Friday, July 2

FCF, hanging out in Mom's Basement

Yeah, we're kind of a big deal.

FCF'ers John and Andy made a trip to Progressive Field on Wednesday to watch the Wahoos go for their 4th consecutive win, and this time, admission was on the Tribe, thanks to the Tribe Social Deck.

If you've not heard of it, TSD is a 10-seat area located just to the center field side of the Home Run Porch that the Indians built specially for users of social media. It comes complete with a TV and wi-fi access. Once I heard about it, I thought, hey, we use social media, and there's no apparent requirement that anyone actually reads it! Bloggers have taken to jokingly calling it "Mom's Basement," playing on the stereotype that bloggers and Twitter users are socially inept losers typing away from the confines of their parents' houses.

Anyway, I put in an application and the Indians hooked JHH and I up with tickets to see the Indians take on the Toronto Blue Jays. It's semi-difficult to find the TSD page on I joked with the Indians staffer that it functioned as a bit of a screen; if you can't find the page, you're probably not computer-savvy enough to qualify anyway. I like to think my application was fairly strong; even though I complained about how my Facebook URL doesn't fit under their 140-character guideline, my answers for "why should you attend a game in the TSD" (So I can tell people about Rusty Branyan's OPS+) and "what is your favorite Cleveland Indians memory" (The Impossible Return) were solid. Plus we have a functioning blog and Twitter account with consistently-updated content. Under interests, I checked "Day Games," "Night Games," "Weekday Games," and "Weekend Games." I wanted to remove any doubt as to whether I liked baseball.

All 10 seats were taken, comprising 11 people. Our crew was as follows:

- Our excellent host Rob (@tribetalk), who was kind enough not to count down the minutes until he got to go do other things.

- Mark and Mariella Szczepanik (@szczepanik), along with their two-month old baby girl Rose who was attending her first Indians game resplendent in pink Tribe gear. Mark was the only person in attendance whose t-shirt displayed his Twitter handle.

- Jacob (@UDjrosen) and Adam (@osuadamr) Rosen. Jacob is the Media Director for the Akron Aeros. He was the only TSD'er to keep score, doing so in a book titled "Jacob." He may or may not have been recruiting Candidates for the island. The Rosens informed me that my preference for Canal Park over Huntington Field is a minority position. I also provided a fun awkward moment when I mixed up their blog ("Waiting for Next Year") with "Wait Till Next Year (Again)." Easy enough mistake to make, no?

- Tim (@RowingInCLE and @ItsThePlumber) from the Western Reserve Rowing Association. I will let you know as soon as I figure out who he looks like. I know it's someone.

- Michele (@MicheleSteele), who has a rather informative Twitter feed but whom I didn't meet during her brief stay. I wonder if maybe the collective dorkiness got to her.

- Doug (@negativequity) and Matt, a couple of enthusiastic Ohio City locals.

And, of course, the stars of the show:

We had a hell of a time at the game - solid pre-game work at my place (where we discovered that Jim Thome's recent triple was his first three-bagger since '04) and Local Heroes (where they sadly no longer serve giant PBR cans). Entrance was a bit tricky because Gate B (the media gate) is almost unnoticeably small. I think the Will Call guy was asleep when we rolled up. I'm a bit disappointed that they didn't open Gate B specially for us and that we had to walk in Gate A like commoners, but hey, free tickets.

The TSD area was cool - real nice seats just above the wall in left, plus close proximity to both the men's room and the Leinenkugel stand. There was considerable roaming room, which I enjoyed. The TV was like seven seconds behind the live action, which was disconcerting at first, but upon further reflection was awesome because any question you had about live action was always replayed for you on-screen. Very handy. It also had wi-fi access, which was awesome for the computer I didn't bring. We had a little techno-envy, I think, being the only crew there without a smart phone. Oh well, at least my phone has a QWERTY, if not a functioning outer display.

The Tribe gave us this giant information sheet with all sorts of facts and figures. They know us so well. Jacob pointed out the awesome stat that Travis Hafner has a 29-game errorless streak (dating back to 8/30.../03) and also corrected the number of scoreless innings thrown by an Aeros player (21.1 rather than 20, validated later on the TV). Jacob knew his stuff. He also knew Calvin Funkhouser, high school classmate of JHH and I and also an Aeros staffer.

You can read a game recap anywhere, and if you're reading this you probably already know that the Wahoos did indeed collect their 4th straight victory by a margin of 3-1, thanks to home runs by Choo and LaPorta, another RBI hit for Santana, and an excellent start from Aaron Laffey. I binge-twittered during the game if you're interested in that perspective. I also made about 5 jokes per minute - it was a high JPM even for me. What can I say, I was on a roll.

Overall, I think our trip was a great success. I had a terrific time, met lots of friendly, knowledgeable Indians fans, and got to see the Indians win a ballgame...for free. Thanks to Mark, Mariella, Rose, Jacob, Adam, Matt, Doug, Tim, Michele, and of course Rob for making the Tribe Social Deck a fun outing.

It's just too bad that only the FCF'ers got to see the Indians record the all-important 27th out. Maybe I wasn't as funny as I thought. Look at how lonely JHH looks by himself. "Why don't I stretch out? I've been kicked out of better Social Decks than this!"


Mark said...

Nice meeting you guys as well. The wife is Mariella.

Jade Graham said...

To get to the turnstiles go through The Brian Clough Stand car park via Scarrington Road off Lady Bay Bridge. forest city