April 12, 2004

Grand Opening

Beer sales can continue for Indians games at Jacobs Field this season. You see, they didn't lose the opener.

(For some reason, that joke just seems to work better when they lose the opener, necessitating the cancellation of beer sales. Memo to self: Drop stupid opener joke in 2005, regardless of game outcome.)

It will not be my policy this year to Triblog only when the Indians win, and ignore them for days at a time when they're not doing so well. It just seems like that right now. After all, how long can people put up with fans saying "we really should be 6-2", when we're 3-5? Okay, I'll stop it.

Friends who know me well enough to have an appreciation for how these late-game, giveaway losses tear me up will try to twist the dagger in my gut with casual asides to me like, "you know the Indians bullpen really sucks", or more subtly, "I'm not happy with our closer, Dan."

They do this because they know full well that I will moderate their rash generalizations with a soothing mixture of authoritative-sounding baseball clichés and blind team loyalty. I will assure them that the bullpen doesn't exactly "suck"...it is simply underperforming just now, that it is a long season, these guys are veterans with talent, and I have every expectation that things will be better over the long haul. It's a marathon, not a sprint, blah, blah, blah.

This is exactly what they want to hear, and I am nothing if not reliable in giving it to them. For some of these guys, the Indians are my team when they're losing and their team when they win. To my way of thinking, that makes them interested parties, not Indians fans. Am I being too harsh? Maybe they're Indians fans who just think our bullpen sucks.

We do tend to put an overemphasis on the early games in the season. I heard a caller to a sports talk radio show this afternoon ask the host if he thought Travis Hafner had a chance to win the Triple Crown. (He's hitting .400 and leads the AL in homers, but it's been one week!)

At least Riske got the gorilla off his back this afternoon, and Hafner's grand slam is on SportsCenter another few times tonight. The forecast for my personal Tribe opener on Thursday is for a temperature in the 50's. It hardly seems like April in Cleveland.

Posted by dan at April 12, 2004 10:28 PM