Tribe Time

Thanks to a contest the Cleveland Indians ran on their Twitter account, I was able to have an Opening Day experience that may not be matched for some time.

I spent the game in the Indians Social Suite, watching from a beautiful vantage point along the third base line, or in the comfort of the suite.  Hey, it was cold in the shade with the wind whipping off the lake.

Whatever it is about Opening Day…the tradition, the history, the pomp, the Americana…I don’t know, but it just floods me with excitement.  Maybe my favorite day of the year behind Christmas.

And yesterday didn’t disappoint.  Not until the 16th inning at least.

The pre-game ceremonies were, I hate to say awesome since that word is overused, but they were, in the truest sense of the word.  The giant American flag in the outfield, a recovering soldier being brought out on a giant Budweiser wagon, Clydesdales and all, to throw out the first pitch, both had me awestruck.

Lance Corporal Bryan Carpenter after throwing the first pitch

Then the moment of the afternoon that will stick with me longest.  Watching a Marine, currently in Afghanistan, sing the National Anthem via satellite while two giant military helicopters flew over the stadium.  I had chills and teared up a little bit.  Thinking back to it, I get chills and tear up again.  Simply amazing.

Oh, there was a game too.  Justin Masterson started off the season for the Tribe with a one-two-three inning.

The season begins

We watched outside for a couple innings, then came in to warm up.  Not five minutes after, the door opens and in comes Carlos Baerga.  And then I turned into a giddy ten-year-old kid.  He hung out and took pictures with us.  Soon after that, in comes Mark Shapiro.  From then on, every time the door opened, we all looked over in anticipation.

Masterson had a brilliant game.  Eight innings, ten strikeouts, one mistake.  It’s a shame the game fell apart because of that.  He deserved the win.

As much as the melt down in the bottom of the 9th sucked, I’m more worried about our hitting problems.  We could have/should have won the game in the bottom of the 9th and 12th.  Man on third with one out, we need to find a way to score that man.  Not just in win situations, but in any situation.

But the season is young.  One game is only one game.  All I want this year is improvement.

A big thanks to the Indians for hosting me and also to Rick and Scott from Waiting For Next Year, Alana from The Dawg’s Dish, Paul @PSRados, Mark @szczepanik, Lori from Crain’s Cleveland, and Amie from MLB Fan Cave.

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