Last night, I had the great pleasure of going to Progressive Field for the first time this year.
I saw a great game from great seats ($17 for front-row bleacher seats, thank you StubHub) with great weather (despite an ominous forecast).
However, as I strolled to my seat, I began to notice that many parts of the stadium were not how I remembered them.
For those Tribe fans who have not yet made a pilgrimage to the Prog, here's a list of what to expect.
ERA calculator has been fixed
The small scoreboards mounted on the bottom of the upper-deck platform have been out of whack for years. These screens display the pitch count, radar gun's readings, and the pitcher's ERA.
In previous years, however, fans have noticed that the ERA displayed was inaccurate; while the number would change to reflect the innings the pitcher worked in the game, it would not update to include any earned runs he allowed.
In other words, if a pitcher had given up two runs in five innings already (3.60 ERA), then gave up three runs in four innings at the Prog, his real ERA would be 5.00, but the scoreboard would say it was 2.00.
That glitch has now been fixed.
Home Run Porch hot dog stand is gone
I don't like getting up from my seat to get food because it means missing part of the game. I also don't like getting my frankfurters from the traveling vendors, because they don't sell Kosher dogs (when a bad wiener will set you back four dollars, it's well worth an extra $2.50 to buy a good one).
Luckily, for the past several seasons, there has been a big concession stand near the left-field foul pole that can provide these Holy hot dogs. It's a short walk from the bleachers, and you can see the game the whole time.
The stand still stands, but unfortunately it now sells roast beef sandwiches instead of hot dogs (though to be fair, they did look pretty good).
Beer prices have risen, again
It's no secret that ballpark fare is expensive; the bottle of water I reluctantly purchased last night cost more than double the price of my average weekday lunch.
But I was shocked to learn that beer has now risen to $7.75 a cup.
I'm not old enough for the price hike to affect me, but I felt as though something was wrong with the universe when one of the unintentionally hilarious drunk guys behind me suggested to his buddies that they wouldn't be able to afford more than a couple more rounds.
Improved pre-game music
For the last couple years, Tribe fans have spent the time before the first pitch watching a montage of great plays set to a soundtrack of Fort Minor explaining all of the factors for people to "Remember the Name."
No longer must we listen to this mathematically challenged rapper count to 200 percent.
Instead, I was delighted to hear "Uprising" by Muse. Matthew Bellamy's voice sounds awesome echoing through a big stadium (though I suppose anyone who has heard H.A.A.R.P. already knew that).
The Indians won!
This was a shocker. I had gotten so accustomed to watching my beloved team lose, that I almost forgotten what it was like to watch them win.
Lou Marson started the game off by throwing out Juan Pierre at second. Luis Valbuena homered and Mitch Talbot threw a gem (I'll suspend my lecture about why striking out only two batters in nine innings makes this seem fluky).
Even Jhonny Peralta had a good game (relative to my expectations, at least), making quite a few solid plays from the hot corner.
I hope this part persists, because this was definitely a change for the better.
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