Progressive Thoughts

On my trip this week I stopped for the night in Cleveland and, having nothing to do, went down to Progressive Field and took in that evening’s Indians-Mariners game. A few thoughts on the game and park:
– I was able to walk up to the box office ten minutes before the game started and buy a ticket for $8, shortly after parking two blocks away for just $10. Once I got in there were enough empty seats that I was able to sit in about eight different seats over the course of the game. I don’t know the last time doing such a thing in Philly was possible but it’s been quite a few years.
– Progressive Field is the 16th current ballpark that I’ve been to and the fifth this season (after Minnesota, Philly, Seattle and Wrigley.) I generally liked it- it’s a bit dated, but I can tell exactly which touches the other, newer parks stole from it. Nationals Park in DC seems to have swiped the entire blueprint, while Target Field took the Jake’s outside-the-park plaza concept and made it much better.
– The Mariners beat the Indians 3-2 on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth. The Indians were missing just about all of their biggest-named players- Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Shin-Soo Choo, Jason Kipnis- and seemed to have lots of trouble scoring runs.
– Illustrating baseball’s small/large market divide, both teams in the game have traded Cliff Lee, and multiple players – including ex-Phils Lou Marson and Jason Donald- were among the proceeds of past Lee trades seeing action on the field. Concurrently, Lee was shutting down the Mets in Philly.
– The Indians’ in-stadium music after a loss is “Lost” by Coldplay. Yikes.
– On a better musical note: a local high school marching band played the national anthem on the field prior to the game, and then spent the entire game sitting in the left field bleachers- where all the die-hards sit- playing songs a couple of times between innings. In all my years of baseball I’ve never before seen a marching band at a major league game, although I kind of liked it.
– The following night the Indians scheduled a “Puppypalooza,” one of those promotions in which fans are invited to bring their dogs to the game. However, the Indians played a doubleheader Tuesday, and the Puppypalooza was only in effect for the night game. So if you wanted to go to both games, your best bet was probably to go to the opener, go home and get your dog, and come back for the nightcap.
– If you didn’t think Chief Wahoo was a racist-enough mascot before, he’s gotten a makeover- they’ve given him a hooked Jew nose! And it’s not racist, but the team’s Phanatic-ripoff on-field mascot, “Slider,” is pretty embarrassing too.
– The night guy on the ESPN Radio station that night, Greg Brinda, was more viciously critical of the Indians that night than I think I’ve ever heard any Philly host get about a Philly team. I think he was prepared to kill Indians manager Manny Acta with his bare hands.

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