Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Monday, April 11, 2011

A crash course on your first place Tribe

Shhhhh. The first rule of the Indians’ fast start is you don’t talk about the Indians’ fast start. The second rule of the Indians’ fast start is you don’t talk about the Indians’ fast start.

Sure you can head down to the basement and dig out the old Tribe gear you packed away around Halloween back in 2007. Now I’m sure you packed on a few pounds but that’s all right. The player whose jersey you owned is probably long gone.

Your cap should still fit although the Indians have already gotten rid of the script I. But the good news is the C cap you had from back in the day is back in style.

Dig out your glove and head outside for a game of catch. Of course tonight and tomorrow’s games won’t be on until after your bed time while the Indians are on the West Coast but it will be good to get some exercise.

Don’t talk about contention let alone mention the “P” word. Instead put in your VHS copy of Major League and remember when this town got to pretend to be a baseball town.

Want to look like a tried and true Indians fan and not someone ready to jump on the bandwagon just because the Indians are in sole possession of first place? Here are some handy facts to share around the water cooler to those causal Indians fans that populate your office space.

No, Hammerin’ Jack Hannahan is not a former zoo keeper, but he is in fact from the state of Minnesota where he played for the Golden Gophers. He went to the same high school as Joe Mauer, who you may know from those MLB: The Show commercials. He spent the last season in the minors playing for Tacoma and Pawtucket. But this year has obviously ingested the spirit of Buddy Bell.

Vinnie Pestano is not that catcher we used to have with the cool Fu Manchu mustache. In fact, he was actually a relief pitcher who was on the team briefly last season and picked up a save in September against the Royals.

Travis Buck won a gold medal at the Olympics and was at one time considered the top prospect in the Oakland organization. No it is not true that he was once shot by Barbara Hershey, but yes he does make his own bats.

No, Shin-Soo Choo is not a free agent after this season or the next. He is not scheduled to be traded to the Dodgers until July 30, 2013. So feel free to take your kid to the May 21 game against the Reds when the team is giving away his jersey. Your son will grow out of it by then.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Orlando Cabrera are not in fact related. But yes, Rafael and Chris Perez are twins.

Yes, the Indians got Carlos Santana in a trade for Casey Blake. No, he actually is really good. He even wears the same number that Victor Martinez had, so a quick trip to fabric store and you’ve got a jersey you can actually wear in public.

Sure the Indians were fortunate to play Boston which is stumbling around with expectations and Seattle which is dutifully fulfilling expectations. And yes the Indians missed the Mariners best two starters but this team so much more talented than the team that had Jake Taylor, Ricky Vaughn, Roger Dorn, Pedro Cerrano and Eddie Harris.

That team started the year in front of empty crowds and we love them to this day. This real team is young, they play the right way and should be a blast to watch grow up — regardless of what happens the next few months.

So embrace the moment and wander on down the corner of Carnegie and Ninth on Friday when the team comes back home to play the Orioles. Heck there will even be fireworks.

Unless its cold. If it’s cold, stay home. Because frankly the only people that will tell you have to buy a ticket for a cold weather game in Cleveland are media guys who never have to pay for ticket and sit in a heated press box. So if it’s cold watch the game on TV. The team will still be there in May.

Go Tribe.