Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dealing With It

Hello! Welcome to The Positive Tribe - the blog where we only say positive things about the Indians and thank God every day that there even is a thing called baseball! John Adams is the patron saint of this blog because he goes to every home game, rain or shine, and cheers on the team, winning or losing.
If he can do it so can we!

All right, just gotta get that reminder out there. It's hard to remember if the team doesn't come back fighting after the break. Even harder when they dip below .500 for the first time since April. And it's seriously hard when they lose 4 in a row to the 2 worst teams in the AL.

Hey, guess what! Nobody was traded away today! Awesome move - I'm very happy. There was NO ONE out there who would be able to replace the hittiness of Choo or the closingness of Perez. No one. Everything we need is right here. Every single one of those guys in the lineup, excepting Johnny Damon, has the ability to be awesome and maybe somewhere else they'd be awesome and that'd be the worst of all. Getting rid of a guy who's not doing well and replacing him with a guy who was sell-able is not going to cut it. Kicking some asses in the clubhouse would be a much more effective and much cheaper idea.

Won't talk about starting pitching today other to say that YAY Tomlin was sent to the bullpen and now Corey Kluber is going to take his spot in the starting rotation. Derek Lowe is done, it would seem, but we probably won't know to what extent for another 3 or 4 days. Let's hope Kluber is all McAllister-like and can wow them in the bigs!

Accardo and Smith pitched 3 innings with 3 strikeouts and only 3 hits and NO RUNS! Way to go, other bullpen guys!

Asdrubal had a good night at the plate tonight, going 2 for 5 with a run scored (on a wild pitch!) and a double. His double was just about a home run, grr! He's been a little bit streaky lately since being declared "BACK!" but if he can get back into a groove perhaps everyone will follow.

Kipnis has been struggling but he ended up going 1 for 3 with a walk. He didn't steal any bases, but he had this monster play. I love great second baseman-ing!!

Brantley had another Ahmad Abdul-Rahim catch today AND he went 2 for 4 with a run scored. He hit his 29th double and is tied for 3rd in the league. Kinda funny we're scared about Choo getting traded - and don't get me wrong, he's wicked awesome - but Brantley seems to be Cleveland's little secret! Don't forget to let Fresh Brewed Tees know that Brantley should be on a t-shirt!

Santana didn't have a multi-hit game, which is probably the real reason why we lost (joke!) but he did go 1 for 3 with a walk. Not sure if I count that as a multi-hit game in my little brain log or not. One of his hits was a double, which he had 7 of in July. Not bad!

Johnny Damon, who is still on our team, went 1 for 4 and got an RBI.

Good ol' reliable Casey Kotchman - you know he got a hit. And an RBI. Because that's what Casey Kotchman will do for you. He'll also help Jason Kipnis make the highlight reel by catching that off-the-mark Alomar-style throw from the Kid and hang on to the ball too. What a guy!

Unfortunately our hitting was only decent, not spectacular, and definitely not enough to overcome our starter. Same ol' same 'ol, right? Oh well.

Tomorrow's another 8:10 game, which I love because it's just enough time to get everything done and not have to scramble around after work. Gotta get to the gym and all.

It'll be our best pitcher (really) McAllister versus RHP. No problem, right?

Since we all love baseball, I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Here you earn your home run."
- Tom Hamilton on Kauffman Stadium

"Hosmer is basically a guy who has never failed at any level. This is a growing experience for Hosmer."
- Tom Hamilton

"It's not going to take any kind of a baseball genius for someone to look at the numbers and see that Corey Kluber is the Indians best minor league pitcher."
- Tom Hamilton

"Never go with a guy golfing who finds more golf balls than he loses."
- Tom Hamilton went golfing with Jim Rosenhaus

"I do believe that everyone is ok, but the only reason they are is because of an act of God."
- Tom Hamilton's reaction to a broken bat flying in to the seats

"You call up your wife Carol every night and say 'Oh yeah I went jogging.' You jogged around your room because the batteries went out on your tv remote and you had to get up to change the channel!"
- Tom Hamilton on Jim Rosenhaus jogging in the heat

"If this woulda been Yankee Stadium it woulda been called an out."
- Tom Hamilton on a foul ball just barely going in to the seats

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lost Weekend

Well we can't put this one solely on the pitcher today. Yes, Ubaldo gave up 5 runs but he pitched against a dude with a similar ERA and we did not get the same 5 runs off him. We managed just 6 hits, 1 walk and 1 run. Not even an extra base hit!

Ubaldo Jiminez went 6 1/3 and struck out 6 while giving up 5 earned runs. An ace compared to the last two! He kept playing with fire by getting himself into jams then getting out of them, but then in 3 innings he didn't get out of it unscathed. He gave up 5 stolen bases too, and I don't think it was really any of Lou Marson's fault. I think in the 2nd he was going to the mound to say "Get rid of the baseball faster. You're making me look bad." Oh yeah he balked too.

So Ubaldo wasn't totally awesome but still, I dunno, he wasn't totally to blame.

Hey here's one good thing about this game - Sipp helped him finish, pitching 1 2/3 scoreless innings! That's 2011's Sipp!

The only other good thing about this game is that Shelley Duncan rocks and he went 2 for 4 with our only RBI. You really got the impression that we were going somewhere in the 4th, with back-to-back 2-out hits and Shelley's RBI single but...that was it.

Asdrubal, Lopez and Brantley also got hits, as did Lillibridge. How is he relevant two days in a row?

Kotchman and Brantley had nice plays...I think Kotchman's was better. Brantley was no Ben Revere backwards somersault but it was reminiscent of Ahmad Abdul-Rahim of the fabled Bears.
(from the Dick Allen Hall Of Fame site)
I missed the game today and instead went to Shark Weekend at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. We participated in the Draw the Line and drew some sharks in a parking lot. Here's my shark - I call it Sparkleshark.
 Then I went to Shakespeare in the Park at Wade Oval, which was really nice. And really free! There's still one more weekend of performance if you're interested...although we play the Tigers next weekend so you probably will want to stay home for some good baseball.

But see, it wasn't all that bad of a weekend in Cleveland. The Olympics, a bonfire at my house (oh yeah you missed the bonfire at my house), sharks, Shakespeare. There was just some really bad baseball behind all that.

Oh yeah and Chris Perez is frustrated as hell too. He was taking it out on Twitter, because people were hating on him and that's not cool. He's the biggest personality on the team, and he loves to play good baseball. Not sure why people give him shit (well I do know but it would be rude to say out loud.)

The trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 PM. I personally do not want to see anyone go. Anyone we have worth trading is even more worth keeping, just to get some cohesiveness to this team. Choo and Perez have special scoreboard graphics! How can you get rid of your two guys with special graphics?!

Anyway, I don't even want to think about it. I am seriously going to close my eyes and plug my ears and la la la my way to 8:10 on Tuesday when the Indians play the Royals.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"The thing about Jiminez this year - when he's good he's really good. When he's bad he's really bad. He's never mediocre."
- Tom Hamilton

"When you have both pitching and hitting going in the wrong direction, you just don't have any chance to put any kind of a winning streak together."
- Tom Hamilton

"How do you beat Verlander then get completely shut down by the worst pitching staff in the league?"
- Tom Hamilton wants answers

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Not sure what to say about all this, boffins. I didn't know what to say yesterday after our poor performance and then we did it AGAIN! With a different pitcher and a slightly different lineup! Even a blown call! WAT?!

Justin Masterson was awesome until he completely was not. Three scoreless innings then 10 runs (8 earned) in the next 2 2/3. Only two strikeouts (but only 2 walks) and 7 hits. I guess I'm glad Acta left him in, sort of like rubbing a dog's nose in his own mess (don't do this to your dog, it doesn't teach him anything). He gave up 2 then 3 then 5. Five! He's given up 21 runs in the month of July. August can't come soon enough.

It didn't really matter who came in to relieve Masterson - we weren't coming back. So they trotted out Rogers and Sipp who also gave up runs, one apiece.

The defense didn't help much. Hannahan had an error which led to 2 un-earned runs. Brent Lillibridge was in to play short so Asdrubal could have the day off. I totally do not understand the Lillibridge thing. He can play anywhere including short...uh...can't Lopez too? Even if Lopez can't, his average is 90 points higher! You know who can play SS? Apparently Hannahan, who was shifted over there when Lopez came in. They put Lillibridge in Center to give Brantley a sit-down, I guess.

Confusing mess, that's what that is.

Did you know Jack Hannahan was from Minneapolis? So is Prince.

Nobody really hit today - even though we got 5 runs. There were 9 walks and an error, and only 4 hits. Only 3 of our runs were even earned.

Carlos Santana went yard, tho! Heyoo! A 2-run, 2-out dinger! He's had 12 RBI in July (3 tonight) so HE has had a decent July at least. But it was all too little too late.

That's about all the excitement I can muster for this game, y'all. Santana looking good yet.

It was not supposed to be this way. This is not how we were supposed to spend the weekend.

Tomorrow's our final game of the series with the Twins THANK GOD. How many runs you think they'll get off us tomorrow? I'd be happy with none. Or three. Maybe I can deal with 3. Their pitcher's ERA is the same as ours.

It's a 2:10 start...I'll be at the Aquarium. But sometime after, I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Hammy at a wedding? I don't know what kind of condition he'll be in tomorrow..."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Tom Hamilton's absence

"That's been the story through the first 3 innings for Masterson - nothing but strikes."
- Jim Rosenhaus...before

"Boy if you were a Minnisota Twins fan and were out of the loop, and just dropped in to Minneapolis this weekend, stopped in to see a couple of ball games, you'd be thinking 'Hey what's the problem?'"
- Jim Rosenhaus is as stunned as we are

Friday, July 27, 2012


I have to admit, I did not see that coming. Surely you did not either. Losing 11-0 to the worst team in the AL after beating the best pitcher in the AL just doesn't seem possible. But it was and it happened and it was real.

I'll also admit that I watched the Olympic Opening Ceremony with the Tribe game going on in my ear. And the Opening Ceremony was even more surreal than the Indians game, I kid you not. Steampunk Branaugh, parachute Queen, Mary Poppins army, Mr. Bean in Chariots of Fire, bicycle birds and a lengthy dance tribute to socialized medicine. THIS IS ALL REAL!

All in all I was pretty glad that I had something so crazy to take my mind off what was happening here.

What happened here was that Josh Tomlin lost his shit, then Jeremy Accardo lost his shit too.

Cody Allen did not lose his shit, and other than Hafner's two hits that was the best thing that happened in the game.

We got 3 hits, yo. Yesterday we got 10. No walks today, and 6 strikeouts. Yes, even Choo. Even Kipnis. YES GUYS, ALL OF THEM!!!

I don't know what this game means and I also don't know what a flaming cauldron in the middle of an Olympic stadium means but I suspect we'll find out more tomorrow.

Oh don't forget the other weird things that happened today - the Browns were sold and it rained for longer than 15 minutes. I am soooo ready for tomorrow...

Tomorrow is Masterson versus RHP. Masterson is good again now, right? That's what I thought. That's what we're gonna see tomorrow.

I'll see you there - if the 100' Captain Hook puppet doesn't get me first!

Radio Chatter:
"It's hard liquor and handgun night at the old ballpark!"
- Tom Hamilton on the Twins' beer chugging contest

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Roll Tribe!

Verlander watching Pronk's homer leave the yard
I'm lovin' it, for real!! Do you feel it, boffins? What a great night! The Good Guys never gave up, never gave in, and never crumbled under pressure and showed their potential. THIS is the Tribe I see in my mind before every game. So glad to see them come out the other side of one!

It was a great team effort, so many heroes! First off and most important was Zach McAllister who I think was just brilliant for his age, his experience and his opponent. He gave up 9 hits but none of those hits were to Miguel Cabrera and none of them were a home run for Prince Fielder. He only gave up 2 earned runs (3 total) and SEVEN STRIKEOUTS!! (Verlander only had 4) Plus he went 6 2/3 innings, setting up the terrific trio to follow. No mess inbetween.

Joe Smith finished off the 7th, and we were lucky to get him because he doesn't usually come in when we're losing. But Manny knew the score. Smith was tasked with facing Miggy and threw two pitches, the second of which went to an inning-ending double play. Most important two pitches of Smith's season!

Next was Vinnie who was there to hold what now was a winning score, and hold he did. Three up, three down with two pop outs and a strike out. He's waaaay ahead of the rest of the league with 29 holds (22 for 2nd place). I guess he hurt himself a little bit on Tuesday, pulled a muscle. But he was thankfully better by today.

Perez came in for the 9th and got himself into a jam. He always seems to find his way in to a jam when we have an insurance run or two. But he proved awesome and even though he gave up a double and walked a guy, nobody scored. And he managed to get 4 outs by being a bit screwed over by a double play that wasn't called as such. BALLGAME!!...no, its not! Hahaha!

The top of the order was just aces tonight, doing all the things we know they can do and all the things they had to do to get us the win.

Choo went 2 for 4 with a double, and came around to score 2 runs - as a lead-off man should do!

Asdrubal's light went on in the 7th, after the game was tied. He got an RBI single that was the go-ahead run (and he stretched it in to a double, noticing nobody covering second). OMG!!!! Maybe the proudest I've been of him all season!

Kipnis was totally locked in, going 2 for 2 with a walk, a sac fly and 2 RBI. He left NOBODY on base! He was makin' stuff happen for sure - Justin Verlander can't scare TheJK_Kid!

Michael Brantley almost hit it out of the park 4 times, I swear. Tom Hamilton was under that impression as well. All of his hits went to the track, except the one that dropped in for a single. He never did come around to score, though. I went and peeked in on his hitting streak, though - he's already back to 6 games! I guess I haven't checked in a while. Go Michael! :)

Carlos Santana! How about that?! He was a second too slow getting to 1st base in the 4th inning and could have avoided the double play. Otherwise, he got 2 hits including a double AND a home run! I told you when that guy gets more than one hit, we've got it locked up! He's had 11 hits, 3 homers and 8 RBI in his last 10 games. Back!

I think my friend Jen, who hopefully is reading today, hasn't been reading lately because she was under the impression that Carlos Santana sucks. I would just like to point out to her that no he doesn't suck, he was just not playing up to his full potential and recently he has been. He's heating up to what he's supposed to be!

Travis Hafner only got 1 hit tonight and hoooooo boy was it a big one! It wasn't just his second homer in two games, it was the team's second homer in two at-bats! He followed up Santana's dinger with one of his own to tie the game. I don't know if you saw Pronk last night after striking out twice, but he Hulked out a little bit:
(awesome grab from Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All Of Baseball)
Tonight he didn't strike out at all but was also 0 for 2 when he got his bomb. Not striking out is progress!

Since this is The Positive Tribe and not The Angry Tribe I'm going to keep my statements brief on the replacing of Duncan (.224 vs left) with Lillibridge (.083 vs left) in the 8th. Possible maybe a bit better fielder if someone hits one down the line in the top of the inning? Sure. Probably not going to hit in the bottom of the 8th and is likely to strike out? Extremely. Not just Shelley Every Day - now we need to campaign for Shelley All Day! Good grief!

So to recap - Choo scoring twice, Asdrubal tying up the game, Kipnis making many things happen, Brantley keeping a hitting streak alive, Santana with two extra base hits and Pronk with a homer. THIS is the team that they put together a couple years ago, with Kipnis filling in the blank spot. This is the team that can get it done. And if the rest of the lineup can throw some sugar on it (they actually didn't tonight), then even better. If this is our team for the rest of the season, then we are going to be right up there at the end.

But that's too far off. Tonight we celebrate a tremendous victory over the top team in the division and the top pitcher in the league. Hopefully we take this win and roll over and over and over the super-pitiful Twins the next 3 days. I've got a fire in my belly - let's hope these guys do too!

Tomorrow is Josh Tomlin versus LHP in Minnesota at 8:10. It's also the opening ceremony for the Olympics at 7:30. I'm guessing they don't start right at 7:30 and end 40 minutes later...but I really want to see this spectacle so I'm going to have to split my focus between the radio and the TV. Nothing I haven't done before!

So excited to keep this rolling through the weekend - see you there!

PS Welcome to all my new Twitter followers! Sorry that I am no good at Twitter - hopefully you will come and enjoy the blog instead. Drop a line if you love to be positive about the Tribe!

PPS The Tom Hamilton Has The Best Home Run Call In All of Baseball dude was on the ball tonight - got your video right away! Enjoy!

Radio Chatter:
"When it's Justin Verlander on the hill, sometimes a one run lead is a death sentence."
- Tom Hamilton

"He didn't look like any 12 year old you'd ever seen in your life."
- Tom Hamilton on witnessing the young Prince Fielder

"If he had pitched for the Yankees there'd be another statue next to the Statue of Liberty."
- Tom Hamilton on Justin Verlander

"It's like waiting on death row for that call from the governor. Usually that call is not going to come."
- Tom Hamilton on being behind in the count to Verlander

"If you were a betting man you'd be homeless. You would have bet the mortgage on Verlander after 6."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Ack! We weren't supposed to lose this bad on the second day. That hurts, but what hurts worse is my favorite guy had 2 errors resulting in at least one unearned run, if not maybe two. And we lost by two.

For what it's worth, Manny Acta is on the radio right now saying that one of Asdrubal's errors wasn't an error and the guy was out, and Jack Hannahan didn't ground out he fouled a ball off his foot. Manny Acta is the first guy to tell you when the team sucks, I take his word for it when he says it's not our fault. After that he says our pitching sucks. Ha!

Derek Lowe did not have his best outing tonight, no sir. He gave up 4 runs in 6 innings, with 8 hits and 3 walks. Huh only 3 walks? Seemed he walked half the guys he faced! He got himself into some jams but also got out of them...just not as fully and completely as Ubaldo seems to be able to do.

The bullpen was actually worthy tonight! Esmil Rogers came in for the 7th and had to throw 25 pitches to get out of it, but he gave up no hits and no runs. Then Cody Allen, the new guy, walked one but got the rest. They brought him in for the 8th to face Miguel Cabrera! And he struck him out! They collected Allen's heart from in front of the mound and put in Sipp to get the next two. He walked Fielder and struck out the next two. Nice!

None of our lineup had a particularly big night. Well except Choo. Choo went 1 for 2 with 2 walks. His only hit was a double giving him 31 on the year, squarely in second place for doubles.

Asdrubal at least got a hit, but he left 3 on. Kipnis didn't hit but he walked.

Brantley also got 1 hit and left 3 on. And all of his outs were huge heartbreakers because they went very far in to right field but never over that damn fence, with all those dudes on base. His one hit was a ground-rule double so technically it went over the damn fence. It just needed help from the ground. He stole 3rd base on indifference and I sort of think the Tigers were like "eh, they never get anyone in from third. Let him go." Sigh.

Hafner, omg...he was a true DH tonight. He struck out 3 times before hitting a homer, but it was a solo homer. Too little too late.

Damon was on from a walk when Casey Kotchman hit his 10th homer of the year. Not only does that put him 4th on the team in homers (and only 2 behind Cabrera and Choo with 12 each) but it ties his 2011 home run total and puts him only 4 under his career-high 14! How does he do it? Nobody expects the Casey Kotchman!

That's all she wrote. The game wasn't as awesome as it could have been. Maybe it would have been more awesome without Asdrubal's errors and a little bias from the umpires. I coulda said it was a valiant effort. But no it was clearly a loss. A painful one.

Tomorrow is Josh Tomlin versus Justin Verlander. If he can give up 8 runs to the National League, we can get some runs for ourselves! Tomlin just has to pitch his mustachioed heart out.

Another 7:05 game and another game on WKYC - See you real soon!

Radio Chatter:
"So the taxpayers built Miami their beautiful new ballpark, and almost right on cue the Marlins are about to blow it up."
- Tom Hamilton is troubled by what goes on in Miami

"Boy the Indians have been begging for trouble tonight, haven't they?"
- Tom Hamilton on the Tribe having two on when Miggy is up

"That has to be the biggest time waster of all time."
- Tom Hamilton on fantasy football

"Verlander can make a guy look like he's swinging a hot dog at the plate some nights."
- Tom Hamilton tying together Verlander and Dollar Dog Night

"It's hard when you're out at first base to raise that right arm. I can see that. ... Just retire."
- Tom Hamilton on umpire Tim McClelland

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Yeah, On Paper...

It's true the Tigers are a better team on paper. Fielder, Other Cabrera, Austin Jackson, Verlander-Scherzer-Fister. They're all a few numbers above their Cleveland counterparts.

But so far this year, our team is 6 times better than their team for the number that matters, and that is wins. After tonight we're 6 and 1 against Detroit this season. We've held them to very few runs and have gotten just enough of our own to be better than them not on paper but in real life.

Mark Shapiro said "Yeah, on paper..." to Trivisano today on the radio and I totally agree. Doesn't mean we're a shoo-in for the playoffs by any stretch but if we can keep beating the Tigers at least we've got that going for us this season.

I didn't get to go to the game today or hear it on the radio or even see it completely on TV. I was spending time with my nieces so you can just ZIP IT! I did see the last couple innings and the post-game TV and the post-game radio so I think I got a handle on the whole thing here.

What a start for Ubaldo! Solid stuff - just like Masterson. Hoo boy! When was the last time we had 2 days like this from these two guys? He went 6 and struck out 4, giving up NO EARNED RUNS! They interviewed him after the game and he was very very happy. Aren't we all?

Joe Smith came in for the 7th and it was all gravy until he gave up a walk and then a 2-run, 2-out homer to Cabrera. When it left he banged his hand in to his glove and said "DAMMIT!" Or something along those lines. Whatever you were saying/thinking at the time, he was too.

As a special treat for the fans, we got Vinnie and Pure Rage to finish it out for us. Not sure why we're using them 2 days in a row and basically making them unavailable for tomorrow and maybe versus Verlander but whatever. My brother says Acta knows this was our only chance. Touche!

Vinnie gave up a single and a walk but that was it. He finished it off with nothing else on a total of 12 pitches. Perez got his done in 13. BALLGAME!

Choo didn't get a hit but he's still cookin', getting on base with a walk.

OMG ASDRUBAL!!! There you go buddy, 3 for 4 tonight with a double. But no RBI and no runs? Not cool, rest-of-lineup! That's 5 hits in his last 8 at-bats. Ugh how long until that batting average gets back to over .300, though? Dude has too many at-bats for it to shoot up - it's going to crawl.

By the way, did you notice Asdrubal wears braces? I thought I noticed at the ASG and my bro said he noticed and today we saw them (I rarely ever see games on TV). Googling for a photo, I see that he already had them at least in September of 2011:
From a cleveland.com article, October 2011
I wonder if he's getting his jaw straightened out, like I did when I had braces as an adult. Twice. Because I'm awesome and don't need friends! Although I suppose if you grew up on a dirt farm in Venezuela (I have no idea how he grew up) and sign a big Major League contract then you can do whatever you want to your teeth for fun!

Kipnis was right there behind Asdrubal, makin' stuff happen. Well actually he left 4 guys on base but he did go 1 for 4 on a double and came around to score. And we only won by 1 run so it was very important that he did!

Brantley only went 1 for 4. I cringed.

Santana, on the other hand - WTF? Where have you been? Seriously did someone teach him the sign for "Hey stop moving your foot" and now he doesn't move his foot and he remembers that he's a fantastic hitter? Whatever has prompted him to hit .379 in his last 10 games, I am all for it! Tonight he went 2 for 3 with a run AND a RBI AND he didn't strike out or anything. He got his 17th double. I TOLD you when he multi-hits we win games!

Hafner with a TRIPLE! Check it out! He was as excited as we were that he was safe at third, I tell you what. It was his second triple of the year, of course. He's a runner!

Usually it's a sleepy move to pinch run for your hoss DH in the late innings, but today it seemed like an act of genius on Manny's part to bring in the less-slow Marson with one out. Next up was Aaron "Despicable Me" Cunningham from Anchorage, AK pinch hitting for Johnny "No You Got It" Damon. He laid down possibly this season's most important squeeze bunt and Marson charged down the line, scaring Avila out of catching the ball and that is how the game was won.

Cunningham doesn't get a hit for that, just an RBI. It was an error on Fister.

 Damon did get a hit and it was an RBI single. Slow clap.

Good ol' Casey Kotchman got his hit today to keep up that .230s average. He also made a freakin' fancy play to turn two and end the 5th, so he's still doing exactly what we're paying him for.

I loved today's game and I just can't wait to get to the next two. And they're both on TV! I might actually get to see what some of our bullpen looks like. Perhaps someone has a gold tooth or an 11th finger. I'll let you know.

Plugging away with another 7:05 game - I'll see you there!

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Special Batting Practice

I was supposed to go to batting practice today, the third time since I won a "batting practice experience" in a 2011 Coats for Kids auction. For the third time, batting practice was cancelled. Not because of rain this time - not sure why, exactly. They did their BP indoors. I'm guessing they had some sort of "talking to" or something - and whatever it was, it worked!

By the way the Indians have been very cool about me missing BP. They've given me 2 sets of fantastic tickets so far (one of the 3 times I had my own tix) and have extended the offer indefinitely until I get my BP, even if it goes in to 2013. So kudos to them!

Justin Masterson was HOT STUFF today! He "only" struck out 6 in 7 2/3 innings but it seemed like he struck out everydamnone! He only walked 1 and gave up 1 earned run. The guy who came around to score happened to be a guy that Masterson hit with a pitch. He looked great and worked FAST. So did the guy on the hill for the O's - it was only a 2.5 hour game!

Masterson looked like he was going to finish the game, going into the 8th with 85 pitches, but they had Vinnie sprint out after one out. Masterson had left one on, and Vinnie gave up a double but Cunningham got the ball in fast, and the guy who was trying to come home on said double got caught in a rundown and was out!

That was really cool because it was the second rundown in the game. The entire row in front of me was middle-aged bespectacled dudes and they were all keeping score, so they were trying to figure out how to score the two rundowns! That out was 7-6-2-5. The previous one in the 2nd was 1-5-6-5-4-6!

So anyway after the run was saved, Vinnie faced Thome and he watched a couple then struck out swinging. GOD I LOVE BASEBALL!!! You could see Vinnie shaking his head on the way off the mound. He knew he got out of something there!

The 9th brought us Perez and he got the first guy to pop out to him and the second to strike out swinging. Eight pitches between them. Wilson Betemit had the count loaded after 5 pitches then hit 6 foul balls before grounding out to second. More nail-biting! Man I love seeing Chris Perez! I think I've gotten to see him most of the games I've been at this year. They now have some crazy Perez silhouette thingy they show on the board after they're done with the Firestarter montage. I was too late to snap a picture. It's sort of like the Bat Signal or something. Creepy!

Defense was great behind these pitchers today, by the way. Kotchman had a bunch of nice stops at first (I was right next to him!) They turned 3 double plays. Damon wasn't awful in left. Cunningham had his assist. Nice work all around!

Choo trade rumors. Ok whatever, moving on. CHOOOOOOOOOOOO got his 12th homer today to seal the win for the Tribe. It was a 2-run blast with 2 outs in the 3rd! He also got a single in the awesome 8th inning and came around to score the insurance run. NOBODY IS TRADING CHOO OK??

Chris Perez trade rumor as well. NO.

Asdrubal! I carried my sign all over that stadium today (parked at A, sat at C) and had to keep it from blowing away, so I held it up as much as possible. Three double plays, of course. Then a muffed ball infield single and an infield single that ricocheted off the pitcher. I'll take it!

Kipnis also went 2 for 4 and participated in those double plays. Kipnis was just like Asdrubal! Except he got a double "only" his 12th.

Brantley and Santana each went 1 for 4. Santana froze up a bit leaving 4 men on base. Hafner also left 4 on going 0 for 4, and striking out with the bases loaded and one out. Sad trombone.

Johnny Damon, always looking to make a liar out of me, did ok today going 1 for 3 with a single and a nice bit of running after that. He didn't score or anything but...nice bit of running. I just read tonight that he wants us to sign him for next year. Uh...no?

Good ol' Kotch got himself on base today, going 1 for 3 with a single that had him on when Choo hit his homer. Great guy to have down at the bottom!

Oh speaking of guys at the bottom, today's Photo Day was with Lou Marson and Tony Sipp. We chose Lou because I didn't want to say something mean to Sipp. I look extremely stupid standing next to him. He makes everyone look stupid, I bet. My mouth is SO crooked compared to his painted-on pearls!

The "get to know your team" question reel on the scoreboard today was "Who would make the best movie star?" and most everyone said Grady. Then Grady said Choo and a few other guys did too. Then the pitchers all said Lou and one said "because he already thinks he is." Do you think they're enamored with him and like to pitch to his beautiful face? I bet they all have man crushes on him! Ha!

Ok sorry to get all girly on you there. I'm just pumped from a great game and seeing some GREAT baseball. If we could just hit a BIT more - 10 hits today but NO walks! - looks like our starting pitching is tight and defense is SHARP since the break. It's to the top, folks! Hopefully the Indians aren't sellers or traders this week. I don't want to see it. I want our guys to excel, even if it means me continually missing batting practice for secret meetings with the Maharishi.

Tomorrow starts the Tigers! BRING EM ON! We're 5-1 against them this year did you know that? Totally. It's Ubaldo versus Doug Fister. Choo has 8 hits in 16 AB against him, with 2 homers. Just sayin.

It's a 7:05 start in CLE. See you there!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Coulda Been Worse

Coulda been a shutout. Shelley Duncan coulda broke his face when he tripped over first base. Carlos Santana could still be shitty.

Josh Tomlin looked hella good tho didn't he? Well except that 2-run homer in the first. That didn't help us none. But he went 6 innings and those were the only 2 earned runs he gave up. He only struck out 2 but didn't walk any. That's a quality start, though. Like, the legal definition.

Esmil Rogers, who has pleased me much lately, gave up a run in the 7th and it was a bad, bad time for him to start being displeasing. Jeremy Accardo, who makes a habit out of being displeasing, didn't disappoint today. He was plenty disappointing, giving up the winning run in the 8th.

Cody Allen came in for the 9th and didn't give up any runs, so yay Cody Allen!

Not much really happened in this game today for the good guys. At least they looked good on the field. But so did the birds.

Choo and Kipnis both got on twice (Choo with walks, Kipnis with singles (not doubles, I get it)) but to no avail. Asdrubal wasn't doing anything today between those two. I dunno why, I dunno why. Hopefully it's just a Sunday Slump and not indicative of a false start.

Carlos Santana. Wat?! He went 3 for 4 today with a double, a homer and 2 RBI. While he hasn't necessarily been hitting he does have a 16-game on-base streak so that's pretty great. Well not as great as his homer today. It was only his 7th so he's got a bit to go before he catches up to where he should be but hopefully today was a glimpse of things to come!! Actually it was a glimpse of how things have been, and hopefully will be. You know what I mean.

Shelley Duncan was in on the near-comeback in the 9th. After Santana's homer he got a big hit and everyone was praying for it to be a homer - no one praying harder than Tom Hamilton - but it was just a double off the top of the wall. Maybe woulda been a triple - I guess Shelley wiped out going around first but impressively got the double still. His hard work paid off as he came around to score on a pinch-hit single by Hafner (batting for Marson).

Pretty exciting! Three runs in, only one out, one on base. Woohoo! We'd been waiting all day for this! Then Damon was up and yadda yadda Asdrubal got the third out. Grumble...

But late-inning comebacks are rare for this team this year so I was thrilled to see it. Hoping it carries over to tomorrow. I should have some influence on it as I will be attending batting practice. This will be my third attempt at attending batting practice - it's rained the other two times. And guess what? IT IS SUPPOSED TO RAIN TOMORROW!! Argh!

Oh well at least I'll get to go to a game with my friends. And it's Photo Day again so we'll get to have our picture taken with oh...hmm...well heck, Roberto Hernandez isn't busy, maybe him! I sure hope it's Chris Perez tho, that'd be the bees knees.

Anyway, if I'm at batting practice tomorrow I'll be sure to tell everyone they're doing better lately but they gotta calm down. Asdrubal especially. Even Brantley, he's not seemingly Smooth right now.

Glad we got a little glimpse of some baseball today, at least. Tomorrow's back at regular time - 7:05 so I'll see you there! (But not til late)

Radio Chatter:
"If somebody told him he'd hit better standing upside down, Joe Madden would be the one to try it."
- Tom Hamilton

"Oh man, do they Indians need SOMEBODY to deliver a big hit right now."
- Tom Hamilton in the 6th with 2 on and 1 out

"Lot of ways to get here. Very cheap. Indians dot com."
- Tom Hamilton's wrap-up of the new offers

"These pitchers now are walking a tightrope with no net underneath them."
- Tom Hamilton on the Indians' pitchers

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Zach Attack!

Zach McAllister is pretty awesome! Right now I dare say he's our best starter. Masterson was again for a second but Zach's been real steady so far. He has quality starts without giving up crazy amounts of runs.

Tonight he went 7 and gave up 3 runs off 5 hits. Through 6 innings he faced 19 batters (minimum plus 1). He gave up a single and then a homer in the 7th. He actually pitched to 3 guys in the 8th as well (only 95 pitches by then) but gave up another homer and that was it. Still, he struck out 6 and any team should be able to overcome a 3-run game by a starter. 'Cept this one.

Sipp came in for the rest of the 8th and walked one and gave up a single, but got out of it un-scathed. For the sake of working, Vinne Pestano came in for the 9th and struck out 2. Because he rocks.

Unfortunately, the back end of Baltimore's bullpen is even better than ours. Like, for real. Ours is 40-2 when we lead in the 8th and theirs is 39-0. Booooing!

CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO got his 11th homer! Always fun times when he puts it out of the yard. Cuz he's just our little leadoff guy right? Ha ha joke's on you! He only went 1 for 4 thought.

Brantley got a hit :)

Carlos Santana got a double and a walk. That is very good, Carlos Santana - you keep it up!! Everyone keeps saying he needs to get his stuff together. Well here he is - where everyone else?

Damon and Kotchman each went 1 for 4, but not at the same time. So nothing came of that.

Looks like my conjecture last night about the possible back-ness of Jack Hannahan is true! Today he went 2 for 3! But nothing came of that, either.

Everyone was fairly decent tonight but nobody was putting their hits together with other hits. We also only got one walk. The putting runs together thing, that's really crucial to the scoring runs thing.

I'm just glad I took the time to clean the house and do a million chores during this game today. I'd feel pretty busted if I wasted all night listening to that hooey. Bah.

In other news, Roberto "Fausto" Hernandez is on his way to CLE right now after obtaining his visa. I thought he was already in the country in AZ but he was actually in the Dominican practicing at our Dominican facility. He's going to be suspended for 3 weeks but he'll be playing in the minors in that time. Anyone going to try to catch him at one of the minor league games?

Tomorrow is another game against those Orioles. Charlie Nagy jersey day. It's a 3:05 thing, I think it will be packed. Yesterday we had 34k today 36k. People really enjoying the free parking or something!

Let's hope the fans get to see a win tomorrow. I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"[Umpire] Jerry Layne's main job tonight is to make everyone in the ballpark guess what the call is."
- Tom Hamilton

"When that trade was made, there were probably four Yankee fans who had heard of Zach McAllister. And two of them included his mom and dad."
- Tom Hamilton on the trade of Austin Kearns for McAllister

"Unless there's an outbreak of measles, the Indians are going to face Doug Fister, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander."
- Tom Hamilton

Friday, July 20, 2012

Double Trouble

First post! Do you think I was first in with this clever, clever title today? Started writing before the end of the game because when they take out Choo and Cabrera for Cunningham and Lopez, you know the game's over.

Derek Lowe did not have the stuff today. No more "wow that old man is good!" nope just "please don't suck today!" He gave up 9 runs in 3 innings, including 5 doubles and 2 homers. He didn't strike out any today but today it wasn't cute and funny like it usually is with him. "Hee hee he didn't need to strike any out he had 27 ground ball outs!" No. He just plain sucked.

Then Manny Acta just started throwing everyone out there. First was Cody Allen, fresh up from AAA. Very fresh. He walked the first two he faced, loading the bases (Lowe had left a guy on base) then Lowe's guy scored on a ground ball out. Then Allen struck a guy out yay! And a ground ball out. I wonder if he went back and puked in the clubhouse.

Next was Rogers for 2 innings, who has pitched 8 innings in his last 4 games, and is still coming out to pitch 96 MPH so he's looking good. Except he did give up a double and an earned run, but whatever - that's tons better than Lowe in his 3 innings.

Still with 3 innings to go, we saw Smith, Sipp and Perez. Smith was awesome, as usual. Sipp was awesome, surprisingly (one walk, one hit but no runs) and Perez struck out 3. Holla!

You sort of thought this game was going to go differently when it first came on, didn't you? I did. Yeah there was an Oriole run in the first due to a walk and a wild pitch but then Asdrubal comes in and reminds us THE SLUMP IS OVER and you think "All right! Gonna be hot!"

Not so.

Choo went 2 for 4 with his 30th double (2nd place behind Alex Gordon with 31). When it was 1-10, they sat him down for Cunningham.

Asdrubal, as you may have heard, got his team-leading 12th home run in the first inning! OMG ASDRUBAL!!! He went 1 for 3 until they put Hannahan at short and plugged the left side with Lopez. He went 0 for 2.

Kipnis is back to doing stuff, getting his 11th double (once again - only 11?) and going 1 for 4. Michael Brantley, on the other hand, didn't do stuff. Amazing!

Carlos Santana, still with the patience! He went 0 for 1 because he walked twice and was hit by a pitch. He's got 13 walks and 7 hits in his last 10 games. Only 5 RBI (4 of them Wednesday) but I'm hopeful. This is indeed better than nothing.

Also better than nothing was Hafner going 1 for 3.  He got a single and also got hit by a pitch. Lean in there, hoss!

Today's hot hitter was Johnny Damon. Of course, not in the second inning when the bases were loaded, but ever other time he was up he got a hit, going 3 for 4. Why does he get the willies when there's guys on base? Jeez!

Of course, he did this act of magic. Dammit.

I hate when I have to tip my hat to that money pit.

Casey Kotchman...he left 6 on base and didn't do anything tonight. Tsk tsk...

Supermanahan was out tonight, getting his 4th homer of the year! Woohoo! He only went 1 for 4, though. I think we're done waiting for him to come back now - we'll consider him back, and start prodding him to do better.

Nothing was coming together for us today against the O's starter. That didn't do us much good considering we had a 9-run deficit to work with. The lineup gets off the hook due to Lowe's utter failure, but we still need these guys to hit consistently no matter what.

Tomorrow is our new favorite guy, Zach McAllister, versus an even newer guy, Chris Tillman who's got an ERA of 1 since he had one great start then one start in which 5 of the 7 runs given up in the first inning were un-earned.

Anyway he's a right-handed kid. LET US CRUSH HIM!!

It's a 7:05 game. I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Why are all the uniforms pink?"
- Tom Hamilton musing on the thought of Rosie helping with the team laundry

"This isn't New York - he really caught the ball, it's not in some fan's back pocket."
- Tom Hamilton on Damon catching a foul ball in the stands

"Well you can't teach stuff. And he has stuff."
- Tom Hamilton on Cody Allen

"Get out of here! ... and no, it won't."
- Tom Hamilton on Choo's almost homer

"Jim Thome has surpassed Sammy 'I didn't cork the bat. What do you mean it broke open and cork flew everywhere?' Sosa on the all-time home run list."
- Tom Hamilton

"Well it's 10-2 so Rosie and I have got to talk about something."
- Tom Hamilton after a long diatribe about performance enhancing drugs

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Full Price

Really, not much to say about today's game - which is good because it's only 4 PM and I'm still at work and shouldn't be saying much at all. But hey - the sooner I get it over with the sooner I can look towards the Tribe's homecoming and the 3-game slaughter of the Orioles!

Ubaldo was the starter today and I must say he looked damned good - until he didn't. Of course he had us all on the edge of our seats loading them up in the first and getting out of it. He ended up giving up 7 hits and 5 walks for a total of 5 earned runs. He did strike out 5 in his 5 2/3 innings and only gave up one run ... until he gave up 4 more before he was yanked like Fred Willard at the girly show.

Scott Barnes added to Ubaldo's total by promptly giving up a hit when he came in. Then he gave up a run of his own on two doubles in the 7th. Jeez...

Jeremy Accardo ALSO gave up a double but to no ill effect. He ended up striking out 2 in the 8th. He's not looking too bad...better than Barnes who Hamilton declares "not ready for the Majors."

So David Price is in line for this year's Cy Young, and our lineup has been struggling so as you can imagine, it was bad news up and down the lineup for us today.

The absolute highlight - for me at least - was that Asdrubal got a hit! Yessir, one of our two hits off David Price came from the previously struggling Asdrubal Cabrera! Struggling no more? Indeed!

The guy who got the other hit was Jose Lopez. He's also the guy who got a homer off Aroldis Chapman earlier this year. Must like to hit these crazy-good pitchers. Or they have no idea how to pitch to him.

Santana walked twice, so that's pretty cool. Oddly enough, Michael Brantley struck out twice.

That's it. That was today's game. Ubaldo crumbled and our offense was completely denied and David Price is awesome.

Next up is 4 against the O's, who we bombed pretty good in June. The series is at home and there's all sorts of crazy good deals on parking and transportation and stuff. And Beatles fireworks! Let's hope all the fan love gets us a nice set of wins - maybe a sweep?

Tomorrow, Saturday and Monday are all 7:05, and Sunday is 3:05. John Adams will be there - how about you? I'll be there Monday, maybe Saturday too. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"How in the world can you allow Jose Molina to steal a base?!"
- Tom Hamilton after Jose Molina stole a base

"He's gone 7-12 since he recorded a commercial with Darth Vader, so he's got that going for him."
- Jim Rosenhaus on Luke Scott

"When he's in a jam, Ubaldo Jiminez is at his best."
- Tom Hamilton

"No disgrace in getting shut out by Price."
- Tom Hamilton

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A Real Baseball Game!

Holy Moses, boffins!! Did you make it all the way through that one?! It was FANTASTIC!! The Indians played all sorts of baseball - hitting, defending, pitching - and we WON!

What made it really sweet was that poor old Masterson was struggling against these Rays (again - what's up with that?) and the team managed to work around his woes and pull out the win anyway.

Masterson only made it 4 1/3 innings and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits - and 7 walks! Yeowch! He also gave up 3 stolen bases. I think we're best off putting this one behind us.

Who came in to save him and also get the W? Why, Esmil Rogers of course who is now all of a sudden our middle reliever, which you don't see much with dudes who throw for heat but there it is. Did you catch the TribeVibe post about him? It's really creepy. He wanted to quit baseball but his friend punched him in the face and told him to stay so that's why he's still playing. All right...

Sipp came in and everyone was like "Sipp's been good lately!" and then he gave up a single and a walk and ended up giving up an earned run when Smith came in to relieve him. So we're back to thinking Sipp's no good.

Vinnie came in and blanked 'em in the 8th, getting his 26th hold. In a strange twist of fate, Perez got warmed up but did NOT come in for the 9th. Accardo was in and he struggled a bit, giving up a run and a hit and a walk but we had 5 runs to play with so they left him in. Perez was getting a bit antsy in the pen and so was Tom Hamilton but he never did come in.

Batting was just...awesome today! All the guys who needed to hit got hits AND they all had MULTIPLE HITS! Of course Johnny Damon didn't hit because whatever, and Kotchman didn't hit but that's ok because we're not paying him to hit. He did get hit by a pitch for the 6th time this year. If that's what we're paying him to do then...well, all right.

Here's what happened. Hold on to your seats!

CHOOOOOOOOOO went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI. You know, he's had a pretty nice July so far with 19 hits in 53 at-bats, putting him at .358 for the month. Still a winner in the choice for leadoff!

OMG ASDRBUAL!!! I am serious this time! Not only was he back to being awesome in the field again but he went 3 for 5 with a double and 2 runs. OMG OMG OMG! His batting average is still .279 but everyone (Hammy, Rosie, Kipnis, Acta) was all "Well I guess he's out of his slump now." I GUESS SO! Ok maybe not but being an Asdrubal superfan I have to play up that angle. He's out of his slump just you watch!!

Kipnis, who has been sort of yawn-y lately (although I think that's more a function of the lack of hitting around him) was back to his old self tonight going 2 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs. Getting those 2-out RBI, too! Just like they did earlier this season!

Cousin Michael, solid - solid as a rock - is back to hitting again and not just walking. He got his 4th triple of the year tonight (but didn't score, ugh!) and ended up going 2 for 5 on the night. The count begins back at 1 [game hitting streak]!

The story of the night, even more storied than Cabrera, is of course Carlos Santana. In at catcher, batting 5th, Manny talking all week about how Santana and Hafner need to get their shit together and Santana's shit was together tonight, boy! Two hits. One walk. Four at-bats. Two runs. Four RBI. ONE THREE-RUN, TWO OUT HOME RUN! Brilliant! Brilliant, I say! When that guy gets a multi-hit game, we win. Simple as that. Someone better be showing that boy video on a loop of his hitting tonight, all the way through to tomorrow, in case he forgets again how he's supposed to do it.

Since I'm NOT in the Santana fan club, I am not obliged to say "he's out of his slump!" so I'll just pump my fists in the air silently for a bit. woot.

Let's not forget Hafner! He had a multi-hit game as well, going 2 for 5. No runs or RBI, though. But keep it moving, Pronk. Get on them bases!

Supermanahan was back to his old self today, with a 2-out 2-RBI double to get us started in the 5th, then came around to score to put us within 1 run. He didn't do anything else at the plate but he also was pretty tight in the field tonight, even on that crazy plastic grass and clay dirt.

Did you know that BJ Upton's real name is Melvin Emmanuel Upton, and the BJ stands for "Bossman Junior"? I think that beats out both Joba Chamberlain and Coco Crisp for family-nicknames-cum-professional-names, don't you think?

Anyway, what a great pick-me-up tonight, don't you think? Heck the game even picked ITSELF up after seeing Justin struggle and us having to face their good-as-of-late pen. Nothing like a good 'ol hitting spree to keep your faith alive!

Tomorrow is Ubaldo versus some dude named Price (yes I am being facetious) and uh...well it's a noon game, so be there or be square. I have no comment on this game other than "I HOPE!!"

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"It's  track meet here now."
- Tom Hamilton on all of the Rays' steals

"If the Indians win this game, Rosie, this might be the biggest win they've had all year."
- Tom Hamilton

"He must feel 300 pounds lighter after that home run in the 7th."
- Tom Hamilton on Carlos Santana

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bases Loaded and Nobody Out

Tonight's game was pretty much the same as last night's, except we lost it. Which we could have done easily last night as well.

I just don't know what's up with our hitting right now. You guys have seen what these guys can do, right? You all remember when Asdrubal was scorching past .300 and Lopez was fun to see and Shelley got his groove back, right?

What's the deal? It just feels so helpless sitting here watching these guys fail at the plate like this. With runners on, too. Nobody's under .200 anymore but the team average is around .250. The fuck?

Josh Tomlin was the starter and he gave up 3 quick runs, sort of attributed to his 11 days off. He gave up his first steal since 2010. Asdrubal gave a good argument to the ump that he got the tag down but he didn't win that one. Interesting stat on Tomlin there, tho! After the 3-run first he was pretty strong through the 6th, where he gave up a 4th run and was taken out before it got too bad. 

You know who came in to not let it get too bad? Tony Sipp. And it didn't get worse! No shit! He ended up finishing up the 7th and Accardo came in for the 8th and it STILL didn't get worse. Woah!

The top of the order was the bit of the order that had it going on tonight. Choo and Cabrera both went 1 for 4 (oh thank you God, let Asdrubal continue to hit!!)

Kipnis was back to being impressive going 1 for 3 with a walk and a RBI. He scored Sweet Lou in the 5th, who had gotten on with a walk.

The book is out on Brantley - they seem to like walking him now! Poor guy went 0 for 2 because he walked twice. No RBI, no runs, nothing.

Lopez at least did a thing, bringing in Asdrubal on a sac fly. So there's that. LOPEZ!

Good ol' Casey Kotchman got his hit today. I was beginning to get worried that we could not, in fact, always count on him! He had his 4th error of the year, though. It sounded kind of spectacular with falling down and stuff, but I don't see a video online.

Shelley Duncan didn't do anything today. He left 4 guys on base, is what he did. I'm mortified. But you know, this sort of shit wouldn't happen if you just let him play EVERY DAY!!

I'm thinking of putting a Chief Wahoo temporary tattoo on my right forearm, just under the inside of my elbow. The antecubital region of my arm, if you will. I had a temporary tattoo last month on my bicep and it lasted like 5 weeks. I think I can get away with this - I don't work in public, who's going to care? I just can't decide if I want to do it now or later in the season but...well, I can just get more at the Team Shop.

I think I'll wait til Monday, when I go to batting practice. The guys will be so very impressed!

Yawn. More Rays tomorrow, again at 7:10. But this time it's Masterson! Which means we'll give no run support but also he won't give any up. Right?

Oh by the way if you're bored and need something to do between 5:00 and 7:10, all of the Bad News Bears movies are on Netflix Watch Instantly now. They're only like 90 minutes each. I may or may not have watched 2 today at work.

All right, see you tomorro!

Radio Chatter:
"There is no variation in his pitches. They are either 96 MPH or 95 MPH."
- Tom Hamilton on Matt Moore

"I went to Catholic grade school and she didn't look like any of the nuns that taught me. 'Mrs. Zoberist would you slap me with that ruler again?'"
- Tom Hamilton upon learning Ben Zoberist's wife is a Christian recording artist

"For some reason the management here has decided the key to every game is for the fans to go home with a splitting headache."
- Tom Hamilton says the music is too loud at Tropicana Field

Monday, July 16, 2012

Too Hard

Jesus, that win was too hard to come by! The way ZacMac pitched and our guys getting on base 16 times it shoulda been cake. There shouldn't have been a scramble to get relievers working and a nail-biting 9th inning. Also shouldn't have been a three-and-a-half-hour game but there it was.

At least it was a win!

Zach McAllister was aces tonight. ACES! You can't go wrong with strong starting pitching, and we've seen a good bit of that lately (Ubaldo nonwithstanding). McAllister went 6 giving up only 3 hits and striking out 5. Just one earned run! He got his 4th win and is now 4-1. Awesome call-up - sorry Jeanmar!

Esmil Rogers, with eyes as wide as saucers, was brought in for the 7th and promptly gave up a homer. Oops! He walked one and then had to be saved by Sipp, who couldn't get the third out, so they both had to be saved by Vinnie. Who rocks your socks and not only finished the 7th but came in for his classic 8th-inning hold.

Perez was not about to let one go, and came in to throw 94 MPH fastballs and 84 MPH sliders. Which one would it be which one would it be? OOOOH sorry you guessed wrong! Yer out! He put his guys down 1-2-3, striking out two and gaining his 26th save. PARTY AT SENOR PURE RAGE'S TONIGHT! (Perez is from the Tampa area and I suspect his dad still lives there.)

CHOOOOOOOOOOOOO had a great night tonight, going 2 for 4 with 2 doubles. One double - the lead off hit in the first - was actually a home run or a triple but it ended up being called a ground rule double. Lame! But he stole 3rd then came down to score on a wild pitch. HA!

Man, I am not going to be so invested in one player anymore. Such soul crushing sadness when your main guy does shit like strike out 4 times in one game and leave 7 on base. Like, I think I have to re-evaluate my life now. What am I doing? How did I get here? Should I invest in new foam board and markers? Because my blue marker broke, you know. So if I'm going to make a new sign it's either got to be non-Tribe colors or I'm going to have to make an investment in another marker.

Life is hard here in Asdrubalville.

But, the JK Kid had a little resurgence tonight, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a RBI. His two hits were doubles as well!

Choo has now 10 stolen bases and 29 doubles, and Kipnis has 10 doubles and 20 stolen bases. Doesn't it seem like Choo should have more stolen bases and Kipnis more doubles? I keep thinking this and they keep having the wrong stats.

Michael Brantley is back to 0 game hitting streak. I thought he might pull it out by walking all FOUR times he was up to bat but no luck. He actually struck out once. Doesn't matter though - going 0 for 1 keeps him up over .300 with .301! Woohoo! He's also hitting cleanup now which is smartness for Acta. There's no rule that says your DH or your top home run guy needs to be 4th! Put in the guy that is hitting!

I kept waiting for ol' Lopez to do something amazing tonight, being that he was up 4 times with 6 guys on base. Nothing. Hafner at least walked twice! But otherwise, nothing from him too. And Kotchman. I thought we could always count on Kotchman? (Well, 23.5% of the time)

Carlos Santana got a hit! But he still NEEDS multi-hit games. We can't do it without that. HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL HIM?!

Johnny Damon, native Floridian, best season of his life 2011 with the Rays, 2 for 3, yadda yadda.

Hey Jack Hannahan! He came in to bat for Damon in the 9th and got a hit! Good on ya!

Not a very exciting performance overall for our boys. Much better in the pitching department than hitting. Manny is tinkering with the lineup a bit, and I trust him to come upon something miraculous to follow up the invention of Choo Leads Off. Brantley Cleanup shows promise but I also like the idea of Shelley Every Day.

Maybe we'll get a taste of Lou tomorrow so he can continue his little hitting streak. Tomorrow it's Tomlin versus a dude we dominated last time around. Both guys have similar stats but if our guys are batting with their thinking caps on they've got a chance to crack him again.

Another 7:10 start - let's hope they get their sea legs by then. See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"We want to thank Bartley for being a long-time listener and thank you for sharing that information..."
- Tom Hamilton joking on Bart Swain sending him trivia about having all the teams in the AL over .500 (except Kansas)

"I guess Bobby Valentine is never going to learn to shut his mouth."
- Tom Hamilton on Youk returning to Boston this week

"He completely surprised his first baseman Pena."
- Tom Hamilton on Farnsworth's unexpected (and missed) throw to first in the 6th

"Cabrera has left a small village on base."
- Tom Hamilton

"What the Indians want is a legitimate middle-of-the-order hitter. But I am still waiting for that pony I asked for when I was five years old."
- Tom Hamilton

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Yesterday it was the pitching, today it was the rest of the team who had a case of the "duhs."

Derek Lowe did give up 3 runs but they were pretty much a fluke compared to the rest of the game he pitched. Six innings, 3 hits and 5 strikeouts. He just gave up those 3 runs in one inning where he had too many walks. Otherwise he was aces with 8 ground-ball outs.

Joe Smith came in to finish the job for 2 innings. The two guys did everyone a solid by going the distance after the bullpen's extended use yesterday. Joe struck out 2 and only gave up 2 hits in his 2 innings. His ERA is still under 3.

Our batters were pretty much stymied today. They did walk 5 times but they only got 5 hits and had a team LOB of 9. ARRRRRGGH!!!

The top of the lineup is just not getting it done at the moment. Choo did get a hit and Kipnis did get a walk, but Hafner did nothing.

Asdrubal got a hit, which stopped an 0-for-16 slide. But...nothing else. He went 1 for 4. So, that does jibe with his .278 average but - dude, why is your average .278? He is, however, back to being solid in the field so that's at least one thing we've got going for us. He's not literally giving up runs with errors anymore. For now.

Santana...ok, slowly but surely. He was actually more impressive than the 4 above him today, getting both a walk AND a hit. But he left guys on base, Hafner left guys on base, Asdrubal left guys on base...you get the picture.

Michael Goddamn Brantley tho - how about that dude? Thirteen game hitting streak now, going 2 for 3 today and 8 for 11 on the series. HOT DAMN! He got 2 hits and a walk today, both of his hits being doubles. That puts him tied for 2nd in the league with Choo and A-Gon. His average is over .300 now and he's hitting .474 over the last 10 games.

I sent over a request to Fresh Brewed Tees that they need to get some Brantley gear made up. I don't think we need to be ignoring this guy any longer!

And that's it! Not even Casey Kotchman did anything heroic today, nor did Shelley or Lopez who came in to pinch hit. Of course Johnny Damon couldn't get anything done. Him and Kotch left 7 on base between them (that's different than the team LOB and I'm sure their 3 and 4 LOB's overlapped. But still...THAT IS A LOT!)

It's going to be a rough week versus the Rays if we can't get our bats out of our asses. I'm hoping pitching won't be too bad (won't see Ubaldo until Thursday) but I guess Rays' pitching has been dominant as of late and our hitting has been anything but these last 3 games.

Chris Perez is from the Tampa area so I'm hoping he's going to get the boys extra special pumped up for a win. Or extra special hung over from a huge pig roast. I'm hoping the former, with gusto.

Tomorrow starts us off with our new favorite Zach McAllister versus a RHP, so we've got promise.

I'll see you there!

Oh sorry, no Radio Chatter...I was in the car on my way home for most of the game. I don't take notes and drive!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Oh, Ubaldo...

I did it! I went to a wedding and manged to come back and listen to the game in my hotel room in full! It almost didn't happen because my computer was acting totally stupid, but I tried turning it off and back on again and eventually got the game to play. Nice!

This game was all Ubaldo's fault. Even though we had 8 LOB and only scored 1 with bases loaded and no outs, it was still on him. Even though our relievers gave up 3, still on him.

You don't give up 8 runs in 3 innings, bro. You just don't. Especially not when you're our second starter.

That's pretty much all I have to say about Ubaldo right now. There's no rhyme or reason to when he's going do well or do poorly right now. Remind you of anyone? Fausto, right. Whee!

Barnes and Accardo gave up 3, but Rogers did well in the 9th and we almost came back. But we didn't. Gave it a great try, tho!

The offense was exciting, though! How about that bottom of the lineup, huh? When I got home and loaded up the box score I thought I was looking at the totals for yesterday's game. Three morehits for Brantley? Get out!

Choo's having a rough start of the half. Yeah it's only 2 games in but he's 1 for 8. He did go 1 for 4 today with a walk so he's still hovering just under .300.

Dropping far from .300 is Asdrubal, who went 0 for 4 today but did have a walk, a stolen base on indifference and then a run. Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus pointed out what I've been noticing - he's swinging at junk. Just swinging away quickly and often. Hopefully when someone points this out to him (and soon), he'll rectify. He was hitting over .300 for most of the season so surely he can be fixed.

Kipnis is in the same boat as Choo, 1 for his last 8 with a walk. Yawn.

Hey, Lopez! Been a while since we saw him (not really)! He went 1 for 4 today ALSO and came around to score on a bases-loaded walk.

Hafner pinch hit for him in the 8th and got a RBI single! Cool!

Santana...well he went  0 for 3 but  walked twice and ended up coming around to score both times. That's progress! Still rough getting him in that lineup, tho - he was DH, Hafner hit, Marson hit, Kotchman killed at the plate and in the field. Careful, buddy!

Holy shit, Michael Brantley! I mean - holy shit! Six hits in his lat 8 at-bats! He's at .299 - do you think he's going to be hitting .335 by the time Grady comes back, as I jokingly predicted this spring? He's up from .280 on July 1. It's not a fluke, either - he hit like a sonofagun last season too. What about his hitting streak? Up to 12 now? Thirteen? How about 3 of his 4 homers coming in the month of July? His 4th was tonight - a 2-run bomb! Love. This. Guy!!!

And Shelley too! He ALSO went 3 for 4 and had a 2-run homer. He had 3 RBI on the day, getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 2nd. He's got 5 home runs in his last 7 games. FIVE HOME RUNS IN HIS LAST 7 GAMES!!! Aaaaargh why do we still play Damon?!?!

Tied for 4th on the team in homers is Casey Kotchman who ALSO got a 2-run homer today. Dayum! He went 1 for 5 today with 2 RBI and he had this piece of niceness at first. Because he is so super awesome! See why it's hard to get excited about Santana?

If it's still hard to see, Lou went 1 for 4 today. Not too exciting BUT he's got a 9-game hitting streak and is hitting .293. He's up 60 points in his last 10 games. He did let 3 bases get stolen today but...I dunno, they can't do it all...?

So yeah, the offense did end up doing fairly well - 12 hits and 6 walks, with 9 runs. They actually almost came back, which is sort of unusual for this team but hopefully not unusual going forward. But it's hard for any team to come back from 9 down. This one is squarely on Ubaldo.

Rubber match tomorrow - Derek Lowe versus Villanueva who is sort of good but also a RHP. It can be done!

I'm sort of geeked because I'll be in the car and within radio range at 1:07, so I'll get to finish my trip home while dialed in. Will make for a short ride!

I'll see you there!

Radio Chatter:
"Boy, Chad Fairchild behind the plate has proved one thing - that he did not see an optometrist during the break."
- Tom Hamilton

"You can't make up for the first half in one swing of the bat."
- Tom Hamilton on Santana trying too hard at the plate

"You just hope Jiminez finds it before he is knocked out of this game."
- Tom Hamilton in the 3rd just before Jiminez gives up 8

"Fairchild is going to go home tonight, call his wife and say 'Nobody likes me.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Nothing against Aaron Laffey but it feels like the Indians should have 8 runs themselves."
- Tom Hamilton

"As much as people talk about this club needing a hitter, they probably need pitching even moreso."
- Tom Hamilton

"You look at that big scoreboard in center and one number pops out at you - 8 in the third. That's your ballgame."
- Tom Hamilton

"A guy that was having a club sandwich suddenly had a baseball right in the middle of his plate."
- Tom Hamilton on Encarnacion's homer

"Hang on folks - this one's not over yet!"
- Tom Hamilton after the Tribe scores 4 in the 8th

"Remember, here in Canada, they know hockey."
- Tom Hamilton was going somewhere with this, he swears

Friday, July 13, 2012

When Nothing is Good

Hey y'all! I'm in Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania. I wish I could tell you it's beautiful but it's been pitch black for like 4 hours now so I haven't seen anything since State College.

They don't have the Indians out here. If you were wondering, you can go about 100 miles east on 80 into Pennsylvania until you no longer get Indians radio (570 AM Youngstown). It was great fun driving around listening to the Tribe game but I only got to hear to the 6th inning. I was looking forward to catching the end here at the hotel but for some reason the radio archive is not available, even though the game's been over for 3 hours.

But, according to the box score...nothing happened. But that's good!

Masterson had a classic game where he dominated the opposition allowing only 5 hits in 7 innings, and striking out as many. And it was a shut-out! He made short work of the Jays too, getting it done in 2:40. He only had to face 25 batters in his 7 innings, with 2 double plays behind him.

Vinnie and Perez came in to finish it off. How fucking nervous do you think Masterson was? I mean, not nervous about Vinnie - he's a hold machine. But Perez....well, I'm a big jerk for thinking maybe it might happen twice in a row. Masterson is NOT a jerk so he probably had the utmost confidence in CP. And he wasn't let down - he got a pop out, a strike out and a ground out. When he wasn't tossing 86 MPH sliders he was firing 96 MPH fastballs down the hole. All fixed!

Not sure how we managed to only get one run off a guy who gave up 17 in his last 2 games, but we did. That run came off the end of Hafner's bat!! It was so unexpected, poor Tom Hamilton barely mentioned it. He didn't have a chance to get revved up or excited or anything. Maybe he didn't think it was going to make it - it was quite high up - but it did and that was the solo shot that won the game!!! I gave it a couple extra exclamation points there, to make up for Hammy's lack of enthusiasm.

Santana actually had a decent game, playing first. He went 1 for 2 with a single an 2 walks. So that's pretty cool.

Get this tho - Michael Brantley got THREE hits! He went 3 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 11. And he got his 25th double. He's hitting .294!!!

On his heels is Sweet Lou who ALSO has a hitting streak of 8 games. He went 1 for 4 and has been hitting something like .400 over this streak. Today we got Lou, Santana and even Kotchman in the game. THAT I like to see! Kotch came in for the 8th. Didn't do anything, though...but, I like to see him keeping limber!

Damon did good. He went 2 for 3 and a stolen base (!). But you know, he still left 2 guys on base so...well, ok...good job, Damon.

Yeah so other than Masterson dominating and Hafner having his swerve back, and Brantley continuing his swerve, that's about it. Glad I didn't stop on the side of the road as the radio was fading out so I could finish the game. Ha! That'd suck...

I don't have any Radio Chatter for ya tonight, sorry. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. I'll still be in PA and I have a thing to do so we'll see if they give me my radio archive or what.

Tomorrow is Ubaldo - think he'll rival Masterson's mastery? He sure could! We're going to need to get our bats back to work, though. He very well could give up 4. Hey! The other guy is Aaron Laffey - neat!

Oh, it's a 1:07 PM game so don't miss it. See you there!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

All Star Shame (July 8th Game)

Disregarding the play of our two all-stars that culminated in a loss going in to the break, there was a lot to like about this game, boffins.

Of course, it's not like we'd been on a losing streak or that we'd not been scoring runs and we can be happy to have scored a big 6 on Sunday. Or that no one had been hitting and we were happy to see some hits, with several guys having a multi-hit game.

But there was a lot of baseball in that game and seriously, without Asdrubal playing lackadaisical and not hitting and without Perez having his worst game since the first game, the rest of the team had a hell of a game.

Little Zach McAllister was the starter and he went 5 2/3 giving up NO earned runs! Holla! Not only that but he struck out 8! Not that I don't respect Lowe but it's nice to see one of our starters routinely throw between 5 and 10 strikeouts. Unfortunately he didn't get a win out of it but oh well.

Smith took over next and had a typically Smith game. I think we can consider him solid now. Another guy who is working his way towards solid is...Sipp! No shit! He only came in for 1 out but it was a strikeout. No runs!

Vinnie looked a little rough, having to throw 30 pitches. Perhaps it should have been a harbinger of what was to come next. Pestano did end up striking out his side without giving up any runs. But it seemed like it took forever.

Perez gave up 3 runs, blew save. Huh.

Choo started off having a bad day but ended up going 2 for 5 with a homer. CHOOOOOO!!

Kipnis was his stellar self in this game. Feast or famine with that kid - he's had 10 hits over his last 10 games but it's like 2 or 3 hits, or none. Anyway he ended up going 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs. He got his 8th double...you'd have thought he had more, right? Just like how Choo only has like 2 stolen bases.

Hafner went 0 for 4 but he got on with a FC and came around to score. He didn't strike out or anything so at least he's making contact, right?

One of the big stars of this game was good ol' Cousin Michael!! He went 3 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 7, where he's got 10 hits in those 7 games. He's got 24 doubles, putting him squarely in the top 10 for the league. Man, I can't believe he got no RBI and no runs, though. Bummer!

Santana...did a thing. He got a single going 1 for 5. He ALMOST tied the game at the end but...no go.

The biggest star of the game was ex-Rays Casey Kotchman! The Kotch is now The Klutch! He went 3 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run. And his 8th home run!! Although he was a star in the game, he ended up not being the hero in the 9th. Ah well. Here's an interview with him from TribeVibe, being sort of creepy or humble, I couldn't tell which.

Damon was in the game. No Shelley today. Probably because I didn't have time to remind Manny Acta that we should see Shelley Every Day. But Damon actually did well and got his SECOND triple of the season going 2 for 3 and scoring a run.

Shelley gave an interview and said we don't need to look for any more outfielders or any more bats. I hear you, brother! Let's build these guys up instead! Where would we be if Duncan got more attention and we didn't have to wait on Damon's sorry ass? Maybe better...maybe better.

Speaking of sorry asses...Nick Hagadone broke his damn hand punching something after his bad outing Friday. BROKE HIS HAND!! So that's all she wrote for Nick Hagadone this year, I'm sure. The Indians are still trying to work out with the player's union just who is going to pay for this mess.

This was a rough game but we'll get over it. We've got 3 more glorious months of baseball! Hafner's back! McAllister will save us all! It's going to be fun times and I can't believe I have to wait another day and a half before we can start again.

Friday at 7:05 - Masterson versus a guy who's given up 17 in his last 2 starts. See you there!! (Late, cuz I'll be on the road) (No sorry, not another baseball getaway)

Radio Chatter:
"Shields is good at going soft, softer and softest."
- Tom Hamilton

"Hafner not totally 100% after his knee surgery...and he wasn't Rickey Henderson before it, either."
- Tom Hamilton on the likelyhood of throwing Hafner out at the plate

"[Manny Acta] feels that Kipnis is their best defender right now."
- Tom Hamilton just before Asdrubal makes 2 bonehead plays in the 5th

"This should be a sit-back-and-relax game...but 4 un-earned runs in the 6th inning changed everything."
- Tom Hamilton

"When they turn it over to the bullpen it's pretty much automatic."
- Tom Hamilton before Chris Perez's transmission blew

"Choo is a guy who didn't let his first 3 at-bats set back his day."
- Tom Hamilton after Choo's 8th inning homer

"This is interesting...how does Fernando Rodney at age 35 start throwing 100 miles per hour?"
- Tom Hamilton is talking about drugs

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I Visit Wrigley Field and then Watch The All Star Game

I'm sure you're all wondering how it is now Tuesday night and I have yet to write about Sunday's game. Well it's going to take my full attention and I was busy the last 3 days so it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. 

My excuse for missing Sunday's game is a pretty good one - I was busy visiting Wrigley Field! Yay!

Here's the tour Web site. It's $25 for a 90-minute tour. They run every hour on the hour from 9-5, every day. We got in to Chicago at like 3:30, passed that goddamn White Sox park then sat in traffic for about an hour getting to the hotel. Then we threw our stuff in the room and hailed Chicago's Fastest Cab to get us up to Wrigley by 4:59. Hooray!

The tour was just amazing. I mean, really truly worth the $25. Heck it was worth the 5-hour drive! I don't know or care much about the Cubs, other than they have not won a World Series in a longer time than us and Ryne Sandberg used to be my dude when I played 2nd base but...that's about it.

But to be inside such a historic baseball place and hear the story of the FANS and the park it was just amazing. Really guys - if you have any appreciation for the history of baseball you MUST check this out! Here's some of my photos but you also need to hear the tour guide's info to make it special.
 Inside the Cubs' clubhouse. This was the first place we went and I don't know if it was the heat or the fast cab ride over, but I literally almost puked with excitement once I realized where we were.

It was extra interesting to see the "understated" accommodations for the players, after just having read a post on TribeVibe about what our clubhouse manager does and what our clubhouse offers (you should read it, it's really interesting and in two parts). I'm sure everyone in Chicago gets the best treatment but they still have some teeny tiny facilities!
 The only batting cages in the park are under the bleachers and there's no "secret passage" to get there. So if you are going to go in to pinch hit (which happens a lot in the NL), you can come down to the Cubs clubhouse and put that board over the tv (bottom left) and pull down the net and take some swings. There's a tee down there too.
 Here's the view from the "Smirnoff Upper Deck Patio" behind Wrigley. The MLB made the Cubs make their stadium bigger for the ASG or the playoffs or something, so they turned a 20'x50' area into a patio and put up a hot dog stand.

On the corner there is a yellow macaroni noodle sculpture, which I just learned is an advertisement from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and says "You know you love it" on the side. Lest you scratch your head wondering what Kraft has to do with Chicago, well the same noodle statue appears at Busch Stadium and AT&T Park in San Francisco. Cleveland must be too good to sell out to Kraft. So far.
 Here's a picture of the organ, in the little organ booth. The tour guy was proud to tell us that their organist just played his 2000th game. I was sure as hell to mention that Tribe drummer and patron saint of this blog John Adams played his 3000th game LAST YEAR.
 Here's the view from the press box. I was interested to see that it was open-air but then I realized that TV and radio were enclosed next to us, and I think our press boxes are open-air too. But still cool. Just to the left is where Harry Caray would have sat.
I thought these under-roof scoreboards were a nice touch! Something we could have used at Municipal Stadium for sure!
Here is the visiting player's entrance. It used to be just un-covered stairs until Cubs fans started to have a chip on their shoulders about their playoff record, and visiting players weren't as safe.
Here's the super un-glamorous visiting team's clubhouse. There is a door in the back of the clubhouse that has no outside handle. They say that when young players complained about the lack of accommodations, the veterans would point them towards the "players lounge" outside the door. There is also no easy way to get back from the other side of that door to the clubhouse - especially in a towel!

Nowadays I guess the veterans make the kids write up a list of all the famous players who have come through this clubhouse. You basically start with Honus Wagner and work your way up through the HOF. Oh yeah and don't forget everyone who played against the Bears until 1970!
 There's a whole wall with rules taped to it, including a poster about how to choose a bat that is approved and is less likely to break. Click on the picture for a full size!
 Here's the batting cage. The chairs and the people are OUTSIDE of the cage - surrounding the cage is a one-way mirror and what we're looking at is a reflection. So you can watch the players but they can't see you. Just past the cage are stairs to the bleachers.
 A view from the top of the bleachers with a reminder to the "Bleacher Bums" to behave.
Manual score board! Too cool! Apparently a woman has never worked the board - there is no place to pee but in a funnel. True story.
 A Sox fan and journalist bought one of the pinwheels when Comiskey Park was shut down, and installed it across the street and in plain view of Wrigley. He would light it up every time the Sox would score (or win?) but when Harry Caray died he had Caray's face painted on the pinwheel and it gets lit up every 7th inning for "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
 Here's me playing with the panorama feature of my new camera!
 I was IN the dugout! So close I could make the call to the bullpen! I guess the Cubs dugout has nice padded benches but the visitors get nothing.
 The on-deck circle! I sat on it!
 That sign! Of course I mean the sign from the opening theme of Perfect Strangers!
 Across the street (where the Caray pinwheel is) on either side of the outfield are rows of building on top of which are seats to watch the games. The buildings we walked past in right field, at least, seemed to all be "baseball clubs" like this one - The Lakeview Baseball Club. Next door was the Ivy League Baseball Club [link has auto-play video]. I'm not 100% sure what they do but I think they are like super fancy suites - beautifully-decorated houses set up for a party with catering and then seats on top to view the game. Looks really nice. 
Here's a view of Wrigley from the El train. We didn't bother to get maps of Chicago because in my experience you can just walk around and ask people how to get places. We asked someone how to get to the train then asked which train went south to our hotel. Gotta love our fellow Midwesterners!

Anyway that was my trip to Wrigley. I'm serious when I say you MUST go on a tour. Now I'm sort of intrigued to go to the Progressive Field tour because I want to see more clubhouses, but compared to Wrigley I'm sure it'll be boring as hell. Here's the itinerary... at least it's 1/4 the price! Actually I get a tour for free with a guest being that I'm in the Tribe Fan Club, so I should do that soon.

So that's what I was doing Sunday instead of listening to the Tribe. Afterwards I got some famous Chicago deep dish and then watched The Blues Brothers (seriously - thank you Amazon streaming!) so there was just no time. I did read the recap. OY!! Don't worry, I will cover it tomorrow.

In the meantime...I watched the All Star Game. Did you? I voted too so I felt like I had a stake in the game. But not really because there was no Brandon Phillips, no Torii Hunter and no Jason Kipnis. Asdrubal was there of course but not because of my votes. Perez was of course there AND he got some press but he didn't pitch so whatever.

I'm slightly embarrassed for the AL Central because we were like "HERE IS OUR BEST PLAYER! He is so good! Watch out!" and Verlander got stampeded by the NL guys. The only AL Central guy who did anything was good ol' Joe Mauer who got a hit.

Asdrubal made it in by the 5th because Jeter doesn't care. He walked but then struck out. Dammit! But he did have a nice, classic Asdrubal play to throw a guy out from deep on the left side so that was cool. Jeter had a big fancy throwing-from-mid-air play that ended up not being an out at first. I wonder how Asdrubal would have done?

Perez never made it in, which is kind of sad because 9 pitchers went through so you'd think he'd get a chance. The last guy was Fernando Rodney, who also has a crazy beard. I guess crazy beard plus dumb hat trumps crazy beard plus long hair.
 Perez was excited about being hayted upon. You could tell when he was all smiles as the KC fans booed him during the player announcements. They are still sore about the "You can't see me" stuff with Delmon Young and also apparently he Tweeted stuff about their "It's our time now" slogan. Hahaha he's so 21st century! You know who would be eating this shit up if he was around in this century? Ty Cobb. Oh man his Twitter feed would just be a wall of h8!

I liked the commercials. I don't see many commercials in my regular viewing time so I am a big fan of commercials when I do see them. I also liked the goofy ASG bumpers.

Having just been to Wrigley Field, I like the new State Farm commercial. It features ex-Indian Kerry Wood with a special guest appearance by 80s Andre Dawson!
There was also a "World Series On Fox" commercial that got played a couple times, showing some highlights from the first half. Theo nly Indian appearance is a half second of Josh Tomlin and his tiny mustache! Hooray!

There was a 2-minute montage of the best plays of the first half. NONE of them were for the Indians. Not like last year when half of them were Asdrubal. One play was Minnesota's Ben Revere robbing Lonnie of extra bases by doing a somersault. But that's it.

The All Star Game was super boring. Oh well, at least it was baseball in hi-def on my TV. That's something that rarely happens, huh? Except for when the Indians were on Sunday, which I missed anyway.

I'll catch you tomorrow and we'll go through the awful experience together!