July 24, 2014

High Pressure, Home Cooking

progressive-field-sellout

This is not an article about attendance at Indians games. Not really, anyway.

Much has been made about attendance in Cleveland the past few years. A franchise that retired No.455 for THE FANS has cobwebs on its turnstiles. As an alleged “Tribe Town” began regularly pulling in less than 10,000 patrons per game, blame was allocated between the 25 men in uniform and the handful in polos and pleated pants. But what happens when the grandstands are bubbling over with the rabid throng?

[Read more...]

Indians and Verizon partner to roll out new wireless and Wi-Fi network

progressive-field-sellout

Say what you want about the product on the field over the last week or so, but the Cleveland Indians are undoubtedly listening to their fans. In an effort to better connect with fans at Progressive Field, the team, in partnership with Verizon Wireless, has announced a roll-out of what their referring to as new Distributed Antenna System (DAS) and Wi-Fi network.

 These updates aim to offer fans more reliable access to social media applications while allowing them to check in on ever-growing MLB.com At The Ballpark app while within the confines Progressive Field.

It was just a season ago when the entire city of Cleveland was essentially blacked out in the way of cell signal when 41,000 fans (plus those who were simply downtown) attempted to utilize their mobile devices. As tweets and image uploads on a variety of networks become a larger part of the in-game experience, the Indians obviously saw this free marketing as an opportunity worth addressing.

“This implementation will significantly enhance fans’ digital experience at the ballpark by making social media and their favorite apps more easily accessible, as well as completing common functions like making a call or sending an email or text,” said Neil Weiss, the Indians Senior Vice President of Technology and Chief Information Officer via press release.

MLB.com At the Ballpark personalizes fans’ trips with mobile check-in, social media, offers, rewards and exclusive content. It comes complete with concourse maps, food and drink menus, player entrance music info (with the ability to purchase songs on iTunes), and seat upgrade functionality. The Indians plan to offer exclusive deals to those who utilize the application. Getcha smartphones ready.

[Related: Indians (once again) among best values in MLB]

Ever wonder how much it costs to propose at Progressive Field?

Ever wondered how to go about proposing to a loved one within the confines of a sporting event? Ever wonder how much it costs to go about such an endeavor? Well, the kind folks at Swimmingly charted out the costs and details of all 30 Major League Baseball teams and it turns out that our beloved Cleveland Indians are among the most expensive in the league.

In the event you want to drop to a knee at Progressive Field, the only time you can do it (apparently) are during one of the team’s 15 post-game firework nights (a romantic option, per Swimmingly) as no in-game proposals are allowed. While this appears to be a change for the Tribe given all of the jumbotron jubilation of years past, these restrictions are at least more lenient than the Blue Jays, Angels, Royals, Orioles and Mets—all teams which do not allow promoted in-game proposals of any kind.

Some teams offer multiple price points, lest anyone need to place a value on their impending proposal. Some teams offer multiple tickets; others offer tours. In Detroit, you can do it alongside “Paws,” the Tigers’ mascot. All proceeds allegedly go to charity.

The Top Five Tribe Rotations of the Past 20 Years

cliff cc

With the 20-year anniversary of Jacobs/Progressive Field almost upon us, we will be taking a look at top-fives in each aspect of the Indians on the field.  We started last week with the bullpens and today we will move to the starting rotations. Coming up with five groups was not an easy task. Let’s be honest here: The Indians have for the most part, been built around their offense and bullpen. That was the John Hart model. Hart’s protégé was Mark Shapiro, who took over the GM reigns during the transition of 2001. Shappy groomed current GM Chris Antonetti, but the landscape has changed over the past six years. When the Indians had their best success, it was because their starting pitching was at its strongest.

And with that….. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Thoughts on the state of the Cavs

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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What are the Cavs right now? Who is their core? Looking deep inside their system: “So far this season, despite a near abuse of the words ‘culture’ and ‘process’ in Mike Brown’s renewed jog with the team, the Cavs seem more like a DeMarcus Cousins Kings team than a culture team. Right now, their identity is a cult of personality… and that personality is the Rubix Cube that is Andrew Bynum.” [Robert Attenweiler/Cavs: The Blog] [Read more...]

Tuesday’s best tweets about the Indians AL Wild Card game

With the Indians hosting the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Progressive Field, I thought it was worthwhile to parse through all of the best pictures on Twitter on Tuesday to share with you on the site. Here, without further bantering, are my favorite 13 best tweets (almost all pictures) from all separate accounts during the day on Tuesday, all about prepping for today’s big AL Wild Card showdown.

This should be a nice bonus! Don’t forget about these, tweeps. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Fantasy football in NFL stadiums?

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Would the Browns ever try out an area like this? Do they need to? “Inside EverBank Field, during the second half of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ lopsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday, Carlos Boria finally found a reason to cheer. ‘Yeah, baby,’ he screamed as tight end Jimmy Graham scored a touchdown. But Graham is not a member of the Jaguars. He was playing for the Saints, about 500 miles away, at the Superdome in New Orleans. Boria’s cheer was part of the cacophony in the new 7,000-square-foot fantasy football lounge at the Jaguars’ stadium, where fans were primarily following not the game they had bought tickets to attend, but those in other N.F.L. cities involving players on their fantasy teams.” [Ken Belson/New York Times] [Read more...]

Why we shouldn’t be surprised by the Indians attendance

progressive field

No matter what, it’s disappointing.

That’s a fair statement for any diehard fan of a competing team like the 2013 Cleveland Indians.

You see, these Indians aren’t like the contending teams of the ‘90s for one obvious, over-reported and obnoxious fact: Attendance. This season, through Thursday’s games, Cleveland ranked 28th in the sport with an average number of 19,037 paid fans per opening.

Obviously, this is a deep and exciting baseball team peaking at the right moment and in the thick in the American League playoff race. Heck, they just swept an entire weeklong home stand.

Yet in digging through historical Cleveland Indians attendance and using it side-by-side with existing research on Major League Baseball attendance, this season’s disappointing fan support really shouldn’t be all that shocking.

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Cleveland’s continued development

While We’re Waiting is the daily morning link roundup that WFNY has been serving up for breakfast for the last several years. We hope you enjoy the following recent collection of yummy and nutritious Cleveland sports-related articles. Anything else to add? Email us at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Stories on Cleveland’s revitalization are all the rage on the Internet right now. Next up: The Atlantic Cities, my friend Anna’s favorite site in the world: “The success of East Fourth Street in once-struggling Cleveland was something few people would have anticipated 20 years ago. It took years of collaboration between developers, businesses, local institutions, and government, but today downtown Cleveland is taking off—and giving the old Rust Belt city a future. There wasn’t a market for urban living in Cleveland until developers like the Marons built places where young professionals would want to be.” [Sophie Quinton/The Atlantic Cities] [Read more...]

Indians to unveil new “Teen Suite” at Progressive Field

Indians Teen Suite

The Cleveland Indians will lift the curtain on a new “Teen Suite” at Progressive Field this weekend when the Tribe hosts the Minnesota Twins.

Touted as being “perfect” for birthdays, graduation parties and other special celebrations, the Teen Suite features both indoor and outdoor seating options, in addition to a lounge area with video games and an all-you-can-eat buffet. Those who reserve the Teen Suite will also receive tickets for four club seats for parents and/or chaperones of the group in the Suite.

This new suite is the latest of many group-based ammentities at Progressive Field which now include the Indians Social Suite, the Family Social Suite, the exclusive FanCave Suite, and the recently redesigned 120-seat Collection Auto Group Club.  Six rows of seats in section 151, behind home plate, have also been taken out and have been replaced with tables and chairs for 36 people.

The Teen Suite will be available every Friday and Saturday night starting in May, and could be made available for other select dates as well. It is located in right field, adjacent from the Family Suite.

[Related: Tribe Pen Living Up To Billing]

 

The Diff: Baseball attendance in April, sellout streaks

Last week’s version of The Diff was tremendous fun as we journeyed through the land of quality starts in baseball. With the Indians’ back-and-forth 5-7 start to the season, that post likely remains incredibly relevant. Now, we stick with the same sport but head to something more external: April attendance.

The Diff

Attendance is always a topical theme in the world of baseball at the beginning of the season. Once the facade of a boisterous Opening Day sellout is lifted, columnists and fans peel back the harsh reality of battling the frigid cold for half-decent attendance figures at the ballpark. Heck, in a sense, that’s exactly why I dedicated The Diff back on Feb. 27 to the topic of Indians attendance (and market saturation). I saw this complaint coming early in 2013. But yet, there’s still a need for much more context in this debate. And that’s why I’m back for more attendance talk today. [Read more...]

The Diff: Market saturation and Indians attendance

In last week’s edition of The Diff, I shared a number of statistical notes about the streaking Cleveland Cavaliers. This week, I’m covering a topic I’ve been trying to get to for a while, but is perfect for right now: Cleveland Indians attendance.

The Diff

Cleveland Indians attendance is a topical news item this week. Firing right off the Nick Swisher arrival and the surprise signing of Michael Bourn, the Indians unveiled their new promotional schedule and then sold out of Opening Day tickets in six minutes on Monday. Excitement about the Tribe is as palpable this February as it’s been in the last decade — save maybe for right after ’07′s surprising playoff run. And that brings people to the age-old question: Will it show up in the ticket booths? Fortunately, I’m here to help — as I teased in Monday’s podcast. [Read more...]

Cleveland Indians to roll out “Premium Club” at Progressive Field

On Sunday, it was the Cleveland Browns who borrowed a page from Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers. Come this April, the Cleveland Indians will be doing the same as they will raise the curtain on what will be called the “Premium Club,” a 120-seat area of the stadium located along the first base line that will feature the most exclusive of ballpark amenities.

A step up from the current club area located along the mezzanine, the Progressive Field Premium Club will feature 5,000 square feet of gourmet food, top shelf alcohol, 20 high-definition televisions, leather high-backed seating for season-ticket holders, and surroundings which have been deemed private and climate-controlled. Also differing from the current “club” level is that those in attendance will have the option to have open-air viewing of the playing field from their table side seating; the mezzanine club is tucked behind the sections of seats, leaving only television viewing as an option.

“We are excited to open this new, exclusive space for the 2013 season,” said team president Mark Shapiro. “It will allow us to better serve the segment of our fan base that research clearly determined desires a more premium experience. The new club features amenities and exclusive benefits that will give our fans a truly premium experience at Progressive Field.”

Attendees will also be granted access to SportsTime Ohio’s pre- and post-game shows, including a live filming of Bruce Drennan’s “All Bets Are Off.” Crains Cleveland reports that tickets will cost $150 per game. The Premium Club is one of the many projects financed by the team that will help improve the 18-year-old Progressive Field. While total cost is not reported, it is estimated that this was a multi-million dollar venture. It is believed that this new Club will provide a similar exclusive experience similar to the Patron Platinum Lounge and Suites located within Quicken Loans Arena which features various types of seating and tables, a full length-of-the-lounge granite-top bar, an array of specialty lighting fixtures, an assortment of large wall-mounted plasma televisions, and a full glass wall facing the arena bowl entry way.

“We understand that a large percentage of our business is based on the team,” said Shapiro, “but of that other small percentage, we have to be 100 percent perfect. The good thing is that we have complet control over that side of things, where things happen on the field that we don’t have control over.”

[Related: Prospect ranking turnover shows that Indians might still be bad at drafting]

Indians working on “Premium Club” seating

The Cleveland Indians, regardless of their on-field performance, continually work to innovate with the stadium to try and create the best possible atmosphere for fans to enjoy a game. It is almost impossible to be positive about the team right now, but with no snark what-so-ever I have to be honest when I say that it is still an enjoyable ballpark experience at the Jake.

The Indians turned their club section into an all-you-can-eat section a few years ago. Now they’re exploring another kind of section between Club and Suite levels of experience.

As part of our continuing efforts to preserve and enhance Progressive Field for our fans, we are researching a new type of seating area, called the ‘Premium Club’, which combines the best elements of both the Club Seats and Suites. The Premium Club will be located on the Suite Level and offer a fantastic entertaining lounge that celebrates the team’s history and provides you an exclusive experience.

The team is currently showing concepts to season ticket holders during games, presumably to gauge interest and feedback.

Box Score: Indians 5, Red Sox 2

Brent Lillibridge. Zach McAllister. Ezequiel Carrera. Those are your three stars of the night.

Lillibridge finished 3-for-4 with his first home run in nearly 12 months while McAllister went eight strong innings as the Indians (53-61) won their second in three days against Boston (56-59) at Progressive Field. Carrera entered the game late as a defensive replacement, but also had an RBI single and an impressive final catch to end the game.

After the game, STO’s Katie Witham asked Lillibridge about the home run, and he said, “hopefully it’s a good sign for the next couple months.” He talked about finishing the season strong and how he’s just trying to help out the team. Witham also asked about Lou Marson’s RBI squeeze bunt that scored Lillibridge in the seventh.

And yes, Jon tweeted this during the game. That’s how we know the world has finally gone mad.

The Indians and Sox are back at it at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow. Corey Kluber (0-0, 6.10 ERA) could be making his final start in Cleveland before heading back to Columbus as he faces off against Boston lefty Jon Lester (5-10, 5.36 ERA).

Scoring Summary
Bot 3rd: Cleveland
- B. Lillibridge homered to deep left
Top 4th: Boston
- A. Gonzalez doubled to left, J. Ellsbury and C. Crawford scored, D. Pedroia to third, D. Pedroia out at home
Bot 5th: Cleveland
- B. Lillibridge singled to shallow left center, M. Brantley scored
Bot 6th: Cleveland
- M. Brantley hit sacrifice fly to left, A. Cabrera scored
Bot 7th: Cleveland
- L. Marson sacrificed to pitcher, B. Lillibridge scored
Bot 8th: Cleveland
- E. Carrera singled to shallow left, C. Santana scored
 Boston
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
J. Ellsbury cf 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .254
C. Crawford lf 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .258
D. Pedroia 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .275
A. Gonzalez 1b 4 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 .307
C. Ross rf 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .275
J. Saltalamacchia c 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .229
R. Lavarnway dh 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .105
M. Aviles ss 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .252
P. Ciriaco 3b 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .333
    S. Podsednik ph 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .379
    D. Valencia 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .198
 Totals 30 2 4 2 0 0 4 0 4
 Batting
2B – J Ellsbury 2 (12, Z McAllister 2); A Gonzalez (35, Z McAllister).
S – C Crawford.
RBI – A Gonzalez 2 (76).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – A Gonzalez 1, J Saltalamacchia 1.
Team LOB – 2.
 Fielding
DP – 1 (D Pedroia-M Aviles-A Gonzalez).
 Cleveland
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
J. Donald 2b 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .186
    J. Hannahan 3b 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .231
A. Cabrera ss 3 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 .281
S. Choo rf 2 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 0 .287
C. Santana dh 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 .240
M. Brantley cf 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 .291
S. Duncan lf 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 .216
    E. Carrera lf 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 .385
B. Lillibridge 3b-2b 4 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 1 .202
C. Kotchman 1b 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .224
L. Marson c 2 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 .242
 Totals 27 5 6 5 1 4 7 3 7
 Batting
2B – C Santana (21, C Breslow); B Lillibridge (3, M Melancon).
HR – B Lillibridge (1, 3rd inning off F Morales 0 on, 0 Out).
S – L Marson.
SF – M Brantley.
RBI – M Brantley (50), E Carrera (3), B Lillibridge 2 (4), L Marson (10).
2-out RBI – E Carrera.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out – S Duncan 1, B Lillibridge 1.
GIDP – C Santana.
Team LOB – 5.
 Base Running
SB – A Cabrera (6, 3rd base off F Morales/J Saltalamacchia), S Choo (13, 2nd base off F Morales/J Saltalamacchia), E Carrera (2, 2nd base off C Mortensen/J Saltalamacchia).
 Fielding
Outfield assists – M Brantley, S Duncan.
 Boston
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
F. Morales (L, 3-3) 5.1 2 3 3 4 6 1 1.16 3.29
A. Miller 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.01 3.03
M. Melancon 1.1 2 1 1 0 0 0 1.50 7.39
C. Breslow 0.2 2 1 1 0 1 0 1.12 3.38
C. Mortensen 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.95 1.71
 Cleveland
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
Z. McAllister (W, 5-4) 8.0 3 2 2 0 4 0 1.22 3.46
C. Perez (S, 31) 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.20 3.80

Indians Cancel Snow Days Because of Disappointing Turnout

Well, that didn’t last very long. After two years, the Cleveland Indians have decided to temporarily postpone the implementation of the Snow Days event that transformed Progressive Field into a winter wonderland. Here’s Indians President Mark Shapiro talking to Cleveland.com about the decision:

“We’ll at least take a year off and think about it. What will the next iteration of Snow Days look like? How frequently do you do it?” he said. “We want to make sure that what we have is an event, rather than something that’s expected.”

The Snow Days promotion was a hit for some families in the area, but clearly not enough. For baseball teams throughout the country in cold-weather locations, it’s likely difficult to transform their parks into year-round money-making facilities, something that basketball arenas such as Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena can easily do. I’ll be anxious to see if this promotion ever returns to the area, as it’s always going to be tough to draw crowds that never usually would consider the Prog as a winter destination.

[Related: Shapiro: “Snow Days” Set to Lose Money for Second Straight Year]

Oh What a Night

Maybe Chris Perez was onto something.

It is not news that baseball is much better with a stadium packed with fans. Loud and boisterous and cheering for their team, the Indians last night got a taste of what the entire summer could be like every time they take the field if they continue to play the way they are.

I was there last night at Progressive Field. It was my 10th game of the season. Other than opening day (mainly because there were over 43,000 people there), that was easily the best and most vocal crowd of the year. When I saw the attendance figure read just 22,000 on the dot, I couldn’t believe it. It seems like way more to me. Maybe I have been to too many games where there are 8,000 people there. I received a number of tweets after the game that were dead on – imagine how loud it would have been with double the people in the stands?

For the 22,000 who were in attendance like I was, we were greeted to a playoff type atmosphere. This was one of those nights that makes going to a baseball game on summer night “the thing to do.” [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Attendance woes, Ubaldo’s mechanics and Alonzo Gee’s future

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Everyone is talking about the Tribe attendance- “But really, when it comes to the Tribe and attendance, not much surprises me. The Indians, even with the 30-15 start last year, finished with the seventh-lowest attendance mark in the Majors, were dead last in 2010, were fifth-lowest in 2009 and were 22nd out of 30 a year after reaching the ALCS.

This is what’s called a trend, and it’s part of the package here in a town that’s endured declining population and economic downturn and really doesn’t have baseball on the brain. It should surprise absolutely nobody that the city that ranked first nationally in TV ratings for the NFL Draft is the same city that ranks 30 out of 30 in MLB attendance, because this is a Browns town, through and through, and the once-in-a-lifetime Indians sellout streak of the 1990s was the product of a combination of unique factors (no Browns, strong economy, new ballpark, great team, downtown renaissance, etc.) that will never combine again.” [Castrovince/MLB.com] [Read more...]

Box Score: Indians 1, Angels 2

Torii Hunter hit his second homer in as many games against the Indians (10-9), as the Los Angeles Angels held on to win 2-1 Saturday afternoon at Progressive Field. The victory ended a five-game losing streak for the Angels (7-14).

The game was delayed for over two hours to start the afternoon, with first pitch moved back to around 3:30 p.m. From there, LA took an early lead on a Kendry Morales RBI single. Hunter then provided for an early 2-0 advantage with his solo blast in the fourth. The Indians netted their lone run in the fourth predictably on an RBI single from Jack Hannahan. That’d be all the scoring for the night, as this has truly been an pitcher-dominated series so far.

Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez settled down after the early runs, earning a quality start with a career-high seven strikeouts in six innings of work. The Tribe hardly managed to do much at all against Angels starter Dan Haren, who dominated for eight innings before Scott Downs came in for his first save.

LA Angels
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
M. Trout lf 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000
H. Kendrick 2b 3 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 .263
A. Pujols 1b 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 .226
K. Morales dh 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 .267
T. Hunter rf 4 1 1 1 1 0 3 0 2 .299
M. Trumbo 3b 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 .326
    A. Callaspo 3b 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .182
E. Aybar ss 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .218
B. Wilson c 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .200
P. Bourjos cf 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 .167
 Totals 33 2 5 2 1 2 10 0 9
 Batting
HR - T Hunter (2, 4th inning off J Gomez 0 on, 0 Out).
RBI - K Morales (6), T Hunter (9).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - K Morales 1, M Trumbo 1, B Wilson 1, P Bourjos 1.
Team LOB - 6.
 Cleveland
AB R H RBI HR BB K SB LOB Season Avg
M. Brantley cf 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .233
J. Kipnis 2b 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .257
A. Cabrera ss 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 .305
T. Hafner dh 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 .298
C. Santana c 4 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 2 .230
J. Hannahan 3b 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 .300
S. Duncan lf 3 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2 .241
C. Kotchman 1b 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 .143
A. Cunningham rf 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .235
 Totals 31 1 4 1 0 2 8 0 10
 Batting
2B - M Brantley (6, D Haren).
RBI - J Hannahan (14).
2-out RBI - J Hannahan.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - T Hafner 1, S Duncan 2, A Cunningham 1.
Team LOB - 5.
 Fielding
E - J Kipnis (2, field).
PB - C Santana.

 

 LA Angels
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
D. Haren (W, 1-1) 8.0 4 1 1 2 7 0 1.24 3.34
S. Downs (S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.88 0.00
 Cleveland
IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP Season ERA
J. Gomez (L, 1-1) 6.0 5 2 2 2 7 1 0.78 2.35
J. Smith 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.06 1.74
N. Hagadone 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.69 2.08

Vizquel Discusses Possibility of Cleveland Return

With the Toronto Blue Jays in town for opening weekend, a familiar face has returned to Progressive Field. Now-utility infielder Omar Vizquel, who turns 45 later this month, appeared in Thursday’s Opening Day as a late-inning defensive replacement. Before the game, however, he chatted with 92.3 The Fan’s Daryl Ruiter about a possible future with his old team:

 “I wanted to be part of the organization before,” Vizquel said. “Obviously this business takes you to different places and you don’t know where you’re going to be the next day.

“The Indians have a special place in my heart.”

Specifically, Ruiter paraphrased Vizquel in saying that he would like to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Sandy Alomar Jr, the current Tribe bench coach. In the rest of the article, Vizquel addressed his thoughts on an eventual retirement, why he thought this Opening Day was particularly special, why he cherishes his Cleveland memories and if he thinks he is worthy of the Hall of Fame.

SportsTimeOhio displayed a graphic during Thursday’s broadcast saying that Vizquel started the most consecutive home openers for the Indians in Progressive Field history. He started 11 straight from 1994-2004, and Travis Hafner now sits one back with his stretch of 10 straight from 2003-2012.

Source: [Daryl Ruiter, 92.3 The Fan]