We started our Memorial Day off going to a Family Fest Day at Classic Park. Everything there was free. There were batting cages, pitching mounds, a traveling minor league museum. Even free were opportunities to play MLB ’09 The Show video games among others. Even pretend Sports Illustrated for Kids covers and pretend baseball cards were made sponsored by Days’ Inn. My memories were very positive hitting baseballs, pitching and hitting the pretend batter three times while only throwing two strikes, getting my own baseball card, and getting shelled in a simulated baseball game by the Rays 8-0. My hope was this was only simulation and not reality.
My family then went to visit their grandparents on this day. With every holiday, it all comes down to family. My parents were very nice to have time to watch our kids while we went to see our Tribe at 17-28 face off against the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays 23-23. On the mound was Fausto Carmona for us and the Devil Rays had David Price filling in for Scott Kazmir who is currently on the DL for the Rays.
Speaking of the DL, Anthony Castrovince was kind enough to post on his blog the following information for us concerning players on the DL which you can find here.
One thing that makes me very angry is when I see at any level with the talent to compete but with no drive and desire to carry it out. I hate a team that just gives up or gives in at any level. This is what the Tribe started out as tonight. Fausto’s name might as well have been called Walk or Mudd after the fans including me booed him right out of Progressive Field tonight.
His mind has been elsewhere it seems and I hear rumors about what is going on. Rather than speculate on these, I will just deal in the fact that he was awful tonight. Walking the bases loaded is unacceptable at any level. Paying to watch this is very excruciating. Pass me the meds, I’m having a migrane headache again.
Jensen Lewis was no better. The fire for the team was NOT here or there. It was extinguished, it seemed with the pre-game grilled picnic. 10-0 and despair was setting in for most fans, not for me and my wife and sister-in-law. We had to get up though. It was an absolute joke to see this type of play. We went to the team shop. I was starting to bad mouth the team and really needed to take my mind off the mess. Who cared at this point, not I. I denied I cheered for the Indians just like Peter the disciple denied Christ. 10-2, 10-4. Who cared about who was pitching or hitting. I should have cared. In retrospect, Still something was keeping me there. It was the bottom of the 8th. There were all these birds that gathered around the field. I kept saying “Paul Byrd is no longer here. Why are you here.still?” They were annoying, landing on the field and the seats. However, after what happened next made sense to me.
These birds (seagulls, not doves) descended on the field like the Holy Spirit did on the feast of Pentecost for the early Church which happens to be this Sunday for Christians. Its’ interesting that the former Devil Rays were on the field to experience the divine intervention in the bottom of the ninth. It started like this.
We went back to lower box seats on the Tampa Bay 1st base side of the field to sit down.
By the time I was done talking about the birds and came to my senses, two were on base and Choo was up. Great I thought, Mr. Not Fired Up will hit in to a DP. Again. And the pitch, grounded to the shortstop and he overthrows the second baseman and its now 10-5. I kept thinking when is this going to end so we can go home and commiserate. By the way, where are those birds? They were flying high above by the lights. A swing and a drive and HOMERUN #2 by Garko and it is 10-8. Ah I think I better get my CHEER raised up. John Adams pounding on the drum. Grant Balfour was pitching. I kept having fun with the names of the Rays pitchers. Randy Choate looked like “Choke” and Grant Balfour looked like “Ball Four” The names prescribed the doom of the
Devil Rays. Little did I realize 10-8 would not end it as Carroll was walked followed by Sizemore who walked and it was 10-9. It was electric. I who gave up on the team was humbled and told once again to NEVER GIVE UP kept clapping from the Garko homer on. Finally, Victor, who was 0-18 would not be denied off Jason Isringhausen as he hit a single up the gap and drove the tying and winning runs home. 11-10 FINAL SCORE
Indians are now 18-28, 10 GB from being average.
I have spent the last two days going to see the Lake County Captains, the level A ballclub between Mahoning Valley and Kinston for the Cleveland Indians organization. I see some potential at this level. Still, one never knows what it might bring. I have seen current major league players play here such as Kevin Kouzmanoff, from the San Diego Padres, Ben Francisco and Fausto Carmona play here. Who knows if any of these current players have the potential to become major leaguers?
The people I would think may make a splash someday are Karexon Sanchez, 2B who bats .277 and leads the team with 7 homeruns. On the pitching side I liked what I saw from T.J. House who ended up with a no-decision Sunday. He just seems to have that composure that will benefit the Indians possibly someday He also attacks the strike zone which is what this organization needs. His final numbers Sunday were giving up no runs and 2 hits with 6 strikeouts in 7 innings of work.Too bad he couldn’t get the win after leading the game with the lead.
Saturday’s game at Classic Park had the largest crowd so far for the 2009 season. Sunday I would argue had a more boisterous crowd, although it was much smaller. They seemed a lot more responsive to cheering and clapping hands and spontaneous cheers. It was awesome to be a part of both games.
Tonight I will return to Progressive Field to see David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays face off against Fausto Carmona tonight at 6:05 p.m. I just expect a lot of carryover from last weekend’s series at Tropicana Field. We shall see. I expected we would be on a winning streak at least. Unfortunately, what looked once like an outstanding homestand may be a disaster if we cannot put together some wins here. I hate being the worst when I know the talent here is better than that. However, it is what it is.
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO ALL FANS, EVERYWHERE! To be able to play or watch baseball today in freedom is the best blessing any fan could ever ask for, yet so often this fan writing takes it for granted. THANK YOU TO ALL THOSE WHOSE SACRIFICES HAVE PRESERVED FREEDOM FOR OTHERS AROUND THE GLOBE. GOD BLESS AMERICA!