The DEFEND Cleveland Show

August 26th, 2011 DC Show Report

If you haven’t caught on yet, I’m not a big preseason football guy. I love the NFL and enjoy its season more than any other sport’s regular season (due to its brevity and once a week nature mostly), I just can’t get real excited about practicing for it. I mean I watch D-league games of the NBA and minor league games in baseball and I don’t get too excited about them either, and at least on some level those games count for something. Preseason football though, which is not that much different than those other two considering the majority of play is that of non-starters and fringe talent, really only counts as 2 more games you have to pay full price for if you’re a season ticket holder.

It’s practice, I’ll temper my enthusiasm, thank you.

With this in mind, last night I ventured out to a pizza place in the outer rim. Admittedly, it’s a franchise spot which I’m also not typically too fond of (like the outer rim in general), but they have good pies and a small list of surprisingly really good beers on draft, so going was considered a treat of sorts. Only problem was that they have but one television and it’s not behind the bar. Again though, I didn’t care last night. Preseason. Like I said, I came out more for the pizza and the beer, the Browns were certainly a very real consideration, but the thought was secondary. Besides, I was recording it so I could dissect all I needed from it for you on Monday. Which I’ll do.

Obviously I’m telling you all of this for a reason beyond my dislike of watching football practice, and before you go into arrest over notion of this, know that the first thing I asked regardless, was that the game be turned on. No problem, this was happily obliged. I then ordered a pie then a wonderful, and wonderfully strong, IPA.

Pizza arrives and kickoff is but moments away.

I’m rather happy.

Then, inexplicably, the manager in the standard light blue collar shirt and khakis (the official uniform for all franchise or corporate retail management gigs), flipped the channel over to the Detroit Lions game.

What?!

Yes.

And of course that’s exactly what I said.

His answer somewhat taken back by my urgent reply to his obvious moment of insanity was, “er, uh, someone asked the Detroit game be turned on.”

Over a Browns game? I didn’t offer much more than this as disbelief truly had me dumbfounded.

“Um, I’m just checking to see if there’s other games on…”, which he did flipping to ESPN but then before my protest was allowed to manifest further into a full “are you out of your f’n mind?!”, he flipped right back and scampered off in the back somewhere out of sight.

At that point I noticed his staff all awkwardly quiet, and not in the way that made it seem like I had been in the wrong, but more in the way that they’ve seen too many similar instances of stupidity from this guy. Still confused about what had just occurred though, I looked over to the bartender who had originally turned they game on for me, who had also been quite nice all leading up to this most un-Cleveland of moments, and with the somewhat shell-shocked and silent crew behind her she leaned in with a nod to how stupid all of that had just been and said, “he’s from Detroit.”

Long time listeners and followers of The Defend Cleveland Show are very well aware of my rants and rallies against the outer rim as uncivilized, as dangerous, and mostly, as flat out frightening. Do you get why?

I actually left without further incident at halftime, and honestly, I left a little worried for that Detroit transplant manager’s future existence here. I’m a mostly calm, rational and peaceful man who just likes to yell about injustices while on air. If I would have been more the norm of a Cleveland Browns fan in that situation, even for scrimmage game, I’m pretty sure that guy would have been killed, or at least severely maimed.

That said, I won’t be going back there when it it starts to matter, and I like that story of outer rim struggle better than the one that took place in Philadelphia last night that saw the Browns fall to the Eagles. But, more on that Monday.

On to baseball notes. Of course by now you know that Thome is back and at the age of 40 will dress and DH for your Indians. All that had happened and was said about his departure on the way back of 9 years ago seems to be forgotten/forgiven with most fans. Those of you who still aren’t on board with the “Thomenater” being back, I’m sure as soon as he belts one into Pronkville you’ll have no problem rooting for the guy again.

For those of you still fuzzy on what he brings to a team in dire need of a DH with Hafner likely out for the year: if you take the entire active roster of the Tribe today (which excludes Hafner and Sizemore on the DL), their entire combined career total is only that of 255 home runs (thanks to Dennis Manoloff from the PD for leaning over to give me that stat just now). Thome has 601. He also has 334 of those as an Indian which leads the franchise, all time. And before you say the obvious that he’s 40 and he’s only batting .243 this year with but 12 of those round trip tickets, know that he played hurt through most the first part of the season (adding to the Twins woes that has them as the only team with more players being listed on the DL other than the Indians) Since the All Star break however, he’s hit .263 with 6 HRs and 21 RBI. May not sound like much but compare those numbers to the Tribe’s current roster since the break, and only Cabrera has driven in more runs (23), no one has more HRs (both Cabrera and Santana also have 6, Hafner only had 3), and no one has a better batting average.

Fact, Thome is an immediate improvement for this team, and a much needed one.

His return home should be seen as that first and foremost. Then, he should be celebrated simply for who he is, a player who has already given so much for a team an organization and one who’s been given a chance to add to his legacy and hopefully help a young team fight back into contention, and into the postseason.

Go Cleveland.

 

-Mike James

Short URL: http://www.defendclevelandshow.com/?p=456

Posted by on Aug 26 2011. Filed under Show Reports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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