Indians

Because Baseball, that’s why: Between Innings

Baseball is a simple game full of complexities, and the paradoxes can have a Droste effect throughout the scorebook. Josh Tomlin can both be a pitch-to-contact hurler and also strike out six Cincinnati Red batters in a row on Monday night. He can have a season ERA of 5.59, but also have held the past three opponents faced to just seven runs in 20.1 innings (3.10 ERA) with 17 strikeouts and just one walk. Carlos Santana can be in the midst of his worst professional season and also hit two home runs on his way to being named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2017 Ohio Cup (6-for-14, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 5 R) in a Cleveland Indians win, 6-2. Perhaps the Francisco Lindor logo revealed on Sunday looked just a little too much like Santana’s signature pose and he wanted to remind everyone.

Baseball can even be complicated when naming things. The Indians (52-45) remain in first place with the former MLB team known as the California Angels now known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim coming to Progressive Field that used to be called the Jake.

Or complex when old adages about walks harming pitchers don’t always hold up. Mike Clevinger is set to start the first game of the series and he has only allowed one earned run in his last three starts. In fact, Clevinger has only given up five earned runs over his last six starts despite having 16 walks during the same timeframe (35 strikeouts).

Baseball is also a game of simple fun. A game where people can get paid to dress up as hot dogs and name themselves after the condiment of their choosing, then harrass the dugout reporter for the local broadcast team.

Baseball is a game where miniature versions of the players can be made out of baseballs and displayed throughout the game and postgame interview. Fittingly, Carlos Carrasco has stated that Dr. Smooth is next on the arts and crafts list.

Baseball is a game where the fireworks operator can have some premature celebratory button pushing when Bradley Zimmer’s line drive winds up as an easy double rather than the home run trot that was obviously assumed to be coming.

More than anything though, baseball is about family and community.

The victory on Monday to tie the 2017 Ohio Cup standings might not have meant much in the grand scheme of the season standings or postseason race, but there are multitudes of Indians fans living in the Southern regions of Ohio that will not have to hear the scant remains of Red fans cling to what could have been their one facet of positivity in a lost season.

On what would have been Jobu_Lives 35th birthday this past Saturday, the Indians fittingly notched their first walk-off victory of 2017 (hat-tip Zack Meisel) as the Bat Magic lives on through his amazing family.

That same day, an article posted on Let’s Go Tribe from a long-time fan, Kelly Smith, that helped encapsulate exactly what baseball and the Indians mean to the community. A beautiful story that intertwined how a wonderful dad helped raise his daughter on love, life, and the Cleveland Indians. Having 162 games (and hopefully more in the postseason) over the course of a 365 day year means that the local team can be a part of the daily machinations. No matter what struggle or how near or how far one might be, baseball is there to bind us. The entire story deserves a proper read (caution: have some tissues handy), but here is one snippet:

Sometimes I still can’t believe I got to attend a Cleveland World Series game, let alone with my Dad, the biggest Indians fan I know. My attendance was supposed to be a surprise for him—Mike had gotten a few tickets for my mom, my dad, and another friend. There was one extra, and he vaguely told Dad he’d find someone else to take it. They were watching a football game together when Dad turned to Mike and sheepishly asked, “Hey, if no one steps up for that extra ticket, what would you think about my daughter Kelly coming along?” Mike cracked up. “She’s already coming,” he told my dad. He made Mike say it three times before believing him.

Heck, baseball is the sport that allows us to offer congratulations to the Miller family on advancing to the Lakewood 10U finals without ever having met them. But, we see they are an Indians fan family that goes to games for birthdays and celebrates the Tribe and we feel a connection. Family, community, and baseball just go hand-in-hand-in-hand after all.

Go Tribe.

  • RGB
  • mgbode

    WWW is coming, just a bit late this morning.

  • RGB

    Ooops. Wasn’t paying attention. I’ll delete and repost.

  • mgbode

    All good. Vacations are messing with scheduling. Summertime in the city and all.

  • Chris

    That double play last night was exceptional for several reasons, but wow… I love LOVE *LOVE* Jose Ramirez at second base. That bonafide All-Star 3B would challenge Altuve for best 2B in all of baseball.

    If only that occasional fringe All-Star 2B wasn’t in the way.

  • jpftribe

    I had a grand time at the game Sunday. Talked to Jays fans in the beer line who had a great weekend in CLE despite their team getting smoked. Met a family behind us traveling around ballparks in the Midwest. The kids were proper Tribe fans for a day. It was great hearing Dad talk to them about Kluber. And you always want leave hearing Cleveland Rocks.

    Made me want to go back up to TOR when they are not playing the Indians. They love their Jays up there and its great city in the summer.

    And my latest trade hallucination is Beltre. Just go get him.

  • Chris

    He better hurry up on those next 7* hits. He needs to do that in a Rangers uniform.

    *edit

  • jpftribe

    Sure, sure. Any excuse to football it up.

  • Chris

    The best part of that double play… Jose actually smiled!!!!

  • scripty

    The Blue Jays fans here this year were more traditional baeball fans than the psycho bandwagon instigators here the past few years. The antagonizers created a lot of drama the past two years but the # of Blue Jays fans here made it a fun envirionment this year.

    The Rock N Blast was a major upgrade on an already good fireworks show.

  • mgbode

    He was practically sitting on Hamilton’s back. It was fantastic.

  • Chris

    Hamilton? Is that the same guy who is fastest player in the league who was off the pitch and got thrown out on a grounder? That Hamilton?

  • mgbode

    Beltre is one of my favorite non-Indians players of the past decade (the home runs while kneeling are incredible). I’d be shocked, but he’d be so much fun and keep J-Ram at 2B.

  • mgbode

    Zimmer has caught up in Statcast measured speed and looks like he might be over-taking him soon.

  • Chris

    Interesting. On the bases or in the field?

  • mgbode

    The numbers are the top sprint speed on the basepaths. And, dang, looks like Billy took back a small lead.

    https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/sprint_speed_leaderboard?year=2017&position=&team=

  • Garry_Owen

    Made it to the game on Friday night. Had such a good time, despite the $10 beer (overall cost of a family of 4 to attend a game is pretty nuts, even in Section 561 on dollar dog night in Cleveland). It was my kids’ first Indians game, and I’m so glad that they got to see a couple of innings of unforgettable Indians offense (didn’t think it was going to happen after Bauer’s commendable struggle). The fireworks were fantastic. We hit traffic on the way in, so we didn’t get the free stirrup socks – but I wasn’t worried about it, because I was in Cleveland and I just KNEW that some kind Cleveland souls would give my kids theirs. Sure enough, in the second inning, the 2 older folks sitting by us asked if they could give my kids their socks. And then the other older couple the first couple was with also gave them theirs! My kids walked away with 2 pairs, each, which they subsequently gave to their little cousins. And even though in the last two Tribe games I’ve attended (Game 6 and Friday) I’ve been surrounded by that same shade of blue, even those folks were kind, and respectful, and friendly (and there was a moment or two when the score was 13-3 that I squinted and tried to imagine that Friday night was Game 6). Just a good time. I love the Indians. I love Cleveland. Miss it.

    (I even got my stupid ugly mug in a close-up on the jumbotron, doing a stare-down with the cameraman. You simply must find every possible way to embarrass your daughter if you can. Sadly, she wasn’t embarrassed, but mad that boorishly I stole her camera time.)

  • Chris

    Well of course. Zimmer accelerates for 5 feet longer than anyone else because he refuses to give himself proper distance to slide. He’s going to get hurt doing that.

    I’m not familiar with their platform… do they track acceleration? Tough to think a guy his size can accelerate like someone Hamilton’s size.

  • mgbode

    Awesome Garry. Glad that you were able to get their first trip to the Indians ballpark and that Cleveland people were as grand as Cleveland people tend to be.

    While you were having this fantastic Cleveland baseball trip, I was off at a lake helping my daughter cast her line and reel in her first ever catfish. She decided to one-up my helpful efforts by catching one twice the size on Saturday herself. She’s still too young to be embarrassed by me, but I will be prepared once that is not true.

  • Garry_Owen

    Sweet.

  • mgbode

    top sprint speed is what they are giving out (they track everything but the other info is not available for public consumption)

  • Chris

    Rookie move. Find the vendors with $4 cans. Two 12 oz cans for $8 instead of one 16 oz can for $8.50… easy decision!
    If you do that manuever 4-5 times, you get the added benefits of having your wife drive… plus you get your very own couch in the hotel!

  • Garry_Owen

    I found that guy. Something fishy was going on. He switched his button from “$4” to “8.50” after a guy tried to buy 2 from him.

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  • scripty

    The vendors usually also have a few bottles of water or Powerade and I think that is the $4.

  • Garry_Owen

    What I didn’t mention in the comment above is that the “guy” was me. I tried to buy two $4 beers right after a kid in front of me blatantly did – $8 for 2. I handed the guy a $10; he gave me a tall Miller Lite (ack) and $1.50 in change after I clearly said “two.” I said, “can I get the other?” And he did one of these things, “Er, uh, oh the button?” And then pulled the $8.50 button out of his pocket. I must have looked like a cop.

  • Chris

    For future reference, you can find the $4 cans at maybe half of the standard food stands.

  • Garry_Owen

    Oh, so I’m supposed to go wandering around the park searching for these random stands on the “maybe” 50% chance that I’ll find them, like Hansel and Gretel’s worried pop, whilst missing all of the in-between innings hijinks from the Progressive Field staff on my ONE trip to Cleveland each summer? No thanks. I’ll just drink water that I bring in from the altruistic folks selling it outside.

  • Chris

    Just keep an eye out as you are meandering the walkways with your children begging the punctual patrons of Progressive Field if they could spare the day’s free giveaway

  • Garry_Owen

    Begging? What kind of creep do you think I am? I don’t need to beg. I just tell my kids that I don’t love them. Crying kids works wonders.

  • Chris

    I didn’t mean at all to insuate that you yourself were begging. You know me better than that.

    I meant that you were pimping them out to beg for the stirrups.

  • Garry_Owen

    Got 4 pairs!