21 years ago…a Cleveland Indians Fan was born

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The questions I get most often about my support for the Cleveland Indians are:

Are you from Cleveland? Are you a fan because of the Major League movies? Have you been to Cleveland? How can you be a Cleveland Indians fan when you live in St Louis and have he Cardinals?

First off I have lived in or near St Louis my entire life and have only visited Cleveland once on a vacation in 2001. The Major League movies (at least the first two) are great and I quote them all the time. The first one came out in 1989 and I saw it in 1993 for the first time. The last portion is a bit tricky. In St Louis, the fan base of baseball fans tend to be fanatical – if not a bit cocky these days about their Cardinals and 11 championships. But rewind to the early 90’s after 3 glorious trips to the series in the 80’s. The Cardinals of the early 90’s were a hot mess to say the least but I still followed them.

Brushing away the New Year’s confetti from 1992 into 1993 and baseball of the spring training variety rolling into my house via the Sporting News. Back in those days before Google or the internet for that matter – you typically only got the latest scoop of information from the radio, TV or news publications. Reading the experts take on each team and their chances for the upcoming season from cover to cover – I loved the Sporting News. Enter baseball tragedy. Reading  about the Cleveland Indians. A franchise saddled with a storied history of losing. The butt of many jokes league-wide the Indians were dealt a lethal blow on March 22, 1993.

Three baseball buddies in the throws (pardon the pun) of spring training were ‘gator hunting’ in the evening hours when darkness, alcohol and a boat brought two of those lives to an end.  Tim Crews, Steve Olin and Bobby Ojeda – all pitchers in  camp for the Cleveland Indians – the first two died that day. Much has been written about that accident and the fallout on the team and their families.

So if you ask how does that translate into me becoming a fan? Well I’ve always been a little morbid and a crusader for the underdog. So I kept tabs on the Indians through my local paper – the St Louis Post Dispatch. Mostly poor results for the Indians that year but they were making moves to add young talent with offensive upside and veteran pitching. The year 1993 ended for the Indians with 76 wins and 86 losses and a 6th place finish in the American League East behind the first place Toronto Blue Jays.

My interest in the Indians plight held over into 1994 when the Indians debuted their new home ballpark – Jacobs Field. The Indians franchise was reborn with an exciting brand of baseball that featured speed and power galore in their young lineup. The city was rejuvenated and the Indians were a catalyst. When the 1994 season was halted 113 games in due to the baseball strike that led to no World Series for the first time in the modern era – the Indians were sitting 1 game behind the Chicago White Sox in the newly formed American League Central Division. If the post season would have been generated based on the standings for those games played – the 1994 Cleveland Indians would have qualified for the newly created Wild Card playoff seeding – 2.5 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. But alas the city of Cleveland was robbed of their feel good comeback story and would have to wait another year to taste regular season success, a post season birth, a trip to the World Series and ultimately heartbreak in Atlanta in game six of the World Series. But what a glorious ride.

There was no looking back from that point on. I still followed and to a lesser extend rooted for the hometown Cardinals but the Indians were now my team. Twenty one years later with some ups and downs but I still love my Indians baseball. Go Tribe!

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/03/20/indians-tim-crews-steve-olin-bobby-ojeda-boating-tragedy-still-haunts-20-years-later/2004887/

 

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You People…

crazy-bunnyThe great thing about the start of that phrase “You People” is that everyone is instantly insulted before even going further. If I say, You People…are beautiful and wonderful…too late, you were  already internally coiled and ready to refute whatever was coming after the You People part. Most times though saying You People is lumping together people who have some irritating or sub-desirable qualities. You People…are getting on my nerves…are incompetent…drive like one-eyed hamsters on crack…are as racist as powdered donuts.

Maybe its just the grammar purist in all of us that makes us cringe when we hear “You People” verbalized. Who knows. Perhaps the government should give me several thousand dollars so I can do some definitive research on the topic? In a tropical location for several months. Hmmmm. Luckily I’m too lazy to fill out that paperwork or it would be tempting to see if I could make that happen.

Oh well. Happy Hump Day to all You People! 🙂

St Paddy’s Day 2014

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Btw when searching “Sexy Shamrock” – don’t do this on a work computer.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! I hope all the people of Ireland are still snake free.

I am not a big drinker but I am a fan of watching video clips and pics from others as they test the limits of non-lethal alcohol consumption. Slurred speech and impromptu bad dancing are awesome. Send me your blurry Snapchats of you throwing a peace sign and holding your beverage…17 times in a row. Of course I will read about your hangovers and spells of vomitting. Is that a mug of green beer? How many shots did you do before you lost track? Drunk post on Facebook.  I am amused. Keep them coming my friends. I will not join you in that toast but I will smile at your post fun misery.

Cheers and make sure you designate a driver everyone!

Peace.

 

Public Bathrooms…Oh How I Loathe Them!

Ladies, let me ask this of you. When entering a public restroom, since your business is mostly sitting, how often do you encounter a toilet in a stall where the last person left you a mess? Scattered pubic hair? Hair from the backdoor? Wet seat? Bonus material on the seat? Un-flushed toilet? Are these common problems in the female only restrooms?

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Unfortunately they are common place in the male restroom. The most common is the wet seat from the previous dude or sequence of dudes just urinating in the general vicinity of the toilet bowl and in the process coating the seat, outside of the bowl and surrounding floor. All sorts of other disgusting fluids and semi-fluids end up on the seat and the a-holes who caused this just leave the carnage for the next person (who is most instances is in urgent need of that seat!)

My distaste for the public mens room does not stop at the disgusting physical leavings but also the strong stench of crap and urine (if its on the floor it only makes it stronger as it dries). Then throw in multiple dudes using the facilities and you get a creepy mix of dudes grunting, hocking loogies, whimpering, labored breathing, orgasmic sounds of relief, begging (for their colon or prostate to cooperate), self important pricks on their blue tooth or cell devices and creepers who push the closed stall door when you are ‘in the process’.

No offense but I could go my entire life and never hear another person piss or take a crap. If I have to use a public restroom, I prefer the proprietary ones (single occupant that you can lock) or ones that play music at a decent decibel level so you at least have a chance not to hear other people’s business. Don’t even get me started on the scumbags who handle their stuff at the urinal or take a lengthy dump and then breeze out the door without stopping to wash. Blech. These people need to be quarantined from society…or killed outright.

Any one who knows me pretty well has heard this diatribe a few times. Just the thought makes my skin crawl. Maybe if the general public wasn’t so crappy (yes pun) with their consideration for the next guy I wouldn’t care so much but its just nasty.

Oh well. Hope you have a good day and next time someone holds out their hand for you to shake, ask yourself: Did they wash after the morning bowel movement or rinse off after three shakes at the urinal? How about a salute and we can skip the handshake?

Santana vs Martinez

Most days I have a flowing topic that is vague and just covers a general sense of what I think is going on around me. Today I wanted to step out and do a little analyzing on a baseball parallel. If you are not into baseball I’m sorry for wasting your time…

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This year in spring training Carlos Santana of the Indians (starting catcher for the last couple of years) is attempting to make the transition to full time third baseman in order to keep himself from just becoming a DH or designated hitter to the casual fan. Santana has a solid major league caliber bat and a little power but his defensive skills as a catcher are probably average at best. In the American League offensive is always at a premium and with Yan Gomes supplanting him as starting catcher – he is trying to stake his claim at another position.

Carlos’s plight is reminiscent of another former catcher for the Indians who could flat out hit but was just so-so on defense behind the plate – namely Victor Martinez of the Tigers. Victor was gradually moved from full time catching duties to encompass some DH and some first base. Martinez has been in the league since 2002 and hit between .278 and .336 (*Note Martinez missed all of 2012 due to injuries). Arguably his best season was in 2007 when he clubbed 25 home runs, drove in 114 runs, had 40 doubles and only struck out 76 times – as an Indian.

While Santana’s track record only goes back to 2010 in the Major Leagues and Santana has yet to hit higher than .268 – the other categories are similar with Santana striking out a bit more.

Time will tell if Carlos can have the same success as Martinez or if he can be anything but a backup catcher or emergency third baseman. Perhaps this year will allow the on-field comparison to be a better judge since the teams play each other ump-teen times (actually 19).

Baseball is a game of stats and I cannot wait for the numbers to start crunching this year.

GO TRIBE!

March 3rd or 3-3 or simply 33

I figured since my softball # is 33 so naturally today would be an excellent day for a post. Putting aside the snow, ice and single digit temps – softball is rapidly approaching full swing (please consider pardoning the pun) with perhaps some tennis to keep me in a decent state of fitness.

Nothing earth shattering has occurred since my last post (unless you include defeating the evil Diablo on Diablo 3 for the PS3 on normal mode…and a little dabbling in the Dead Space 3 universe). Otherwise, in the real world, work happens. Paying bills happens. Disappointing people happens.

Spring training and exhibition baseball has returned to TV mercifully. Go Tribe!

Since football ended – the only sports options are hockey and basketball or college basketball – all of which I find exceedingly meh. Adding to this malaise was the dreaded pointless Olympics. Most of the events I had zero (or less) interest in following. The big showcase was the US hockey team which ascended early on only to disappoint in both men’s and women’s. Again meh.

In the weekly TV racket: Walking Dead has been entertaining along with Ryan Hardy’s character on The Following. Hey its been really cold so I gotta watch something while shivering under the covers!

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OK well I must return to my Schnucks Super Up Lemon Lime soda (Until I can save up for Sprite!). Everyone have a spiffy week and turn the thermostat up on the sun and let’s get a steady constant temperature of about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pip Pip Cheerio!  Peace out.