Friday, January 11, 2008

Buyer Beware: Jacobs Field to become "Progressive Field" (Or the end of the world as we know it?)

I feel like someone just bulldozed Aunt Ida's house. Or worse, that house from A Christmas Story. Or, even worse, the outdoor tiki patio at (insert naming rights of your favorite sports bar here).

Where does it end, people?

From the "We Knew It Was Coming But I Was A Lot Happier With My Head Buried In The Sand" Department: It was announced today that the Cleveland Indians have sold the naming rights of Jacobs Field (a.k.a. "The Jake") to the locally-based insurance company, Progressive, for around $3.6 million dollars.

Well, sure, that makes sense. Layoff hundreds of employees and plunk down millions of dollars on "naming rights" in "the poorest city in the nation." All that's missing now is an objective reporter screaming at the top of their lungs "Why aren't you people supporting the Indians? Why aren't you people selling out The Jake???" ...from The Plain Dealer Pavilion (Hint: See above-mentioned item about that "poorest city in the nation" thingy ...or, as painful as it may be, read your own newspaper once in a while).

It may be a sign of the times ...but these times make me sigh.

So this is how it goes down in Cleveland, huh? Some billionaire "philanthropist" living in his hollowed-out volcano/secret underground lair takes time out of his busy day on developing some "doomsday weather machine" (or something) to plaster the name of his mega-corporation all over THE JAKE for millions of dollars ...yet cannot afford to retain 300 of his own henchmen (and, um, henchwomen).

That's the major public relations blunder calling the kettle black! So with all due respect to the "Progressive" CEO, allow me to get my cyber-panties in a bunch ...because I have an axe to grind.

What's next? I sell out this tired little chunk of cyber-space to the highest bidder? (I wish!) Maybe next week you'll be reading the "How Ya Like Me Now Bitch!" blog ...presented by Topps trading cards. Sure, I could probably go off and sip Blue Moon Belgian Ale somewhere on some secluded tropical island ...but what would I tell my employees? WHAT WOULD I TELL MY EMPLOYEES!?!

Well, maybe we can "smooth things over" with some popular promotions like "Dollar Dog Night" down at (cough) ..."Progressive Field." But, to me, that's about as tasty as "E-Coli Dog Night" down at the Greyhound bus station, don't you think? (An 8-pack of Sugardale hot dogs retails around .99 cents at the local grocery store ...I'm not freaking Suze Orman here ...WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!!)

Now where is the excuse that the Indians cannot afford to sign our ace pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, to a long-term contract, huh? Lost in the current economic shuffle, most likely.

I suppose "Progressive Field" does have a nice ring to it ...even if it doesn't quite live up to it's mega-billing. I guess it beats A-B-C Check Cashing Coliseum. But, hey, I'll take my chances with "collision."

Greed is good ...but nutty nostalgia and hysterical hyperbole is a lot more fun! Because like a cranky, old newspaper columnist thrown back into the Lake Erie pea soup: It will always be "The Jake" to me!


At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Stadium Mustard Dawg said...

Hey, that's a great picture! What's the significance (I wonder) po' boy?
Funny insights too! But..all good things..must come to an end..huh?

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Chris McVetta said...


I went from sitting in an expensive company loge (one summer) to sitting directly behind home plate (for another) standing on the home run deck (just once) ...last summer.

I can afford the tickets (or know people to tag along with) ...but my point is that not everybody in Cleveland CAN ...or has the option of choosing between baseball tickets ...or paying their gas bill. No matter how "affordable."

Besides, I can sell burgers from my George Foreman grill out on on Ontario Street, if need be. And I choose to reinvest in MYSELF.

That picture is of the "Mad Scientist" who chased Bugs Bunny around his castle with an axe. But why split hares?

Hey, I threw out the first pitch at The Jake for a game and I toured the place in college when it was first being built (complete with my McFootprint in the wet cement somewhere out in the upper deck) ...along with a lot of other great memories.

So if EVERYONE ELSE can opine about better days in Cleveland ...why can't I? As always, time marches on...

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