Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Inside the Fire[works]

So I got woken up early today on my day off so my friend could invite me to today's game. A mutual friend had 4 awesome season tickets for us to use if we were into it. Normally I'd be an "Angry Elf" to be woken at such an hour (10:30!!) on my day off but I sprung up and accepted the invite!

If you're not a fan of heat and sun, I'm not sure that there are any "awesome seats" at Progressive Field at 4 PM on a 92-degree day. Well, by like 6 PM the left field seats are good but for the most part everyone was there to bake. And bake we did.

BUT...these were "All You Can Eat Seats." But not the regular one, where you can get hot dogs, drinks, popcorn and nachos. This was the CLUB seats, which are now all "All You Can Eat" and in addition to that stuff you could get ice cream, pizza, sausages, hamburgers, fries and sno-cones. And buffalo mac & cheese which my friend said was not worth $5 when he tried it, and my other friend said it was ok for free but he agrees he'd be disappointed paying $5 for it.
My oven
 Since I don't eat carbs, I was pretty much screwed as far as variety goes. I did end up chowing 4 delicious sausages, 3 Diet Dr. Peppers and 3 cold waters. My friends tried the dogs, nachos, ice cream, pretzels and mac & cheese.

Here's a secret - there are upper deck All-You-Can-Eat Seats for $32. If you plan on going to a game on a hot day, you cannot beat these seats. Why? Because it's all the cold water you can drink, for free. You will drink $32 in cold water and pop. You will MAKE money on these seats on a hot day! I have no idea how people stayed both hydrated and financially solvent in the other seats today.

Another tip...if you find yourself with Club tickets and they are LOADED club tickets (most likely it is because you know some swanky and generous folks with season tickets), don't waste your loaded on over-priced drinks in the bar. Instead pool your ticket values and use them in the souvenir shop! I paid $4 for two Slider dolls after redeeming my friends loaded tickets and my 10% Indians Fan Club discount. Score!

So here's another interesting thing (I swear, I'll get to the game soon. I know you know it was quite a game!) - the folks sitting across the aisle from me were selected to play a game between innings. Some dude with a headset on came down and asked if they'd be in to it, described the game ("Wheel of Fortune") and the prize (4 Nickelback tickets) and had them fill out a couple forms. They asked the couple to wear some sponsor t-shirts during the bit, and when it was time the headset guy gave a cue and the nice little fella who does the scoreboard games did his thing. They ended up winning (hopefully with my help!) and they got to keep the First Energy t-shirts.

Since my entire section was empty - even my 3 friends had bailed for cooler quarters - I was sitting alone with my We Are All Kipnises t-shirt when the camera guy came up to film the "Wheel of Fortune" game. While he was waiting, he tool a bunch of shots of me looking absolutely stupid putting my fingers in the air and showing off my t-shirt. So if you saw the fat person with the Kipnis t-shirt on TV today with the matching red hat and face, that was me.

Ok one more thing - I enlisted the help of my mother to apply my SPF 50 before I left for the game today. She must have done an awesome job because I was sitting out there in the sun for 3 hours straight and I don't have a smidge of burn. Moms rule! I also had my secret weapon - an SPF 50 stick for re-applying face protection. Protected!

All of that heat (there was a lot of heat) was totally worth it because today's game rocked! I had told my friends that the Tribe had a good chance today, considering our performance in Baltimore and our performance versus Haren the day before. NOBODY was disappointed!

Derek Lowe took the mound, and you've got to imagine he pitched on a few hot and sticky days while in Atlanta. He made it 6 innings and only gave up 3 earned runs. He gave up 11 hits and usually when he gives up a ton of hits the opposition gets like 8 runs. I don't know if it was part of his game plan or what but he let guys get on base but not past 3rd. He also only struck out 1, of course. He looked GREAT until he very obviously hit a wall (no doubt a heat wall) in the 6th. That's about when I felt it too. He gave up his 2nd and 3rd runs and finished the inning out. Lowe ended up with the Win - his first since June 1! He also leads the majors with 19 ground ball double plays.

Hagadone, Sipp and Accardo came in and only gave up 1 run between them with 2 strikeouts between them. YES, THOSE GUYS!!! Sipp looked good, even!

Hey did you notice - Everybody Hits today! A couple of guys had a multi-hit game. I really liked our lineup. Sorry, Santana. I was disappointed to see Damon and not Duncan but....well he got 3 hits so hrmph.

The team was SO patient today at the plate. Their patience is absolutely magnified when it's a million degrees out. But they had Santana up to 58 pitches in 1 1/3 innings. They only got 4 walks out of it but they got pitches to hit!

Choo's back up in 2nd place in the division with 26 doubles, thanks to his RBI double in the 2nd. He went 1 for 4 with a run and that 1 RBI.

I didn't bring OMG ASDRUBAL!!! with me, once again being that I was in someone else's season ticket seats. I don't think it would have been seen by too many folks, although I was surprised at the number of signs around us in the fancy seats! 'Droobs went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Finally! He didn't hit in the last 2 games. I wonder what's up with that? I still don't think he's being patient enough. I had pointed out to my friend about him hitting at junk lately and she noticed it too. So there you have it.

Kipnis was on it today, going 1 for 3 with a walk, a RBI and 2 runs. He didn't steal any bases today - weird!

In a courteous move, Acta sat Choo, Cabrera and Kipnis in the 6th, 7th and 8th respectively. Because by then we were up by 11 and it was a million degrees, so why not use our use-able bench? No Shelley today, though - he's officially on the paternity list. Cunningham actually looked good in right field and went 1 for 1 at the plate!

Hafner's back! Hafner's back! And I saw him! And boy does he look good! Can you was just like 5 weeks ago that he had knee surgery and he's been playing a bit in the minors and today he was just fine hitting and running at a major league level. Woah! He went 1 for 3 today with 2 walks and was, in my opinion, the driving force behind today's patience at the plate. I am SUPER stoked to see him back!

Brantley only went 1 for 5 today but his 1 hit was the clincher - a 3-run homer in the 1st! Only his second home run of the season and I saw it!  He did end up hitting in to a couple of fielder's choices and got a second run out of it.

You know who else got a home run today? Say it! Casey Kotchman! His was down in the right field short wall, just like Brantley's. Casey had an awesome night going 2 for 3 with a walk, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. Plus he was part of 3 double plays! WE LOVE YOU KOTCH!

Hannahan was 1 for 4 today with a run. He looked GREAT at third!

Johnny Damon was making a fool out of me again today. When I last saw him it was that awful, ugly Cincinnati game where he fell over and shit in the outfield. But before that it was a Pittsburgh game where he went 2 for 4 and tried to smash my cousin with a foul ball. Today I told my friends what the deal is with him and here he went 3 for 4 and scored 2 runs. He also had an outfield assist, throwing out stupid Pujols. Hooray for Johnny Damon.

Sweet Lou had another awesome game! He went 2 for 4 today with an RBI and a run. He's got 15 hits in his last 10 games and a 6-game hitting streak with 11 hits in those 6 games. DAMN!! Makes it so hard to want Santana back...

Going to today's game was a nice surprise, and I was handsomely rewarded for enduring the heat. And you know, it honestly wasn't that bad. Well, 12-3 makes you forget a lot of stuff. But also there was a breeze and the more you sweat the more breeze cools you. I think I was thinking about how it could be worse - it could be like when i was at band camp, it could be like when I worked summers in an outdoor restaurant, it could be a pitcher's duel. It was none of those things - it was awesome!

Tomorrow is the Rays at 7:05. Their record's about the same as ours. They're starting a rightie - yeah rightie! Our man on the hill is Tomlin.

See you there!

Radio Chatter:
"He's still got the respect level that most batters don't have."
- Tom Hamilton on Travis Hafner

"Sometimes you gotta lose a battle to win the war. You just can't burn out a bullpen if a ballgame is getting out of hand early."
- Tom Hamilton

"Santana might be better off just jumping off the rubber than throwing to first."
- Tom Hamiltin thinks Ervin Santana has a bad move

"Derek Lowe had a chance to sit back and watch the early fireworks show."
- Tom Hamilton

"Shows that even the best players sometimes get a brain cramp."
- Tom Hamilton on Pujols trying to stretch a single and getting thrown out

"Strange things happen on the 4th of July, Rosie [...] The Indians summer league in Arizona was rained out today. [...] If it weren't the 4th of July it would have been declared a holiday anyway - rain in July in Phoenix."
- Tom Hamilton

"High school kids in Northeast Ohio throw their curveballs faster than Takahashi."
- Tom Hamilton on Takahashi's 68 MPH curveball

"I guess this is what it was like watching Mickey Mantle play."
- Tom Hamilton on Manny Acta on Mike Trout

"His former teammates, many years from now, are going to go on and on about 'You know, Torii Hunter is the best teammate I ever had.'"
- Tom Hamilton

"Would it hurt the Rangers to win once?"
- Tom Hamilton on the White Sox winning

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