The Tribe struggled their way through Game 1 in the Yankees series, and I've got to pull my thoughts together. It's time to go off the board:
- Fox Sports’ Dayn Perry examines what has gone wrong with the Tribe. Perry picked the Tigers to win the Central at the beginning of the season (which I see as unlikely with Maroth on the DL for an extended stint and Verlander certain to be shut down at some point to limit his innings). But his perspective is definitely worth a look.
- Here’s a nugget from Terry Pluto’s excellent new book, “Dealing”:
The Indians final offer to Jim Thome for 6 years at $62 million guaranteed money was dwarfed by the Phillies’ final offer of 6 years for $87 million. The word “guaranteed” is important because Thome COULD have earned $74 million over 6 years in the final Tribe offer, but only $62 million was guaranteed. The Tribe tried to get creative in some incentives to keep Thome in Cleveland. Here’s what was offered:
- A no-trade clause
- A luxury suite at every game for his family, friends, or anyone else
- A Jim Thome video from which he’d be paid the profits
- Two amateur baseball fields built each year in his name
- A section of Jacobs Field named the Jim Thome Home Run Porch; every time he hit a home run to that section, a donation to charity would be made in his name
- A statue of Thome outside Jacobs Field, like the one of Bob Feller
- A personal services contract worth $250,000 annually for 10 years after he retired
- A $500,000 bonus if he was voted to the Hall of Fame
- A street near Jacobs Field named after him
- So, there’s the question: What’s more important in life, the financial security of your family (and probably 4 generations from now), or the legacy that you leave? That extra $25 million would be awfully hard to leave on the table, but Pluto delves very deeply into why that was NOT the main reason that Thome didn’t re-sign with the Indians. It certainly didn’t hurt, but, Thome's decision went a lot further than dollars and cents.
- A trip to the Team Shop revealed that the merchandise is very Grady and Pronk heavy. And why wouldn’t it be? Along with C.C., those 2 are the only players who have consistently played will this year.
- While visiting a local Mr. Hero (who among us can avoid the siren song of the Romanburger from time to time), I noticed that their new spokesman is “Nicole”, who is the girl that walks around Jacobs Field interviewing people (Improved View of the Game, Guess the Attendance, etc.) during games.
The great thing is that they had a cardboard cutout of “Nicole” in the store (if you’re not familiar…she’s a twenty something blond girl that COULD weigh in at 100 lbs.) holding a Romanburger in one hand and a Philly Cheesesteak in the other. She’s not exactly how I picture the average Mr. Hero customer looking.
It also is a bit of a questionable career move for “Nicole” (who’s signature includes a heart to dot the “i”) at this stage of her life. Not exactly a step up from…anywhere, really.
Finally, as if this whole ad campaign isn’t laughable enough, the tagline is “Mr. Hero…You Just Gotta Follow Your Heart”. Have you seen a Romanburger lately? Follow your heart where…to the cardiologist?
- Don't believe it? Check out their website, just make sure your speakers are working.
- For real comedy, click on the “Meet Nicole” tab that details how she remembers her first Mr. Hero experience and asks, “Do you remember your first time?”
It’s a little too full of double entendres for me.
- How perfect is a baseball game for enjoying some adult beverages? Give me one in the 1st, the 4th, and the 7th and I’m content. Few sporting events have that same flow and tempo when it comes to doing some 12 oz. curls. Bob, the Beer Guy in Pronkville (nee the RF Mezzanine), tells me that he tries to time his appearances for those innings. If you’re ever in Pronkville, visit Bob for some frosty bevs and some intelligent Tribe talk.
I’m off to Milwaukee for the weekend to catch some Tribe games in Miller Park, where I’ll see what it’s like to be a road fan at a Brewer game. My experience as a Browns fan in Lambeau (in December 2004) couldn’t have been more fantastic.
I’ll try to check in from the road, if my father-in-law allows me off the golf course all weekend.