Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hafner, History and Helpful Hints

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travis Hafner on deck

Getting his hit in the 4th.

Putting on his hat after tipping said hat.

Final at-bat.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you in April! 

Good night!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Good Game, Greasemonkey!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I bet Chris Perez hollered loudest!

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you there!!

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 1, 2012

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

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

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

And then it started to rain.

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

How could you not like this guy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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