When the Red Sox play us, it is intense. Tonight, expecting to sit in the upper deck, my sister-in law surprised me by saying tonight’s plans had changed, we were going to sit right behind home plate. It was very intense and I was into it from the first pitch.
I was trying to get her camera to work at the right time. After a while I trusted her to get all the right shots which I will share soon. With the Red Sox, our team had to earn it. Here are some personal observations.
Dustin Pedroia- One can see how he earned the MVP. He is like Mighty Mouse coming to save the day and really an intense competitor for such a small guy.
Kevin Youkilis- He has such quick bat speed.He is very intense. I noticed that the fans of Red Sox Nation throughout the park tonight liked to get him motivated by telling him how bad he is, so I tried the reverse one inning which I cannot recall and told him how he was this year’s MVP so far and he promptly struck out swinging.
Big Papi- He will not get cheated. His outs are LOUD and his hits are louder.
When we down 5-1, I saw a reversal of fortune with error #1 from Mike Lowell. Thank you Mike! It was really special to know that your effort helped us continue the inning.
Also, error #2 was special to see to keep our inning alive. God’s grace was allowing luck to happen again for us.
Now breaking away from the errors, I kept telling the bullpen to trust their stuff and their team defense and we were able to get out of jams in each inning.
Also I told Louis Ben Francisco to earn some respect from these “self proclaimed World Champions of 2009.” At least that was the impression their fans gave as they relentlessly said “Let’s go Red Sox” as though they were already too awesome to ever lose again.
On the next pitch, Louis, in my personal doghouse, nailed it deep of the the left field foul pole to tie up this war of atrition making the score 7-7.
When the Red Sox thanks to Lugo’s key hit helped Bay score and make the score 8-7, I just told the players not to lose their focus and trust their stuff. They got out of another tough jam.
I told DeRosa to do his best to get a hit and he launched one of the very tough Takishi Saito. What a shot! I just thought this was very special.
Still with Boston, one can never feel too relaxed as a fan of Cleveland. The job Kerry Wood did to get out of the ninth inning was awesome. I really was impressed. I hope this can continue tomorrow.
I just kept asking God to help this team win this night for the community, the city and put Boston FINALLY on a losing streak, even if just for a night. Sure enough, in the most unforeseen play so far this season, it looked like such a routine play and when the third error occurred, I knew that my prayer was answered. It took everything in my power to look up and point to the sky with a big smile and bigger exhale knowing I was emotionally spent saying “Thank you God for this big break!” Call it luck for the Tribe, call it carelessness on Lopez. I believe it was an answer to a prayer that led to an eighth win and an opportunity to WIN a series against a VERY tough team that has a nation of fans.
Thank you God for this wonderful blessing. Hopefully it can stir a spark that will lead to a big series win tomorrow. I can only HOPE in God and the Tribe as I will have to stay more neutral and less CRAZY as a fan.
A note about the eighth inning: I kept thinking about “Sweet Caroline.” We have our “Hang on Sloopy” where we cay O-H-I-O and perform the gestures. Well I was trying to inspire the team at the time and say “just O-W-I-N guys” The next inning, call it what you will, we were allowed to do just that, thanks be to God!
Here is another crazy analogy about Tribe history I found ironic that I was thinking about in the ninth that give you that six degrees of separation type of game. As you know Terry Francona’s father Tito played for the Tribe and so did Terry. Pitching coach Farrell played for the Tribe and was one of our key player development personnel before joining the Sox. Now in the ninth, in comes Javier Lopez, former Twin and Angel. His number is 48, the year the Indians last won it all. His name Lopez, which reminds me of Al Lopez, one of the top managers who managed the 1954 Indians. Just a crazy way that helped me believe this was fate and God’s Will for this night.
Here are some pictures I had my sister-in-law took of the Tribe players at bat on base and after the game:
Last night after I was coming from the game was the lowest I think I have felt as a fan this season including Spring Training. I had all these ideas streaming through my head about stopping the blogs until they won again to firing Wedge to moving DeRosa out of the 2 hole in the lineup to wearing Red Sox to make the Tribe mad enough to win Monday. I was trying to think which approach would work to get this team to realize the window of competition is closing fast
Today, not even really motivated about the game, I worked at the game just blocking out everything. “4-0” someone said. “So”, I said. Its still early, I thought.
Whatever drink this is, let me have another Sipp!
Hearing Tony Sipp come into the game, I was interested to hear how he would do. Tony came without fear and SHUT the Twins down. What a inning that I hope defines how we respond often. It was especially impressive to see him SHUT DOWN Morneau like he did to help the Tribe get out of the inning. It was 4-2 and a BIG SIGH was given as we were able to escape disaster.
Wood gets save, although I find myself sweating it out!
When Wood came out, everyone did not expect what occurred. Getting two on with none out was something Bob Wickman or Joe Borowski would do but not Kerry Wood. Still, to see him get out of it with a double play made it even more special. Hopefully, the save opportunities will increase in the very near future.
Gotta do the wash!
There is something about the color RED! When the Indians had their 1990’s run, their socks were RED and they had some of their greatest teams EVER! Still, as of late, the RED SOX have been the team to beat, winning titles in 2004 and 2007 respectively. Our team has struggled against them often. What a great time to beat them! They have won 10 in a row. They have great pitching, yet in watching them last night, I saw a common theme that will help us win.
In my last entry posted, I talked about being focused. FOCUS is the key, here! ERRORLESS defense, smart pitching and key hitting and jumping ahead early and keeping the intensity on the SOX and WE CAN WIN! Hopefully, yesterday will help jump start a streak that will lead to a series win and get us back into some RESPECTABILITY!
Now where is that bleach? After all, making the RED SOX WHITE makes them less intimidating.
I just returned from the game after working at Progressive Field. Here were my overall observations.
Question off the cuff: Is it just me or does Trey Hillman look a lot like this fellow Royal?
I was very happy to see Victor get 4 hits in 5 at bats including what turned out to be the game winning homer in the 8th.
Also, Grady helped me as I picked him in the MLB.com Beat the Streak contest. For me lately, the contest is one called “Start a streak” He also helped me get a homerun and advance in the HR version of Beat the Streak.
The Indians won so my Survivor streak was lucky enough to increase to six games.
We tied a record for double plays in a game: 6 total in 6 consecutive innings. It was wonderful to see Aaron Laffey keep the ball down and only give up one run in 7 innings of work. He was like the calm water on a clear day.
Then came the 8th.
The 8th inning had our bullpen give up 4 runs to the Royals to cut the lead to 6-5. Thanks to that 6th consecutive double play stated by Jensen Lewis, the Tribe held the lead. Our bullpen is so far the reason I watch like the team is walking on eggshells.
Kerry Wood was firing it in there and holding the lead well until Coco Crisp hit a ball off the end of the bat that made it look more like a cue stick. This was followed by “I betcha can’t hit this up and in” answered by “Yes I Can” by David DeJesus. Luckily the lead was held onto 8-7. However, it was too close for comfort for me and while working I couldn’t turn the channel.
I was very happy to see them hold onto a lead and win. Hopefully, this will build up some momentum as the Tribe continues a 9 game homestand tomorrow. I’ll be working at the game again.
Just when I thought about writing about a guaranteed split, I saw and heard HOMER X 5.
DOH! NOT THAT HOMER!
I understand with the history of the Yankees, the homerun is inevitable. However to allow five of them today all to right field was excruciatingly frustrating. Babe Ruth would have been proud today after hearing Michael Kay say “SEE YA” over and over and over and over and over again. I have seen parts of this bullpen in years past when they are at their best. They do best when they keep the ball down. Today however I was wondering if the Yankees were getting some deal on frequent flyer miles.
The temperature felt about 40 degrees, as long as you were standing in the sunshine. Where I was standing in the Kids team shop, it was heated. I was lucky. I was one of the workers at the ballpark helping the fans feel secure.I worked security. I would tell them things like “Thanks for coming to help them win today.” They responded with hesitant hope, saying “We hope so.” I was extremely yet quietly confident. I had to be, it was my job.
I was able to watch the game from television monitors while listening to Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan call the game. Highlights from what I saw and heard were as follows:
Grady gets on base, we score.
Grady was able to get on base. His aggresive style of base running allowed him to score the team’s first run and give us the lead to keep. He also was on base when Mark DeRosa hit a two-run homerun to left field. I love how I heard Tom’s voice echoing as I was working saying “A swing and a drive..way back…gone…” as he does almost everytime.
Another highlight for me was seeing Shin Soo-Choo hit a double down the first base side in his second at-bat. The reason was I selected him for yesterday in the MLB.com Beat the Streak Contest. I go up and down in that contest. Yesterday I was blessed to have such luck.
I thought it was wonderful to see with the game 3-1 and two men on that Trevor Crowe came through with his first hit. The reason was not only to see it in person but what Tom said prior to it. He said that someone very soon was going to get burned by Trevor. Sure enough, on the next pitch, Trevor hit a double scoring two, making the score 5-1.
The next inning became shaky. The Blue Jays cut the score to 5-4. I thought that Jensen came through in a big way striking out Marco Scutaro and getting another to ground out with runners on base.
The return of Pronk continued as he smashed one deep into the seats. It was a no-doubter of Brandon “Major” League whom I always say looks like Rick Vaughn with those glasses.
Welcome to the Jungle! Here came Kerry Wood, an intimidation factor who does not back down. He is someone we haven’t seen in a long time. No one gets on. Striking out the side, WOW! We’re used to biting our nails, sweating and grinding it out for a save or win.
All in all, it was a great first win and great first day of work.
With one week to go before the games will start to count, I began to receive training as a member of Indians security. I go back in one week to receive further training. It will be interesting for me to see games from this vantage point. I will be interested to see how this will affect the way I observe the atmosphere of the game and perhaps the game itself. I am looking forward to April when this all becomes reality and really counts as I’m sure everyone else is too.
Until then, spring training is still in session. Yesterday was a painful Cubs reunion for all Cubs fans. For me, it was awesome to read about. Seeing the box score say DeRosa had two roundtrippers and a double, going 3-4 and scoring three times was a pure delight. In addition, Indians closer and former Cub Kerry Wood was able to get some work in giving up no runs or hits and only giving up a walk and striking out one in his inning of work made it special. I noticed that the Cubs countered with former Indian Milton Bradley getting one big hit, a homer of his own off Carmona in the third inning with 1 on. Talk about matching intensity from players doing damage to their former teams. Fortunately, the Indians were a little better. Still when I read about these types of things going on, this song comes to mind from the musical “Annie, Get Your Gun.”
This reportedly is what was said in the area in the parking lot between the players.Just imagine, Kerry Wood, Mark DeRosa representing one singer and Milton Bradley, the other. I wonder if someone called for the Mesa Police to break it up. Just kidding! I just have not so fond memories of how Milton used to be while with the Tribe. To review this is an article here showing just how Milton was. All I know is I now like the new team members compared to Milton before.
The effort is so much better
The attitude is pleasant to be around.
The focus on winning and team first is there!
I was trying to justify why Milton was so attractive to the Cubs, now I know why!
Nevertheless, here is the irony: there were two former Cubs vs. two former Indians.
Today the Indians will be under the lights against the Padres. It will be nice to see how this goes. I’m looking forward to seeing how the Indians will do when Pavano pitches against Correia in Goodyear as the final week of tuneups begins.
Yesterday I felt good, today I feel even better, especially since watching MLB Network’s 30 clubs in 30 days report last night featuring the Tribe.
Here are some things I observed: Pavano feels more like himself because he can grow out his facial hair and is not as pushed in camp as he has been with other teams in the past. I get this sense that Carl is going to do really well for us in 2009.
In hearing Wood, he understands it is more intense as a closer than as a starter. It seems that he really relishes the role given to him by the Tribe and welcomes it with open arms.
Sizemore is the true leader of the club as a whole. He chooses to lead by example and feels in can constantly improve. He even said this despite being 30/30( 30 H, 30 SB) last year. He still hasn’t hit his peak, he believes.
Hafner, fresh off losing some weight is building up his timing and strength as he prepares for the season. He believes he can and will contribute for the team.
Lee, understanding that he very well will have a setback for 2009, still said something that he plans to give his team a chance to win each and every week. He is still working on locating his fastball.
The panelists seemed to agree that the team’s success all lies in the starting pitching and the rotation. They all picked the tribe to finish first in the AL Central for 2009.
Excellent show! It was great to hear from so many key players, GM Mark Shapiro, and Manager Eric Wedge. If you are an Indians fan like me, everythhing sounded so sweet, you wanted to jump up and say “we are definitely going to the World Series for 2009 afte watching this show.” My wife brought me back to reality by telling me to temper my enthuasiasm and said “All 30 teams feel this way at this time of year.”