Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How I Spent My Winter Vacation

Welcome back, boffins! I am totally stoked! Are you totally stoked? It's 2012, there are 162 games to go. One hundred sixty-two nights (and afternoons) of excitement. One hundred sixty-two more blog entries (er, give or take an entry or three).

How have you been holding up? Did you watch October baseball? The last day of the regular season was pretty amazeable. Then there was the World Series which included neither a Yankee, Red Sox OR an AL Central team. The Midwest represented and took it all. Then there was winter.

But it wasn't really a winter, at least not here in Cleveland. A few times I got a little crabby because the weather was better during "winter time" than it has been in most recent Aprils yet there was no baseball.

However, in January I made it to the Tribe On Tour event at Summit Mall in Fairlawn. I really wanted to go last year but couldn't make it. I'm really glad I made it this year and I highly recommend it for any fan. In theory there's some speaking and a Q&A by a panel but - at least in Fairlawn - unless you got there super early you couldn't hear any of the speaking. We got there a half hour before the event was to start and I think we stood in line for 2 hours. Not unbearable for a couple of adults but my friends' kids didn't make it.

Pro tip: If you don't mind missing the Q&A (that you can't hear anyway unless you show up hours early) and/or if you have little kids, show up about a half hour before the scheduled ending time. Take a few minutes to join the raffle, spin the wheel for leftover promotional junk, take a photo with Slider, meet John Adams and bang the drum, get a couple stickers and pop in the end of the autograph line just before it closes. Actually there are 3 lines, and it's near impossible to know which one you're in when you're at the end of one of them, so you don't know who you'll get to sign. But if you show up at the end you can scoot through all of the lines and end up with one bitchin' signed souvenir.

Super insider pro tip: Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus are at this event but not stuck behind a signing table. I think they might do a little broadcasting from the event but otherwise they're totally just STANDING AROUND. Right there in front of Macy's or whatever. I was hoping I'd meet them, as I'd brought my photo I'd taken with them last summer when I was in the Hargrove Suite so they could sign it. Imagine my surprise when I spotted them just hanging around. I got to talk to them and asked Rosie if he was nervous about the upcoming year since there'd be no Mike Hegan buffer. He said there was nothing to be nervous about. I totally should have rolled out a "Oh yeah you're a hall-of-famer" joke but I totally missed it (it was a "jerk store" moment for real). We did laugh about me going to North Carolina to find Hegan to complete the autograph. Har har. Tom Hamilton, by the way, does not sound half as loud in the mall as he does in a radio booth.

I had brought a ball - the foul ball I got from the Hargrove suite - for Shelley Duncan to sign (since he'd hit it). I lucked out and was in his line. He was seated with Jasons Donald and Kipnis, so I had them sign the ball too. I thought it'd be super jerkish to be all "no, not you clowns." I felt stupid enough admitting it was just a foul ball not a homer. I wish I had printed out a picture for Shelley to sign too but...well maybe next year.

I did ask Shelley if he's playing all season this year and he pointed at Manny Acta and said "Tell that guy." And I did. And look who's on the Opening Day lineup...

Anyway, I didn't get Jack, Vinnie and Tomlin's autographs nor Manny Acta's. Next time I'll be ready (see Pro Tips above). However, I DID meet John Adams and not only did I bang the drum I also had a "moment" with him. I said "I write a blog about positive things about the Indians, and I call you our patron saint." He smiled and sort of hugged me and said "I've been called a lot of things but never a saint." I said thanks and he said thanks too. Moment had.

I also got a "remember the Great Comeback Against Seattle" beer stein which uhm...all right. I wanted to trade someone for a Indians skateboard deck (really) but didn't bother.

On our way out of the mall, my friend and I stopped by the Indians Team Shop and I bought myself one of these Authentic Collection Titanium Bracelets for $25. From what I can tell it's like those rubber "Livestrong" bracelets but has the official MLB logo ($5), a raised Chief Wahoo ($5) and Micro Titanium Sphere Zones ($15). Not titanium like a golf club, mind you. Titanium Sphere Zones. Whatever - I've been wearing it 24/7 for 2 months and there's no sign of wear and no sign of allergic reaction so I'd say it was worth the bucks.

Manny Acta

Jack Hannahan, Vinnie Pestano & Josh Tomlin

Jason Donald, Jason Kipnis & Shelley Duncan

Shelley's autograph on the (foul) ball he hit!

Free junk!
So that was January and February was a bore. I just sat around and stared at my rubber titanium bracelet. But March was a good time with spring training games. I usually don't listen to ST games but I was chomping at the bit this year so I tried to catch them between 4 and 5 PM, then read highlights. Of course ST stats suck and that's why I didn't follow too closely. But you know who rocked?

CHOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dude is back from Army and is going to knock your socks off this summer, I guarantee it. Also lookin' good is Hafner. Man, would it be awesome or what to see him have a great year? Brantley is back to his old self. Duncan is not hitting but when he IS hitting he's hitting the home runs. They keep faltering on trusting Shelley as our every day LF but...I dunno, send him to the batting cages? Santana is homering. This new fella at second base, Lopez, he is exciting with the bat. Oh yeah and even LOUUUUUU is looking good, making a case for more Santana at first. Fine by me.

You got it!

Who is not blowing us away just yet is Asdrubal. But I mean he's still the best infielder in baseball (ok the AL. I am a Brandon Phillips liker) and I think he'll come around. They just today announced he's signed on for 2 more years, even though they whittled his 2012 salary down pretty low. So he's happy and the team is happy and I think as it stands Asdrubal is going to be the only guy we recognize in 2014. At least I'll get more mileage out of my sign!

Also in March it seems that The Indians hired a new Social Media Manager because they came out with a Tumblr page, a Wordpress blog and a page on Pinterest. My suggestions for those are bookmark it, subscribe to it and "what the hell is Pinterest for anyway?" it, respectively. I subscribed to the blog and it's pretty cool. I have the posts come to my inbox. They're a little over-excited thus far with the posting but oh well. I don't have to read if I don't want. I did ask a question in a comment and got an answer and that's the kind of stuff I like. So I'm a big fan now and you should all be fans too.

Jason Donald sat in on Twitter (on the Indians' account) one day and I asked him a question and he answered it 3 times because I rock.

@positivetribe @Indians Hi Jason. What is your intro music this year? (when you come to bat)

@Indians You locked me up @positivetribe, i need some music suggestions. Previous years i went 1980s metal/classic rock type stuff #tweetyourtribe

@Indians A follow up to the last one I really like Van Halen, havent got the new album yet

@Indians The intro music question was a great one, got me thinking and would love some suggestions. #TweetYourTribe #Indians

Right after that I got 5 new Twitter followers (who I am hoping will be blog readers because I don't say much of anything else on Twitter. Hi!) That means now I have to be more active on Twitter because people see me and want to know more. Sometimes I try to follow Twitter during a game but it's not all that fun. It's like watching six sports channels at once.

So what else? Oh yeah I bid in a charity auction for a Belle/Baerga signed ball and LOST (it went for surprisingly more than even the event organizers thought) but I did win 4 behind-the-plate tickets in June as well as a Bob Feller autographed photo so that was well fun. The day I chose to go to the game is Asdrubal Bobblehead day. I've already got one (duh) but this one features him fielding so of course I need the whole package!

I bought my 2012 Tribe Fan Club membership which isn't too bad of a deal. It's $20 and you get Gameday Audio included, and some other goodies. Being that I listen to probably 50 games a year on Gameday Audio and it costs $20 a year on its own, I'm already making money. Because I get some free tickets and some discounts at the Team Shops. This year maybe I'll check out the tailgate parties and Progressive Field tour and stuff.

I re-watched Ken Burns' Baseball over the winter, for about the 10th time. It's very New-York-centric but it is nice to get a reminder that the Red Sox were horrible and miserable for 100 years. Hooray!

That's enough babbling about what goes on when there's no baseball and how I tried to fill the void as best I could. My void will be voided tomorrow and I can't WAIT. Baseball is here and I'm ready.

Remember - whatever happens we're just happy to have BASEBALL and STAY POSITIVE! See you tomorrow!


  1. Glad you're back and ready for the season!!!

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  3. Hey! Glad you're back!
    As I'm on the other side of the world, can't watch the games this year (and no, it is not true, doesn't work everywhere), so reading your posts allows me to know all the important (or less important) stuffs going on during the game.
    Thanks for your blog, it always makes me smile :-)

  4. Thanks Allie, you're a peach!