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


  1. Thanks for another year, I enjoy reading these.

  2. I second what Rob said!

    I'm a fan of baseball on the radio and only saw two games in person this year, so I lived vicariously through your ballpark experiences and enjoyed revisiting great Hammy-isms on the day after. (A side note: How do you get the audio of the games on demand? Do you have to fork over big bucks to MLB? I only have the At Bat app for the iPhone/iPad, but if I can't listen to the game while it's happening, I miss out, which is a bummer.)

    In conclusion, thanks for the heads-up on 87.7. I miss the old 92.3 (and I remember when 107.9 became The End!) so I'm looking forward to checking out this new station. I wish they had online streaming -- now I'm going to have to wait until I get out of work & can tune in on the drive home. (Oh, look at that: 5 p.m. Yay!)

  3. Thanks so much for keeping me sane. I love the Indians but I couldn't have made it through the season without your outlook. Actually almost gave up a few times but something made me check in and hang on. Have a good off season! Hear from you in 2013!

  4. Thanks guys!

    @Amy - if you join the Tribe Fan Club for $19.95 you get access to "® archival Gameday Audio for your computer" (it's not just archival it's also live) which I think costs $19.95 on its own through So I join the Fan Club every year as soon as it's available so I can get my audio! This also allows me to get spring training games when they're not on the radio. Plus you get other junk from the Fan Club so it ends up being a good deal.

    Unfortunately I don't think there's any iOS/Android solution for archives just yet...