Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cellar Dwellers?

Come on Tribe, let's get out of the cellar! You are a better team than this, even without Sabathia and Blake...and probably Byrd in a couple of days! There have been some real bright spots lately...really! Jhonny Peralta has reacted very well to batting in the 4th position. Shoppach is hitting well, as is Garko. Mujica has been impressive in relief. So has Mastny (if you have a short memory). This team is the #1 defensive team in all of baseball. So come on! There should be a team goal to reach .500 by September 1st!

Sympathies to the family of Travis Hafner. Travis lost his father yesterday to a bout with cancer. Hafner, who is on the 60 day disabled list, is back home in Sykeston, North Dakota for the funeral. "Papa Pronk" made the drive to Minnesota each time the Indians played there, despite his illness. The sight of a proud father standing and applauding for his son will remain etched into Indians fans memories everywhere. SportsTime Ohio had a very nice tribute to "Papa Hafner" prior to the start of the game tonight.

A funny thing happened on the way to the ballpark...

We had a company meeting at Progressive Field on Monday, July 28th. This was an all-day affair in the Champion Suite, beginning at 9am with a meeting and finishing with the Tigers-Indians game in the evening. The Cleveland Indians' organization is really pushing their suites to be used for business meeting during the day. They are obviously new to this venture. We were told to drive down and park in the "East" garage on Huron Road by Progressive Field. We would pay $12 per car for the entire day. Pulling in to the lot, the 3 parking attendants who were busy chatting directed us to "take a ticket" from the automated ticket printer that operates the gate for entrance to the garage. Signs posted warned that "All vehicles must leave the garage before 5pm because of the game that evening. OK, I'll play...I take a ticket, the gate goes up, and I pull up and interrupt the attendants once again with a question! Damn! The nerve!!! Rolling down the window, I briefly explained that I was here for a meeting and the game. After receiving 3 extreme looks of displeasure, I was told that I should pay when I leave after the game. OK, I'll continue to play. I drive up to the 4th level and find a "safe" space to park my pampered ride, far enough away from to avoid mindless door bumps and careless backups.

It is now 8:05 am and I would like to set up for the 9 am meeting. By the time I reach the Executive Entrance, it is 8:15 am. It appears the Suite Staff thinks you can go into a suite and start your meeting without any set up or preparation. Come on, get in the game! I talked my way into the suite by 8:30 and began to setup a laptop for PowerPoint and flip charts with statistics. I am not impressed so far.

The meeting went well and our group went on a tour of the ballpark for $5.50 per person which was fine because the money went to the Cleveland Indians Charities. We finished our meeting by 4 pm and settled in for batting practice. At 4:20 pm, one of the staff members came in to let us know that anyone parked in the East garage needed to go pay for their parking, $4.00 for the day and $12.00 for the evening. Wow, what happened to $12.00? OK, so a group of us leave the suite, go down and outside, and walk over to the garage where we are looked at like we don't speak English. "What do you want? You can't stand here, cars are going to start coming in here! What do you mean you been her all day? I gotta get a supervisor. Huh? OK, hey, you gotta go up front and pay 'cause their ain't no attendants here when the game is over."

Wait a minute, no attendants? Why pay at all? They haven't exactly earned the fee! They won't know that we didn't pay, especially if there are no attendants after the game. Naw! We can't do that. So, we pay our $16.00 each and attempt to go back to the suite.

"I am sorry but the gates do not open until 5:30!" we are told. After explaining that we just left the suite after being their all day, the staff is refusing to let us go back in and rejoin our group until 5:30! I got the attention of a policeman who had held the door for us to exit previously and he made sense of the whole matter and let us back in. Note to the Indians; brush up on professionalism before you try to extract professional fees for your business services.

Well, it all turned out fine because the boys of summer rescued the day by beating the Tigers 5-0!

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