Monday, April 4, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate Indians Opening Day

It’s a traditional NE Ohio Opening Day.  The weather is just slightly over freezing.  I think I heard the weatherman say “It’s windy as fuck with a very good chance of sleet and open weeping”.  It’s maybe the worst possible conditions to play, much less watch, a baseball game.  Many Latin American ballplayers will be wondering “Why did I sign here?”.  This is the legacy of early April baseball in Cleveland.

I have been to many Opening Days.  I have seen two snow outs.  I have seen rainouts.  I have discovered that my seats were in shaded areas and sat shivering watching such stalwarts as Kevin Mitchell, Bill Selby and Chad Curtis provide mild highlights before quietly fading into distant memories.  The key thing to remember that at this point in Cleveland, the game itself is just a sidebar to what is essentially St. Patrick’s Day Part 2 with racially insensitive caps.  

There will be people gathered around heated tents downtown circling the stadium drinking enormous cans of light beer wearing Indians gear from the now Olden Tymes of Glory.  I expect to see such jerseys as Vizquel, Manny, Hafner, Sizemore, Loften, Alomar, Thome and if things get really crazy maybe Justice and one lonely LaPorta.  There might not be a current player on anyone’s back.  The Indians have done a remarkable job of completely losing the region’s interest.  I would bet it is almost impossible to find anyone knocking back Bud Lights today that can name more than two players on the current roster.  The organization has managed to buy a team with the longest home sellout streak in history and turn it into one of the lowest attendance teams in the league.  You don’t make that happen by accident.  It takes a long term plan of disconnection and lack of enthusiasm to get there.

Vegas loves the Indians this year.  The team is just slightly under the World Champion Royals on all opening lines to win the division.  Yet, none of that excitement has been brought to the table by the Indians front office, who are completely jacked up about their new scoreboard instead of their enviable starting pitching staff.  The Indians organization loves bland.  If they went to an ice cream shop their order would be “vanilla” as “French vanilla’ is just too rich gosh darn it.  They are the guy that walks onto a car lot and buys the Dodge.  They buy their clothes at Sears.  When they want great Italian food, they hit Olive Garden.  Their favorite recording artist is Michael Buble.  They use a flip phone.  They love to watch CSI on TV.  They’re just not my kind of guys.

Today will be a grim day of baseball with a really big scoreboard.  I suspect that there will be lots of Family Fun!  It will be cold.  People will be drunk.  Browns game drunk.  The stadium will be almost totally empty at the end of the game, if they can get nine innings in.  I am going to maintain my game plan regarding the 2016 Indians and stay focused on the team mascot Slider.   Whenever I am asked about this or any other Indians game this season, I will respond with “The game?  Well… Slider was sure up to his old tricks!”.  I am going to be The Guy With The Unhealthy Obsession With The Mascot.  That is the way to have fun at an Indians game.

Play Ball.

Go Giants.


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