Indianapolis needs some good news from their sports teams. Being hard core Steeler fans, we all know the story with the Colts this season. Peyton and the boys started 3-4. The sky was falling. Then they won nine games in a row, turned their season around and the beloved Colts were in the playoffs.
The Colts, NFL Network and most of ESPN seemed insulted that they had to travel to San Diego and play the 8-8 Chargers. Just because the Chargers had won their division. Yeh, just because. Then the unthinkable happened. Philip Rivers and the Bolts hung a loss on ’em. Since January 3, the city of Indianapolis has been waiting for spring. The mock draft boards are set and the fans are counting down to the announcement..”the Indianapolis Colts select….”
The Pacers, led by President Larry Bird’s acquistions, are a much improved club, but have endured a season in which losing streaks and poor defense are the only thing consistent. Big names have been dealt or told to ‘stay away.’ It appears that the Pacers are firmly entrenched in rebuild mode and will miss the NBA playoffs for the third consecutive year.
It is even trying times for former Colt WR Marvin Harrison who has joined the ranks of the unemployed in this country. For seven weeks he has tried to land a job in the NFL. Nobody seems interested, not even the other Manning, Eli’s NY Giants.
Here is hoping the Indians and the multitude of prospects playing this year in Indianapolis will bring some joy back to the city. One thing was certain, the Indians are making a guarantee for the third straight opener. No, it wasn’t a victory for the AAA Pirates affiliate, it was that the temperature would be 60 degrees. Pretty good idea. And if it’s not 60? Everyone in attendance at Victory Field will receive a ticket to another April game.
It has worked well for everyone involved in the promotion, now in its third year. The Indians have won the past two openers and the temperature has been below 60. I am pretty sure the over 12,000 fans at last years opener didn’t mind though, it was 59.
I have to believe the Pirates could use an idea like this. Oh by the way, the temperature the first year of the promotion was a balmy 34.
The roster is here for you. The names are familar to most of us. We will look closer as the season moves along.
A few that are abuzz lately… OF Andrew McCutchen was sent down to learn how to be a leadoff hitter. Nyjer Morgan is doing his best early to change that notion. Cutch does need to work on a few things, despite all the hype and questioning about his demotion. Look close at him, be truthful Pirates fans. The Pirates offense has given us some hope early in the season, let Cutch do his thing.
C Robinzon Diaz. This kid has been an absolute terror in spring ball for the Pirates and then when he was sent down, he continued to rake.
New manager Frank Kremblas is not a stranger in Indianapolis. He played for the Indians from 1993-96. Indianapolis will open the 2009 season with a nine-game homestand, their longest of the year.
The Tribe will battle the Mud Hens (April 9-12), Columbus Clippers (April 13-15) and Louisville Bats (April 16-17). And speaking of promotions, a fireworks spectacular will wrap up Opening Night this evening at Victory Field.
Bobby Fong might have said it best in a letter to the editor of Indy Star.
“While we’re relishing the past, our latest group of Indians will be generating new stories. I’ll be watching to see third baseman Neil Walker, outfielder Andrew McCutchen and first baseman Steve Pearce continue their climb to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where they’ll join recent Indians standouts Ryan Doumit, Ian Snell and Nate McLouth. I’m excited to see power pitcher Romulo Sanchez, as well as newly acquired power-hitting outfielder Garrett Jones, who will be part of what should be the most potent Indians lineup in 15 years.”
The sun will come up today Indianapolis. Although this year continues to be rough on you, I guarantee your Pacers won’t be in the playoffs.
The Colts will be a day closer to the draft.
And trust me on this, I have a feeling that tonight when you enter Victory Field, I am guessing the temperature will be 59 degrees again and you will all be winners.
Good Luck Indians.