13 June 2010

Cleveland (Rocks!) & CUBBIES

June 9 - Red Sox/Indians - Cleveland Photos

Our trip to Cleveland was an absolute blast.  The hotel provided to us by Brad Roller and his wife Laura Pedersen, as well of the owner of the downtown Radisson, Mr. Vern Fuller, was amazing.  Valet parking and all that jazz. 

After we checked into the hotel, we walked to Progressive Field, which is only two blocks away.  As we waited outside the gates for Jeff Sibel of the Indians to let us in, we watched the team hit from a distance.  Fortunately for us, we were close enough that a home run ball bounced through the left field plaza area and was headed straight for us until a giant pillar jumped in the way and interrupted our meeting.  The security guard inside was nice enough to give Jay the ball anyway.  When we were actually brought into the stadium, we went down to field level to catch some more batting practice, where once again we watched the Red Sox take their cuts.  It's a pity we aren't Sox fans.

After BP, we got our first look at a Major League clubhouse, as well as the Indians workout room.  Justin Masterson, that night's starting pitching  for the Indians, was oddly enough playing chess to mentally prepare for his start.  We went back out onto the field, where Jeff gave us some sweet Indians t-shirts; and not just some lame Metlife ballpark windbreaker either, but a shirt I would actually wear. After parting with Jeff on the field, we roamed around to find something to eat and drink.  Beyond center field, there are a couple of cornhole boards for fans to take in a game or two, so being the players that we are, we couldn't help but toss a few bags.  There we met a couple from West Virginia who were absolutely fantastic.  Of course, we had to tell them about our journey, and of course, they had to get us a beer.  It was about this time that Brad showed up to meet us for the first time and catch the game.  Turns out that Bob enjoys two of my favorite things in the world:  baseball and politics.  So for the next few hours, we discussed the finer points of two great American pastimes. 

As for the game, the Red Sox were absolutely mauled by the Indians 11-0.  Travis Hafner belted our second grannie of the trip and Justin Masterson pitched our second consecutive complete game shutout, matching and exceeding Matt Cain of the Giants the night before, giving up only two hits.  Phenomenal time at the Jake.

The next morning, we had to be out of town early in order to make the afternoon Tigers/White Sox game in Chicago, roughly five hours west.  If not for all the stupid tolls, we may have actually made first pitch.  Katie had a "bad back" so she left work with the Cubs to cross into enemy territory and catch the game with us.  Officially, she was never there.  I think she actually had a good time with the Southsiders, but don't tell any Cub fans that. 

The White Sox got solo homers from Omar Vizquel and A.J. Pierzynski and defeated the Tigers easily 3-0.  The Tigers couldn't get anything going offensively against Sox pitching, collecting only three hits.  So in consecutive American League games, we saw two-hit and three-hit performances respectively.  Who says all the power is in the junior circuit?

After the game, we took Jay to the airport to conclude the trip for him.  This trip definitely couldn't have been possible without his planning and organizational skills.  I would have eventually made it to each site on my own, but probably would have been late on quite a few occasions.  I had an absolute blast with him on this trip and couldn't have taken a trip for that long with too many other people.  I can be difficult in large doses...

June 10-11 - Tigers/White Sox and White Sox/Cubs - Chicago Photos

The next day, I flew solo to catch the Chicago crosstown rivalry at Wrigley in the afternoon.  After walking three miles to the stadium and getting thoroughly drenched in my own sweat, I settled in to watch the Cubbies get walloped.  That brings their record on the trip to 1-3.  Yikes...

After the game, we went to Murphy's, which is right behind the scoreboard in center, and had food and drinks on the roof with Rick Sutcliffe (a former pitcher and current ESPN color man) and the starting pitcher for the White Sox that day, Jake Peavy (who should be a Brave right now btw).  Peavy is also from Mobile and had quite a few Bama boys up on the roof.  Sut is a great guy who I think would do anything for anyone as well as anything for a good time. 

That's all I have time for now.  I'm writing this from the airport in Atlanta awaiting my flight back to the sandbox.  I have plenty more thoughts on this trip, so check back in a few days. 


  1. David & I have really enjoyed keeping up with your trip! This has definitely been a trip of a lifetime! Congrats and THANKS! JoAnne & David Green

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