Friday, February 05, 2010

Cleveland Rocks

This is part two of the Summer of '04 series, chronicling my first serious baseball road trip.

Saturday, June 12 (Cont'd)

The beer selection here includes mostly the standard choices, with the exception of one concession stand called "Beers of the World," which pretty much consists of the same old domestic crap plus Heineken and three Great Lakes offerings.

Honestly, the concept doesn't excite me anyway, as I prefer microbrewed American beer. But, I still think it's lame when one run-of-the-mill imported beer and a few obscure local brews add up to something called "Beers of the World."

My overall impression of Jacobs Field is that it's a nice park, but doesn't quite compare to the atmosphere of Pac-Bell or the retro feel of Camden Yards.

Later on the trip, I would visit a park that would join the ranks of my favorites.

Griffey has a rough night. He strikes out twice and goes 0-for-4 with an intentional walk. Maybe I'll have a shot at seeing his 500th in Cincinnati on Thursday. Otherwise, the game is exciting. Todd Van Poppel's three-inning perfect game is broken up by a Matt Lawton leadoff homer in the 4th. The Reds build a 5-1 lead, but Cleveland comes from behind, scoring two in the 7th and four in the 8th, the latter rally keyed by Coco Crisp's three-run double.

Jacobs Field

Down 8-5, Cincinnati scores two in the 9th, but Jose Jimenez is finally able to close it out. Some shaky defense by the Reds in the 8th contributes to their downfall: Griffey fails to call D'Angelo Jimenez off on a shallow fly to center; Jimenez tries to get a force out at second when he should have made the play to first, although the replay shows the runner was out. I was actually surprised at the time that there was no argument.

Yes, there were two Jimenez's who played critical roles in this game.
Indians fans seem genuinely excited about the team. The excitement appears to be warranted. They have a lot of good young position players (although not much power), and a few good young arms. But, they have a terrible bullpen, despite getting the job done tonight. Another observation about the fans is that they actually wait until the end of the national anthem before they start clapping.

For some reason, it's always been a pet peeve of mine that fans start clapping before the song is actually over, although I've sometimes wondered if it's "the land of the free" that they're applauding.

The Jake's out-of-town scoreboard gives the inning (top or bottom), runners on base, and batter up, but not the number of outs, and only shows three games at once. I'm not impressed.

It was on this trip that I developed my fascination for out-of-town scoreboards, probably because the technology had reached the point where we could expect a lot more than score and inning updates. The new Busch Stadium is the gold standard in this category, as far as I'm concerned.

On Deck: Detroit Rock City

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