Friday, April 06, 2012

Long Ball Hitter

I have never been to a home opener. 2012 was no different.

It is quite possible yesterday is the only sell-out the Indians will have all season. That wasn't always the case - 455 sell-outs in a row at one point - but more often than not, it is.

The home opener is always sold-out regardless of weather. I mean, it is Cleveland in April!  Chances are slim you'll have a sunny and warm day.

Yesterday was sunny.  Warm?  ehhhhh.....not so much. It may have been tolerable for nine innings of fun. But as the sun began to go down, and the top of the 16th inning had begun, it was around 40 degrees.

Oh yes. 16 innings!

I love the game, but even that would try my patience.  That I'd be freezing in the process would not help matters.

Even worse?  We lost.  What blows is we were ahead 4-0 and still ended up letting it be tied in the 9th.

I haven't done the research, but we never seem to do that well in the home opener.  It is not always indicative of how we'll do for the season.

Going this year would have been fun for the simple fact that Omar Vizquel was playing. He was an Indian for nine years and one of the most impressive players I have ever ever seen. Stepping out on the field today, made him the oldest shortstop in MLB history.

Omar was great, but as long as he's been in the U.S., I'd laugh when someone hired him as a local spokesman. No matter what he was shilling for, I'd always go, "what did he say?"  That Venezuelan accent was tough to decipher.

Of course my big love is Travis Hafner - pictured above.....and below.

710 knows all too well that I'd dump our almost three decades together for a weekend with Mr. Hafner. Oddly, I think he's ok with it.  710 that is, not Travis. Travis is blindly unaware.............for now.

I've written a bunch about Mr. Hafner over the years. This post was my favourite.

Alas, this is his last contracted year to play for Cleveland. It doesn't mean that he can't be resigned, but he's an old man. Not Omar Vizquel old, but for Designated Hitter, he's old.  35!!!  Old folks home, old.

Hafner spent most of the last 2-3 years on the Disabled List - a different kind of DL.  He's great when he plays, but hitting and running takes it's toll.

I'm looking forward to the season.  I have no great expectations. You learn that early here with Indians baseball. Yes, we had an incredible run from 1994-1998 and then a year here or there. Overall, it's wait, see, hope and pray.  ...and I never pray, except maybe at the altar or Travis.

What?  Too much?

Song by:  David Broza


Cubby said...

Mmm, men.

I'm glad you wrote about Omar. It made me smile because I thought of my mother. She has two great loves in her life (besides my father I presume): Clark Gable and Omar Vizquel. To this day she still has an Omar shrine set up on top of the TV stand. We all make fun of her, but she swoons and tears up when we do. She is so in love.

Do you have a Travis shrine?

anne marie in philly said...

so, where do you think cleveland will wind up this year?

yesterday we began our quest for a 6th str8 NL east title, with our eyes on the bigger prize (of course). but we are older and hurting and...I don't know how things are going to play out for 2012.

and we have jim thome back with us!

dith said...

Omar, Thome, Hafner. All good, but where is my Sandy Alomar?

Blobby said...

Thome should have retired at the end of last season...if not before. Sandy? I think he's stil 1st base coach for the Tribe.

cb said...

Twin's home opener is Monday. Weather "may" reach 50 degrees....

Ur-spo said...

I understand baseball attendance is somewhat on the wane as people find it doesn't move fast enough and lasts too long. 9 innings is good enough for me. Father would make us stay until the end no matter how long the game went into overtime.