Sunday, September 8, 2013

Joey's World Tour: Cleveland Rocked

Hi, everyone!  This is your fav'rit world-traveling Studious Metsimus baseball correspondent, Joey Beartran.  While you were waiting for the football season to start, I was visiting Cleveland, Ohio.  I saw the Mets play the Indians, visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and sampled some of Ohio's finest cuisine.

Although my camera crew and I were only in Cleveland for 24 hours, we had a great time in the city by Lake Erie.  The only "Erie" thing about the trip was how Scott Kazmir completely manhandled the Mets' lineup.  Where had THAT been all year?

Anyway, I should stop with my endless chatter and just show you some pictures of our trip.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed bossing my cameraman around.

The day couldn't have been more beautiful for baseball.  The temperature was in the low-to-mid '70s with a light breeze coming off the lake.  Current Mets top prospect Zack Wheeler faced former Mets top prospect Scott Kazmir at Progressive Field.  It was the first time Kazmir faced the Mets since he was traded for Victor Zambrano in 2004.  And although he claimed he had nothing against his old team, he sure didn't pitch like it was any other game.

Kazmir pitched six innings, allowing no runs and striking out a dozen Mets without walking any of them.  It was the first time Kazmir had as many as 12 strikeouts in a game since August 25, 2007, when Kazmir had a 13-K, no-walk performance against the Oakland A's.

Wheeler, on the other hand, did not pitch well.  He allowed five hits and walked five batters in just five innings.  Perhaps it was Daisuke Matsuzaka sitting in the corner that spooked Wheeler into pitching the way he did.

Photo by Ed Leyro/Studious Metsimus

Although the game stayed close throughout, a late grand slam by the always annoying Nick Swisher turned the game into a blowout, causing my sister (Iggy Beartran) and I to drown our sorrows in hot dogs.

But what hot dogs they were!  We had our choice of $1 hot dogs (limit six per customer - six wouldn't have been enough to satisfy us after Swisher styled his way around the bases) or hot dogs with a choice of unique toppings, courtesy of the Food Network.  Since we're foodies ourselves, you can imagine which wiener was the winner for us.

Bacon, baked beans and bears.  Beautiful.

Our thick and juicy hot dog was loaded with baked beans and huge pieces of bacon.  The frankfurter also came with a large side of kettle chips.  It was quite delicious!

The Mets lost the game, 8-1, but at least we got to enjoy a gastronomical extravaganza.  We also got to see Heritage Park, which is located behind the center field area.  In the park are plaques devoted to Indians' Hall of Famers and the 100 greatest players in franchise history.  Those players included Bob Feller, Satchel Paige, Larry Doby, Gaylord Perry and some guy who played for the Mets.  You might remember him.

The only good thing about Carlos Baerga is that his failure allowed the Mets to trade for Robin Ventura, which in turn moved Edgardo Alfonzo from the hot corner to second base, where he became the greatest second baseman in franchise history.

Before I move on to the non-baseball portion of our trip, let me share some more pictures from Progressive Field, featuring several of my Studious Metsimus colleagues.

Besides the trip to Progressive Field, we also made two other stops in Cleveland.  One is quite popular with tourists (like David Wright) while the other is liked by only a very specific group of people (like Daisuke Matsuzaka).

First stop: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Any lover of music, not just rock music, would enjoy this museum.  It's located on the lakefront and has seven floors.  The top two and a half floors were devoted to the Rolling Stones, who were the featured artists in a special exhibit.  Other exhibits detailed the origins of rock n' roll, hip hop as a form of rock, as well as sections devoted to the Beatles, punk rock and heavy metal, and one floor dedicated to the Hall of Fame inductees.

Although flash photography wasn't allowed in a number of exhibits, my cameraman was able to snap off a few shots, which I am happy to share with you here.

Just before heading back to the airport, we made another pit stop.  My Studious Metsimus colleagues have always been big fans of the film "A Christmas Story".  Although the film was set in Indiana, the house was actually in Cleveland.  That house has been preserved and has its own museum and gift shop.

Unfortunately, we arrived too late to go on an official tour of the house.  (We stopped at Cracker Barrel before going to the house - I like to take my time when I have my good ol' fashioned country breakfast.  Sorry about that.)  However, we did take plenty of photos of the house and visited its gift shop.  Here is the photographic evidence of our side trip.

So that does it for our tour of Cleveland.  To recap, Cleveland rocked.  It rocked at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It rocked with its Christmas Story house.  And it rocked with its delicious food.

Unfortunately, Cleveland also rocked in a different way, as Cleveland rocked the Mets in the game we attended.

In the past, we've attended games and gone on ballpark tours in Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago and various cities all along the Eastern seaboard.  Now we can add Cleveland to our list.  It's just another stop on our never-ending world tour.  Where will we end up next?  I have no clue, but I do know that when we get there, you'll be able to read all about it right here on Studious Metsimus.

For more of Joey's World Tour, please click on the links below, where you will be entertained by Joey's wit, photos and love of ballpark cuisine:

World Tour Stop #1: Baltimore
World Tour Stop #2: Washington, DC
World Tour Stop #3: Pittsburgh
World Tour Stop #4: Texas
World Tour Stop #5: Los Angeles
World Tour Stop #6: San Diego
World Tour Stop #7: Toronto
World Tour Stop #8: Chicago
World Tour Stop #9: Milwaukee
World Tour Stop #10: Seattle

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