So I finally made it to a Cleveland Indians Home Opener and they lost.

But that’s jumping ahead quite a bit.

The game, despite the end result, was a good one.  Both teams–Cleveland & Texas–played well, I thought.  For the most part anyway.

My day started off normally.  Woke up at a ridiculous time.  Got to work at a ridiculous time.  Spent a ridiculous amount of time at the circ desk.  But then I got to change things up a bit.  I left work at 11:45–instead of 3:45–and instead of driving home, I drove to Cleveland.

At first I thought I’d given myself way too much time but by the time I got closer to the city, I started to wonder if I’d have enough time.  The traffic was crazy.  There were people everywhere.  The bars and restaurants all around the Field were overflowing.  And my normal parking deck for Indians games was already closed.  Bummer.

So I kept driving.  And driving. And driving.  Finally, I found a lot that was a mile or more away from Progressive Field.  All things considered, not bad.  And a plus–I only paid $4 to park.

I took copious notes in my phone so I’d be able to find my way back to the car, as I’m directionally challenged.  In between which streets?  What’s the lot called?  Where exactly is my car?  Which way did I walk?  Then I hiked through the city towards what I hoped was Progressive Field.  Though, if I’m being completely honest, I must admit that I followed a group wearing Tribe shirts & jackets.

When I arrived, I claimed my magnetic schedule for the season & a program, and then found my way to the top.  Since I bought my ticket pretty late, I couldn’t be too choosy about the location.  But actually, it turned out to be pretty darn decent.  I was in Section 458, the third row.  Other than a few obnoxious (and drunk) old men to my left, I had nothing to complain about.

There were a few strange things about the game itself, though.

First of all, Shin-Soo Choo seemed a little…”off.”  While he did get a homerun (CHOOOOOOO!!!!), he also made a…. “silly” out.  Bill Lubinger said it best in this Plain Dealer article, yesterday:  “Choo drew a one-out walk in the third, but when designated hitter Travis Hafner popped up, Choo began racing around the bases, blundering into an easy and puzzling double play.”  It was really bizarre.  Everyone was yelling “ONE OUT!”  But Choo thought the inning was over.  And then it really was over.

The other strange thing about the game was the catcher, Mike Redmond… It wasn’t anything that Redmond did but rather what happened to him.  He caught a number of foul balls…and not in his mitt.  One clipped his knee.  He caught one with his shoulder.  And it seemed like there were a few others in there off the chest or other body parts.  Two of those balls completely knocked him over, one of which brought out a coach and trainer.

Now, I played catcher.  It was wayyyy back in the day–slow pitch softball.  A horse of a very different color, obviously.  But I understand that as a catcher, unfortunately, you’re not going to catch everything.  And sometimes you get beat up a little bit.  But this was ridiculous.  It was one after another.  The guy just could not catch a break.

The game was close.  Tied, in fact.  It went into an extra inning and while Cleveland was close, it was Texas who got the go-ahead runs to win the game.

Next year, I’d like to get a hotel in Cleveland and make a whole trip of it.  Stay the night before and perhaps even the night after the game.  Be close enough to walk to Progressive Field.  Be close to the restaurants (and bars).

I’m already looking forward to it.  🙂