Friday, April 06, 2012
Long Ball Hitter
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