Monday, August 13, 2007

My lost weekend

If I had to choose which was more fun during my weekend trip to Cleveland, the 17 construction delays on I-80 eastbound in P-A (man their congresspeople must be good at gobbling up the pork!!) or watching the Tribe playing the Yankees at the Jake, I guess I'd go with the construction.

First let me say that the Yank-O-Meter is offcially obsolete and now absent from this site, thanks to the inspired play of the Tribe this weekend.

What a disaster !!!

You could virtually see them cowering at the sight of the big bad Yankees.

This is a team with no guts. They first gave us a hint of that in 2005, losing the entire final week and missing the playoffs. It was the offense that went silent then, as now.

Last season, with the national media expecting big things, the entire team fell on its face.

This year, as the Yanks (and Seattle) began breathing down their necks, the Tribe once again folded without a whimper.

Yes, as I write this they are only 1/2 game behind the Tigers and 1 1/2 behind the Yankees and Seattle in the race for the wild card.

But do you see any life in this team?

The New York Post headline from today put it best. Tribe Put To Sweep.

Actually it would be more accurate to say "Tribe fans put to sweep, Indians left for dead!"

Paul Hoynes' article in today's PD paints a picture of a team without a backbone, and bereft of any confidence. A team ready to accept losing.

These comments by Casey Blake were the closest thing to optimism the Tribe could muster.

"These are big games coming up. It's mid-August. Hopefully, we can maintain some focus and energy and come to the ballpark ready to win."


"Hopefully" we can come to the ballpark ready to win, he says. Can we hold out for "probably."

Contrast that with Andy Pettitte's comments today in the (NY) Daily News:

"I feel like we're the team, so it doesn't surprise me. I'm going to be extremely disappointed if this team doesn't get to the playoffs."

Perhaps the most galling moment of an utterly disgusting weekend was Jhonney Peralta getting picked off of first with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of Sunday's game. No need to dwell on how stupid it was. More important was the reaction to Peralta's stupidity.

Eric Wedge, who appears as clueless about righting this current slump as he was in the final week of '05, had this strong reaction to Peralta's boneheaded play.

"Obviously, it shouldn't have happened."

Gee! Do you think so Eric?

Peralta should have been pulled from the game immediately. Instead he made his way out to play shortstop in the eighth.

Is it any wonder Peralta plays with his head up his ass so often?

This would have been an opportune time to send a message to Peralta, and to the team. It's time to stop quivering, it's time to stop dogging it. It's time to play ball.

We have a so-called nucleus and a manager locked up for years to come. It appears to be a gutless group. I don't question the desire (save one or two - especially Peralta) but I do question the guts.

Maybe they'll make me eat my words in the next few weeks, but I just don't see it.


Now that I've gotten that off my chest, let me talk a bit about my one and only trip to the Jake this summer, on Friday night.

I get to see one game a year (sometimes two if things break right) at the Jake. One night to leave all the sneering, arrogant Yankee Stadium fans behind and be at a place where I'm rooting for the right team for a change. Except of course when the Yankees happen to be visiting Cleveland at the same time. Then it's Yankee Stadium West.

I'd say it was about a 60-40 split in favor of Cleveland fans at the Jake Friday night and that in itself says something about Cleveland's fans and the faith they have in this team.

Of course my tickets put me right behind eight, twenty-something, beered-up Yankee fans, and sitting next to a Tribe fan who was so negative and so annoying it was like spending the evening with Mimi from the Drew Carey Show. (I'm not Mr. Sunshine myself, but this was really bad.) I might as well have stayed in the Bronx.

And what is up with all the annoying crap that goes along with the game at the Jake?

I've gotten accustmed to being bombarded with ads at every turn.

I can't stand the pounding music as each batter comes to the plate, but I've learned to live with it.

But now we have the hot dog race (a ripoff from Milwaukee), "The Prize Is Right" and about three dozen other pointless, moronic distractions.

And whoever that blond emcee was for most of these bits - - please send her back where she came from. A-N-N-O-Y-I-N-G.

I have not seen so many cheesy bits of "entertainment" at a ballpark since I attended a New Jersey Cardinals class-A game several years ago.

This is the BIGS! folks. Not indoor soccer. The Tribe's promotions people don't seem to get that.

And could 43,000 people sitting in one place make LESS noise. Yes the team has sucked for more than a month now, but the Jake was morgue-like Friday night.

Between the horrible play, the lousy support and the minor league atmosphere, I'd say the $10 I spent to get in was about $10 too many.

P.S. To my immediate family and the family and friends I visited in Cleveland, the non-baseball parts of the weekend were great!

1 comment:

moose said...

so who won the hot dog race - catsup, mustard, or who is the third participant - onion or relish or albert belle

makes you long for the "old days" at municipal stadium watching the game from general admission in right field up close and personal with jown lowenstein, jorge orta, or george hendrick and 3,000 "die hard" baseball fans

good to see you back - we missed you

ps - I go to lake captain games for $7 box seats behind home plate - but I get the "fish" race and other great contests to entertain me