Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cleveland Indians

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I remember when they built the Jake (I know, it’s Progressive field now. But that woman that does their commercials annoys me. Plus, you still call it the Jake too), it was the toast of the town. One of the first is what would be a rapid succession of teams building downtown, retro or quasi-retro, baseball-only ballparks. What strikes me the most is the design and color. The Jake was my 18th ballpark on my journey, and after seeing countless red brick affairs the two-toned light brown and tan Jake was refreshing. Toss in the towering light banks and white steel supports and it somehow reminded me of old Yankee Stadium. I give the ballpark credit for being a baseball venue and not trying to morph into an “all things to all people” venue like so many really new parks have done. Playgrounds are for kids. Ballparks are for baseball. And once again I was able to get my canine fix during the “Puppy Palooza.” During the late innings I think the tribe had a German Shepard warming up in the bullpen. They could have used him. Final: 9-2 Angels.

Speaking of old time Yankee baseball, if hot dog condiments were ballplayers then Bertman’s Ballpark Mustard would be Babe Ruth. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council conducted a condiment bracket contest in conjunction with the college basketball March Madness this year pitting dry condiments division against the wet condiments division. Who came out on top as the number one hot dog topping? Mustard of course. And nothing screams Cleveland or Indians baseball like Bertman’s Ballpark Mustard. If you don’t go to the Jake for the game, go for the Bertman’s.

Taste-I wasn’t digging the Sugardale frank. It lacked taste. The Bertman’s saved it.
Toppings-Normally I would give the Indians a 3 here. Sparse selection other than pump sauces. But again the Bertman’s saved the dog. Traditionally, some Berman’s and relish is all you need.
Price-for $3 I didn’t feel so bad about the taste. Nice MLB price.
Portability-the foil sleeve gets it done.
It Factor-not a lot in the way of hot dogs. There is a nice selection of brats.

Location-downtown, where it belongs.
Access-all modes of transportation are available to get to the Jake. And scoring free parking after 6pm is not that difficult.
GA Ticket Price-$14 is not bad for a bleacher seat, not great, but not bad.
Cleanliness-the team does a good job of keeping the stadium clean.
Fans-a small crowd. The tribe needs more tribe. I would have given the fans a 4 but some doofuses behind me were smoking in the bleachers. Big time party foul costs a point.
Ambiance-I was tempted to rate the Jake lower but after walking around I really got a good baseball vibe. Especially in the absence of distractions like playgrounds, casinos, etc.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price4
It Factor3Fans3
I was huge fan of the Drew Carey show and I loved the “Major League” movies (ok, not the third one...what the hell was that?) so a trip to Cleveland was a bit of a pop culture collision for me. I regret I didn’t have time to check out the city more. But I did get to see the tribe in the Jake, and down a dog doused in Bertman’s….and isn’t that what Cleveland is all about?

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