Tagged: Tampa Bay Rays

Swept by the Brewers, Tribe heads to the Windy City while I head to the Big Apple!

As I write this entry, I am headed into New York City to see David Wright and the Mets go up against Tampa Bay and the Rays. I need to take a brief break from the Tribe as I tried to get tickets months ago for the Cubs’ series and found out it was simply SOLD OUT!

That being said, I will get to see David Wright, my sister in-law’s “heartthrob” put his top batting average up against the man Ben Francisco loves to see any time of the season.

This past week, I saw some of the worst bullpen action to date for the Tribe and boy am I frustrated. I cheered so hard these past three games trying to stay positive, yet each time, the team fell short.

Monday I thought back to my childhood and the local softball beer league games where the scores were outrageous and pitching was horrendous. There you would love to see all the runs and hits all night long. However, with the Tribe and two five run leads, giving up all these hits and runs was UNACCEPTABLE! It was like I was watching a campfire and the pitcher poured more gasoline on the mound and now should be charged with two counts of aggravated arson for the performance on Monday.

Tuesday, Jeremy Sowers proved he can only throw five innings tops and with the gasoline induced bullpen that brings more gas to the fire instead of putting fires out this season. Another blown lead and another loss

Wednsday, I went again. The Tribe fell behind early. There was a sarcastic lady near us in the ninth smack talking saying “We swept you” before the game was over. After hearing her, I just kept repeating under my breath, “God, please teach her a lesson” It was amazing how we were able to fight back to a tie. Yet when Ryan Garko drove in the runs that tied it up for us, I was so excited. Yet, just like the season, when we tend to get on a roll, someone significant goes down to an injury. Garko appeared to twist an ankle on the play. UGH! Eventually, we lost—–AGAIN!

Now the two teams whose fans often believe they are the most cursed as of 2009 meet in Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Right now, they are in a delay as I write this.

The New York City traffic is busy as normal and its great to be back here. I look forward to seeing a National League team again. I often laugh that I always tend to see the National League during Interleague. Back in 2005, I saw Pittsburgh face Tampa Bay. I now will see the Mets face Tampa Bay and report my experience hopefully over the weekend. Happy Father’s Day to all fathers out there. I know my father and grandfather have influenced my love for the game. I try to do the same for my son.

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How sweep this is!

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This is the first time I have been able to show one of these on here in 2009. The nice thing about it is it shows we are on a winning streak (4 in a row) and we did this against the defending 2008 American League Champions!
The Rays best efforts continued to fail against the Tribe despite the late start to the game at 9 p.m. It seemed like the Rays who striked first just could not put together a lead and hold it. They scored 5, we scored 5. They scored 1, we scored 3. They scored 1 more, we held the lead. It was ugly in how it started, yet the Tribe offensive display would not be denied despite the best efforts by Tampa to change our luck into a pumpkin like in Cinderella, we went past midnight, 12:30 a.m. to be exact and won 12-7 behind an outstanding effort by Ben Francisco who hit a three-run homerun among his three hit performance. 
Jump ahead to the afternoon, the Indians continued to start where they left off behind the great starting performance of David Huff. Despite getting runners on, the Rays failed to score before the Tribe. The Tribe score 2, the Rays 1. I was so tired from the night before, I had to take a nap and failed to see the game live. Still the thought of a sweep made me that much happier. To help matters, the Tigers lost to the streaky Orioles 5-1. We moved up to 21-28, 6.5 games out of first and 7 games back from average. Now the Yankees come to town for the Tribe. We can’t afford to let this hard work disappear. Let’s go Tribe! First a nap, though!
I will be attending the Captains game tomorrow night and catch up with the Tribe on Saturday where fans will get rally towels and CC. I will need to be extra ready to secure that crowd to the best of my ability.

2009 Memorial Day into night made memories to always remember!

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.

Happy Memorial Day to all fans!

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!

A sign of the times….what’s in a name?

I was reading that the Cleveland Indians are changing their look for Memorial Day. No longer will Chief Wahoo be shown on the hat. Instead, it will be the block “C” with the stars and stripes in the “C.” Good idea? Bad Idea?

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It would be a good idea in the sense that the focus would be put on the flag. I like the colors of the hat and the focus on the flag and away from that symbol that offends so many Native Americans, as well it should. Here is my proposed solution for the Indians’ organization. If they are so key on keeping the name for the team, then have a Native American design the logo the way they see fit.

Otherwise they should change the name of the team. After all, it was changed so many times in the early going. From Forest Citys to Grand Rapids Rustlers to Cleveland Bluebirds/Blues to Cleveland Bronchos to Cleveland Naps to Cleveland Indians. Just have the team name put to a vote along with the colors. Hey name changes can change team fortunes around. Just look at what Tampa did when they exorcised the Devil out of the name and just became the Rays. From worst to first.

I propose this because I think the name holds the team in perceived disdain from many around baseball, I sense. We have Clippers and Aeros, Scrappers, “Little Indians” and Captains in the minors. What do you think the name should be? Should we keep the name Indians or make a change? If we are moving away from displaying Chief Wahoo, we might as well?

On the other side of the argument, there are some of you that say hold on to tradition, a tradition that has only brought 2 World Champions. I would like to see Cleveland break this image and its overall attitude. I wonder if the name has something to do with it. What do you think? Am I crazy and should stay quiet about this issue or really stir up the pot and push for the change? Baseball fans, please let me know.

Another blown lead…UNACCEPTABLE UNDER WEDGE!

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This was the score of the game early on. The problem with this is it was too early. The Indians’ scoring stopped and the Rays did what we used to do to be successful- chip away at an opponent’s lead. Still, I watched a lot of baseball and most of the games i have seen have had 7 as a good run amount to score for a WIN! However in this case, 7 was not enough. 

“We’ve got to pitch…We’ve got to command the baseball. A 9-0 lead [Thursday] becomes 9-6, and tonight it’s 7-0, and we lose the ballgame…At some point these guys have got to look in the mirror. It’s not their stuff. Their stuff is fine. You’ve got to concentrate. You can’t miss by a foot and a half. I’m sitting here watching on TV and seeing what you’re seeing. It’s ridiculous. There’s no other word for it. This is the big leagues. We’ve got to be better than that…I respect the heck out of these position players…It’s not how many times you get kicked in the face, it’s how many times you get up. And they will. But these [pitchers] have to start holding up their end of the bargain, too.” -Eric Wedge This was part of Anthony Castrovince’s wrapup report of the game.

Breaking these quotes down, one can see that the pitching has not sat well with Wedge in wins or losses. He is emotional and the only thing from getting him fired is the fact that no one is too hot in the division.  I yell about concentration and focus practically every game. I said this about two weeks ago. He is just stating it now. Something has to happen. Its called WIN SERIES! Losses like last night are NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE under Wedge! If they don’t win the series against Tampa. it will be closer to saying this…


After all the final score was 8-7

Clarification: I think Willis or Hernandez or Wedge will be fired for this type of a loss. Enough is enough! However, the bullpen will continue to take the fall for now but not much longer!

May 15- the most perfect of days for me and the Tribe!

It was May 15, 1981. I remember going to a grocery store with my dad, mom and sister in Westlake, Ohio. As we were loading the groceries into the car, my dad restarted the car and put on Herb Score. His voice said something like “No runs, no hits, no errors and no one left. After 1/2 inning of play, its Toronto nothing and Cleveland coming to bat.” A typical Indians game was starting. We went home to watch what was going on. We got home and turned on the television to see Joe Tait, now voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers announcing the game with Bruce Drennan, now host of All Bets are Off with Bruce Drennan on SportsTime Ohio, the Indians television network. However, then, it was all about WUAB Channel 43 in Cleveland.

 

Anyway, I remember sitting in front of the set with the rest of my family finding it simply amazing that Len Barker, with his high leg kick where I thought his knee hit his forehead could get out hitters like Danny Ainge, Damaso Garcia, Buck Martinez and Ernie Whitt among others. However he did. He had the help of outstanding defense from players like Toby Harrah at third base and Duane Kuiper at second base. And who could forget the homerun by Jorge Orta. I know I could watch this on MLB.com but when and if you saw it live, you wanted to be there and many would say they were if they lived in Northeast Ohio.

May 15, 1999 started out like any other day. I remember how it felt so much like summer. It was awesome. Sunny, warm, and here I was going to be in a tux. I went to clean out the car and get it washed. Today, I was getting married to my wonderful wife, Kathy. She and I today celebrate the day 10 years and counting. Even though, I cannot reproduce the weather, the warm and wonderful memories live on each day we are together. HAPPY 10th ANNIVERSARY SWEETHEART!

 

 Aaron Kurth

May 15th, 2009 The Cleveland Indians are going for win 15 and their 3rd in a row. They will have to play in a dome, sweet dome against Scott Kazmir. The Indians are 20-5 in their last 25 games against Tampa Bay. Hopefully, after tonight the Indians will be able to guarantee a split in the series. They will have former Cardinal Anthony Reyes on the mound.

 I hope for the best. Just like I made a promise to my wife for better or worse, I too strive to make a promise to my team, the Indians to root, root, root for them for better or worse also. I can only hope that they will come through for me tonight and the rest of the Cleveland Indians fans.

One word about last night. I was very impressed with our team focus, drive and overall effort from especially the offense. Choo, A-Cab as I like to call him(Asdrubal Cabrera) and Victor Martinez really impressed me with their approach. This was a team effort which I hope continues. After all, when you get married on 5/15, your team has a perfect game on 5/15 and is now on a 2 game winning streak, going for three, continuing to strive for luck, blessing and perfection is the name of the game, I would say.