has seen this season, but it didn't even ping Tom Hamilton's radar (he was busy giving birthday shout-outs) and MLB didn't deem it clip-worthy. Oh well. Zeke went 1 for 4 and scored a run.

Tomorrow's a 7:10 game (really, even though we're in the Central), Ubaldo versus LHP (5.08). Ooooh scary, the first time we've seen a LHP starter in a while! Maybe all the new guys will bust out with crazy hits and we'll win the game. Who knows!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"When in doubt, it seems, when it comes to Carlos Santana just throw him something soft and he'll strike out."
- Tom Hamilton

"Rosie ate his pizza, my pizza, and this nice elderly people in the booth beside us, they got distracted and 'woosh!'"
- Tom Hamilton on Jim Rosenhaus's new favorite pizza place

"Proof once again that baseball fans are baseball fans no matter what the record."
- Tom Hamilton, amen

"With this roster expansion, everyone and their brother is getting to play."
- Tom Hamilton is not a fan

"The fans are being ordered by the scoreboard to make noise, or they will be thrown out of the park before fireworks."
- Tom Hamilton

Thursday, September 20, 2012

It's All About The Kotch

Casey Kotchman was at batting practice yesterday even though he didn't play.
There were a few plays at first that LaPorta missed that Kotch woulda gotten. Thankful for the day off, he came back refreshed and ready to hit the damn ball and hit he did! Enough about Casey for a minute...

Kluber was the starter and finally we got a quality start! Six innings and only 3 runs. He bested his last two outings, even (fewer runs and more innings) and bested the previous two pitchers. He gave up just 5 hits and struck out 5. His strikeout numbers seem to stay consistent over his starts, I'll give him that.

Kluber's 3 runs was all the staff was going to give up today. Allen, Pestano and Perez threw the next 3 innings with only 1 hit between them (Perez - it's a thing). Vinnie looked pretty sweet, striking out 2. The rest of the team couldn't keep up the pace, though and we needed one more inning to get the winning run. Esmil Rogers came in for the after-the-fact 10th and also did well, no hits or runs for him either.

Choo sat out today as a rest day (he was pretty crappy last night) so our new hero Vinny Rottino was the leadoff man, with his Godfather theme music just cracking up the radio guys every time. Unfortunately, his big show on the way to the plate translated in to nothing once he got to the plate. But he did have a rather nice catch in the outfield so I still like 'im.

Choo did come in for the 10th, by the way - and got a double then came around to score the winning run! CHOOOOOOOOO!

Kipnis is back to looking good, now with a 4-game hitting streak. Today he went 1 for 4 with a walk and he also scored a run. He hasn't stolen a base in a while though, hmm. Being that Kipnis is such a swell guy, he is the Indians' Clemente Award nominee for this year. Here's an article with a link to vote. But the voting kind of sucks, you have to give your info over to Chevy. I think I already gave them my info last year so whatever, no EXTRA spam.

Santa didn't hit but he walked twice, once intentionally in the 10th to get to Brantley, who also was walked to load the bases for a force out. That's pretty weird - the same tactic was taken by the Tigers the other day (albeit with the bottom of our order) and it totally backfired on them too. Although, while I would not walk anyone to get to Brantley I would walk Brantley to get him out of my way. Unless I was then going to have to face Kotchman who was 2 for 4 already with a couple of hard outs.

Kotchman didn't disappoint and in the 10th with bases loaded he smacked the game-winning single right over the head of the pitcher. Man give that dude one day of rest and there's no telling what he can do! Before that he had a double as well. Hovering at .231, baby!

Brent Lillibridge was in at short and guess what? That's right, you got it - he made an error. Argh! Asdrubal's wrist is still hurting, even though he got a homer last night before coming out of the game. We need more Jack at short, although he made an error today too!!

Aside from making errors, Lillibridge got a hit and got hit by a pitch. Hannahan also got on base twice with two hits and both guys got RBIs, and neither of their errors resulted in a run. That's different!

Much more hitting today than yesterday - 10 hits and 5 walks, plus a hit-by-pitch. Another walk-off win though, can you believe it? And now we're tied for last again yay!

Tomorrow we're in Kansas City for 3 games and on Central Time until next Friday when the Royals come HERE. We'll be climbing our way up through the Central first with KC, then Chicago, then more KC then more Chicago. The Twins are playing the Yankees, Tigers and the Blue Jays. I'm not sure which schedule is easier or harder - I don't think the Tribe knows either. Gotta see how it plays out!

The matchup is Justin Masterson versus RHP (4.50). Manageable, I say - once again, provided Masterson can keep it together. If he can pitch like we know he can, surely we can get a run or two off this RHP and be on a 2-game streak. Hooray!

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"No we're not going to a funeral, that's the music for the leadoff hitter Vinny Rottino."
- Tom Hamilton

"If you're patient, Vasquez will walk you eventually."
- Tom Hamilton

"I was just reading the leadoff batter's handbook and it says that techno-pop-dance music is mandatory. I guess Rottino didn't get the memo."
- Jim Rosenhaus

"In the grand scheme of things, who cares? The Indians had all those great teams in the 90s and Hargrove was never manager of the year. All those great players and they never won awards. So at the end of the day, who cares? Let them have their vote."
- Tom Hamilton on year-end awards

"Trevor Plouffe couldn't even enjoy his 23rd home run, he thought Michael Brantley caught it."
- Tom Hamilton

"Atilla the Hun would be a calming influence in Boston. [...] He won't pop off as much and he really likes Kevin Youklis."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Batting Practice! I Finally Made It!

So back in, like, August of 2011 I won two auctions (holy cow it was only a year ago that I had a lot of money?) - one was to go to a game in the Hargrove Suite and the other was "batting practice experience" where I'd get to watch BP from on the field with 3 friends. The BP experience was only to happen Monday through Thursday at a 7:05 game. I had to be there (with my friends) at 4:15.

It turned out there were no more home games I could go to in 2011, or something. So they just gave me free tickets to a Monday make-up game that I took my Arizona uncle to. That ended up being called for rain.

So another time this year we were set up to go, in June. That day's batting practice got called for rain. Then again we were ready to go and...BP called off on account of some sort of mental holiday for the team. We still got tickets for both games (good on you, Indians!)

Finally today it was SUNNY (it rained yesterday) and there was batting practice (why not? No need for special days off anymore) and other than me being sick (but mostly well) it was the perfect day for me to get there! Of course I lost one of my 4, as he is a teacher and coach and couldn't take time off to go to the game so it was just me and 2 buds out on the field. But it had to happen today, with or without our whole team! According to Justin Sherman, the guy who arranges these things (I wonder if he's got a Google Alert set up for himself?) I was the talk of the office. Would I or wouldn't I make it today?
This is the guy you see about batting practice.
I made it!

You probably want to see pictures and there are many. First let's talk about the game real quick.

Zach McAllister started and he did not fare well. He gave up 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings, including a 2-run dinger to that Indian-killer Josh Willingham. (Who? Exactly!) Can't fault him too much on that one because it seems no one can tame Willingham - he went 4 for 5 tonight with 4 RBI. Oddly enough, Mauer and Morneau only had 1 hit and 2 walks on the night between them. But people get on base (Jamey Carroll), Josh Willingham comes up, it's all over.

Chris Seddon didn't fare too well either, giving up 2 in 1 2/3 innings. After THAT, though, Maine, Sipp and Herrmann had a nice quiet night while our team tried to battle back. A solid ending by 3 guys who pitched last night (cuz everyone did) but too little too late.

I did get some neato pictures from behind the bullpen, though. Well, above. Here they are:
Tony Sipp! I got him to flash me the Devil's Horns before BP.

Sweet Lou, and the entrance of Pure Rage.

Frank Herrmann's start

Frank Herrmann's fancy finish

Vinnie Pestano

Herrman, Perez and Pestano. #BullpenMafia

Pure Rage! I got him to wave at me. (Chris Perez)
The team only had 2 hits going in to the 8th. But due to walks, HBP and an error, we managed to score two runs.

Choo was shut down today, even though people were dancing up a storm to his new at-bat song. Also there was a contingency of Koreans sitting near us in the stands and they were shouting fantastic Korean shouts at him. Perhaps it was too much!

Kipnis had a nice night, going 2 for 4 with 2 RBI and he also scored a run. He's been on a tear lately with 5 hits in his last 3 games. Love to see the Kid hit!

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! #15 homer for him today! Man he hasn't hit a homer since...August 24. And of course you know I didn't have my sign. Boo! But cool for him he's on a 4-game hitting streak also with 5 hits in that time. He ended up going 1 for 3 today and I don't know why they took him out of the game and replaced him with Lillibridge. I didn't think we were that far down (ok it was 6 to 2). Does anyone know?

Santana tried to be a hero today in the 8th but as usual it didn't work out for him. He flied out to left with 2 on and 1 out. Argh. He did walk today so he went 0 for 3.

Did Michael Brantley hit today? Yes. He's also a quiet guy. I thought he'd be chatty. But after BP while all the folks were lined up by the tarp to get some autographs, he was goofing around with some kids who wanted him to sign a helmet. So I don't know. Whatever - glad the kids got to talk to him!

Hafner was back today! My friend and I think he looks thin. Still muscular just smaller than usual. He went 0 for 3 but he did get on base twice with a HBP and an error. So, still making things happen.

Canzler was in too, which I thought was interesting. He wasn't so amazing at first - he's no Kotch. He also didn't hit.

The Chiz Kid, Lonnie Chisenhall was in at third. Boy did he look stinky out there. Maybe it's because I was sitting right near third but...yeah, no, I'm pretty sure he was stinky from right field too. He did go 1 for 4 on the night and he signed my baseball card AND my ball so all-in-all it was a good day for Chiz!
Love, The Chiz
Vinny Rottino. "Who's that?" my friend asked. And she follows the team! He was in left today and by the end of the game he was sort of everybody's favorite. First because of this play, where he made a diving catch for the third out and the umpire said "no catch" but then there was a long meeting and they said "catch!" Then after that he came up to start the 8th with a double then came around to score. Plus, turns out that guy has a major arm on him! He had a solid throw to first on the above-linked play and earlier in the game he had quite a throw to third. No more "Vinny who?" for you!

Oh also his at-bat music is The Godfather Theme. Weird.

So now we're in last place by ourselves. Wow.

Well whatever - I'm hangin in there til the end. Because what else do I have to do? Now we have something to root for - getting out of last! Tomorrow the game is at 12:05, the final meeting with the Twins. We have to win to not get swept by the goddamn Twins and also to be tied for 4th. Aye aye aye! It's Kluber versus RHP (7.53) who is actually worse than the RHP  we faced today so...for Pete's sake let's get our win on!!!

See you there!

And now for the photos. Enjoy!

From the Home Run Porch


Masterson, Perez


Empty stadium.

Super weird scoreboard pre-game stuff.

Asdrubal (on left)

Our view from the field!

Hey! Pronk!

Asdrubal, about 90 mins before #15

Jason Kipnis and Tom Hamilton

Brantley, Asdrubal and Kipnis

Panorama from left field

Encroaching Twins

Cousin Michael Brantley

Lonnie Chisenhall

Pitchers shagging

Up close with Jamey Carroll

Manny Acta


Hey what's up Vinnie Pestano?

Oh man, bad grammar! But neat that Hammy's family block is right near my dad's!

Just say no-me!

Casey Kotchman autograph! Nice guy!

Nice seats

Panorama from our seats

Dusk from our seats

Panorama from behind the home bullpen

View from that weird triangular section in left. Pretty nice!

Manny Acta autograph

Lonnie Chisenhall, Michael Brantley, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Jamey Carroll (why not?)

Magnets from the Fun Bunch!