Tonight I returned to work security at the “Jake” again tonight. Upon arriving I saw Placido Polanco tonight before the game. He was talking with another teammate as he passed me and looked like he just took serious batting practice prior to the game. He looked pumped as he passed me as I said “Hello.”
I worked at Gate A tonight although I was originally scheduled for Gate C tonight as a security checkpoint. It was constantly busy for like 4 innings as people were streaming in. Tonight was Cliff Lee “2008 Cy Young” Bobblehead Night. This item clearly ran out early and rain checks were issued.
Here is a telling sign of most Clevelanders in 2009. I who want to watch baseball whenever I can had to remove myself from the breakroom as LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were on throughout the break and assumedly the night as they easily won to take a 3-0 lead in the second round of the 2009 NBA Playoff Second Round. To find the Tribe I had to go down by the locker rooms to watch the game. UGH!
I returned to my post and was asked to handle the gate and watch people leave. It is getting harder and harder to wish people to have a good night seeing the team the way they are. If looks could kill, I’d be dead to some fans as they gave this cold stare that saw right through me as I wished them a good night. It has not been pretty.
It was Faith night as there was a postgame concert for all fans in the Gateway Arena. It was music I could not really understand as it sounded like a lot of noise and nothing else. This was no Kumbaya. I was there until 2300 or so adding some security for the event. The concert was still going on when I was asked to be off-duty. Okay by me, I was getting a headache. Little did I know the players were still having a closed door meeting alledgedly. I was just happy to leave. The shutout variety was getting to me two nights in a row.
I hope all mothers had a wonderful Mothers’ Day. Today my wife and kids and myself spent the day together trying to cheer the Tribe to victory. NO SUCH LUCK! It was a bright cool Spring Day. Usually when I go to Progressive Field these days. There is not a buzz at the old ballpark among the fans or the players these days. Thus 11-21 is not a surprise. Howver, I admit I expected and still expect so much more. Watching this effort whether in person or not is exhausting from my perspective and it is not from exhiliration, just pure frustration.
I was happy to see three runs score in the ninth. However, my exhausted self and the fan in me was saying where was this effort for the previous eight innings. I mean all the hits without runs scored will lose it for you every day and night every time if you let it happen.
Still something about the closed door meeting had me thinking this losing streak is going to end is a big way soon. Call me crazy, very crazy but the White Sox will be paying for our latest mistakes in a big way, I believe starting Monday.
A further note: I thought it was interesting to see a bunch of ladies of all ages holding a giant Pink ribbon to help bring awareness to MLB’s commitment to fighting breast cancer prior to and during the National Anthem.
May 7, 2009
My family and I went out to eat and enjoyed hearing the first inning of the Indians-Red Sox. When we left the car, it was more of the same as the Indians fell behind early 1-0. After dinner, we were on our way to a local mall and an Indians team shop to get tickets for Mother’s Day. We thought it was wonderful how the team came up with a way to get to Wakefield. It was now 2-1 and buying tickets seemed more feasible now. I was pumped and was saying “Just hold on, guys” With this year’s team, there is not that confidence from my perspective that any lead is safe with the bullpen we have.
We entered the team shop. The game was on and the Indians were able to survive the bottom of the fifth. I was telling someone about Wakefield and how he seems to be like a fine wine pitching better now than in the past. “We used to pummel him. He used to be the one that we used to win against all the time.” I thought it was amazing that he could be this effective now. 2-1. Let’s get home to see if this can hold up.
Then came the top of the sixth. My wife stopped off at the local wholesale club that we shop at for bottled water, milk and other items in bulk. Before getting there however, Sowers started sounding sour on the radio as he was allowing hitters to get base hit after base hit after base hit. Walking batters also was taking place. The travel time was about 10 minutes and we were not taking the highway. The score went from 2-1 to 4-2 and still no one was out. Ugh! Bring in Masa! His name reminds me too much of Mesa. OH NO! Base hit, base hit, still no one out. Listening to this as your wife went into the store made me want to call her on the cell phone and say “Could you pick up some Pepto-Bismol or Tums in bulk too?” I held off, though. What made it worse was all this went on without GETTING ANYONE OUT!
When I got home, I was amazed that the Indians were THIS BAD! 13-3 just was not what this baseball fan ever wanted to see from the 2009 team. Still, it was what it was. 11-18 was a fact, not a mirage that could be turned around so quickly it seemed.
May 8th, 2009
I was called about 12 p.m. today. It was my boss from the Indians. “Hey Aaron, can you come in tonight? Someone called off.” “Sure, I can do it(I guess).” The thought of working these games these days isn’t as thrilling as I imagined due to the play of the club these days. Still, perhaps, I could help them by being there.
I was thinking the impossible this season, so far on my way into “the Jake, uh, I mean Progressive Field.” Perhaps, they could actually go on a streak. Streak for the Tribe this year…two in a row?” They have to get to ONE, first.
I began the night finding out that I would be at Gate C, checking bags and other items for contraband. It went fast. Having this as my first time at this gate, I was amazed of two things. First of all, this activity was a lot faster than I imagined it would be. Secondly, those fireworks sure are loud from where I was standing.
My other area where I would be stationed was away from television monitors and away from the field. The toughest moment here was hearing the crowd get so excited at Grady’s “swing and a drive, waaay back” and then hearing the moan afterward when Granderson caught it. It was like someone blew up a balloon and then let it go without tying it and having it deflate” PLLLLLLLLLLL. Trying to imagine the sound of the balloon just makes me say UGH, another loss. 11-19. We lost 1-0.
After the game, I was not able to see, however, I heard the fireworks. The crowd leaving seemed down. This used to be a series where you would hear and see trash-talking from Detroit and Cleveland fans. Tonight, this swagger was not seen from either side from the fans.
However, I was also able to see some of the players tonight. Curtis Granderson was not boastful. He just was quietly confident and smiling from ear to ear. Other Tigers’ players were loose, joking and having fun cracking jokes, about what I can’t recall. I saw one that appeared especially jovial was Zach Miner as he was telling the others something. I saw one Indians player and one coach as they left too. Masa Kobayashi looked like he was really tired and Luis Rivera looked really down. This last observation told the story. That is all I needed to see to know the story tonight.
Well I tried something different after dinner tonight. I invited my kids and wife to each write down where they thought each team would finish in the AL Central just to get differing opinions from my own perhaps.
First up was my daughter. She selected the White Sox for last, the Tigers for fourth, the Royals for third, the Indians for second and the Twins for first. I asked her why, She said the White Sox were too young, the Tigers were better offensively but their pitching was still suspect, the Royals were going to shock the division and do well, the Indians were going to fall just short and the Twins with the best pitching were going to carry the division.
Next was my son. He selected the Tigers for last because they were from a place he doesn’t like and the pitching is terrible. The Royals were going to remain a little better than them. The Twins system makes sense for third, the White Sox with their pitching were better than every team except Cleveland who have a really good heart. The heart is what makes the team great. Their team effort was going to make them the best.
Finally my wife stated the Tigers were going to be in fifth. When asked why, she stated that ESPN, the Magazine put them in the cellar. She was influenced by that and agreed. The White “Sux” as she likes to call them will be fourth. When asked why, she said they are as bad as the Tigers but she thought the Tigers were going to be slightly worse. The Royals were going to be third as a very improved team. The Twins reputation is to always exceed expectations so mark them for second. The Indians were first because they were her favorite team.
Now comes my turn.
This division may be tighter than even the experts think. Each team gives reasons for why they win and why they lose the division. Still I will try to give my best reasons for why they will finish the way they do.
The White Sox will go from 1st to 5th this year in the division. I know I hear all of you saying a lot of things. Remember, this is my opinion. However, I think I have a good argument for this. This team needed 163 games to win the division last year with a lot more talent. This year they lost Crede, Griffey Jr., Nick Swisher, Javier Vazquez and Juan Uribe. Their team is younger and inexperienced. New everyday players include Chris Getz and Josh Fields. The first three starters are solid yet former Indian Bartolo Colon is #4. Bottom line, this team lost too much, too quickly if they plan to compete in 2009.