Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Grady Sizemore Worth It?

The Indians have resigned Grady Sizemore to a one year contract worth $5 million with incentives up to $9 million.  Grady is a very popular player, but has been missing in action due to injuries for the better part of the last two seasons. 

The Tribe had an opportunity to allow Grady to walk and focus their attentions on other outfielders, including the very talented Michael Brantley.

Brantley had a mediocre year in 2011 on an offensively challenged team.  He batted .266 with 7 HRs and 46 RBI.  As a leadoff hitter, he had a fairly weak 63 runs scored with only 34 walks. 

 But, Grady’s production wasn’t much better.  While Brantley may improve with more experience, Grady will have to struggle to return to his production from his early years.

Is He Worth the Money?

The big question is whether the Tribe should have gone with Brantley in center and spent the big money on someone who can help them more.  There is the issue of Grady’s fan appeal.  Will he sell additional tickets?

Even if he does, it has to be a lot of tickets to justify the salary on that basis.  I am guessing because of all the discounts the Tribe throws around, but if the average ticket price is $25, it means Grady has to sell 200,000 tickets to justify that minimum salary.

Yes, I know a lot more goes into the calculation (TV, concessions, those Grady’s Ladies T-shirts) but it still means that Grady has to be either very productive, or very popular.

It might have been a lot smarter moneywise to go with Brantley. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Grading the 2011 Indians

The Tribe ended up with an 80-82 record in 2011, finishing in second place in the mostly woeful AL Central (although some solace can be gained by the Central winning Tigers booting the hated Yankees.) 

Still, it was year that exceeded expectations, if only because of the way the team performed early in the year.  If they had been lousy early and came on later (as was so common in the Eric Wedge years) there may be more hope for next year. 

It does seem like a good foundation is being built for the future. The pitching is young, but strong.  The mid-season call-ups of Chisenhall and Kipnis offers promise of a very good young infield for several years.

Overall, a definite B, despite the sub-.500 record.  The team provided some excitement for the few fans that attended, and hope for the future. 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Akron Aeros at Canal Park

I got a chance to attend the Akron Aeros game at Canal Park, against the Harrisburg Senators. A high scoring affair, that took a very long time to play on a warm and rainy night.

Canal Park is a nice little ballfield in Downtown Akron. It wasn't very crowded. No matter what the announced attendance, I figure there weren't more than 400 fans in the park, many of them from Tuslaw School.

Ticket prices at Canal Park are reasonable, $9 for a great seat, $8 for seniors. It's a single deck, and no seats are far from the field. It was two-fer Tuesday, where you get two seats for the price of one.

Concessions are pretty steep in price, not what the Major Leagues call for, or even what movie theaters charge. $2 for a small hot dog, $3.50 for a larger one. You can pay for more for a pizza dog, whatever that is. A nice selection of ballpark food.

Popcorn is $4, it takes good, but mine was the saltiest thing I have ever eaten in my life. Maybe that's intentional, to get you to buy the $6 beer or pop that ranges from $3 to $4.50.

It was a nice time. Minor league baseball lacks the star power, but it does put you close to the action at a reasonable price. It's dangerous work for the players, though. There were three batters hit by a pitch in the first inning. The umpire may have been considering warning the pitchers, but it appeared they were just wild.

Check it out, or other minor league ballparks near you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Information on Progressive Field

A couple of articles on how to get to Progressive Field and what to do when you get there.



Yes, they are bit older, since the titles references Jacobs Field, but it's still good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Hot Dogs at Progressive Field

A review of the hot dogs available at the Indians Ballpark

I attended my first Cleveland Indians game of the year on May 11, 2011. The Tribe went into the game on a 14 game home winning streak. That all ended this night, when the Indians got shellacked by Tampa Bay. David Price was outstanding, and there was little excitement until the home team scored 2 runs in the eighth.

It did give me the opportunity to sample the fine cuisine at the game. Most everything is the same as the prior year. The team has cut back on some of the food choices at the stands, and brought back the fan favorite (?) chicken waffle. Really, who eats a waffle with chicken in it? No one in Cleveland, for sure. I predict this is disappear again as fast as it did the first time. It's actually hard to find, at only one stand I could see, and barely noted on the sign.

As befitting a ball game, hot dogs are the most prominent feature, with several choices: The standard Sugardale dog, at $3.25. This are the franks that are a buck on Dollar Dog Night, I was told this is the most popular theme nights along with fireworks. Pretty small, they pretty much stretch to fill the bun, which appears to be smaller than past years.

Next up is the All-Beef Hot Dog. It does make you wonder what the lower priced option is made of, but better not to think about it. At $4.25, it's not a great value, but it is a major league baseball game and you can expect to pay up. There is a footlong hot dog, and one stand that has Kosher Dogs.

The new feature is the Slugger Dog (pictured). At $8.50, it is essentially a foot long All Beef version, with some extra toppings available. $8.50 for a hot dog? Is this New York City? Fortunately, no, it's Cleveland, and the Stadium Mustard is free.

After the indigestion subsides, I will definitely be back.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tribe vs. Tampa Bay

After a successful split of a six-game road trip, where the team could have won all the games they lost (or lost all the ones they won) the Tribe comes home to face Tampa Bay in a three game series.

Crowds are likely to be better, as the weather is looking good for the series.

I am planning to attend the Wednesday game. Should be fun.