May 2008

Rain, I don't mind; Shine, the weather's fine (but not really)

We won’t be starting on time tonight. That much I can assure you. They still hope to get the game in, though.

It rained all day here, forcing indoor BP, but it cleared up around 4 p.m. But now more thunderstorms are rolling in from the Toledo area. Assuming they don’t get held up on the turnpike, they’ll be here relatively shortly. I’ll post more when I know it.

In the meantime….


  1. Asdrubal
  2. Judicial system (I stole this from Dana Carvey… always cite your sources, kids)
  3. Mitsubishi
  4. Worcestershire sauce
  5. Joe Jurevicius
  6. The Indians should sign Barry Bonds.

(If you have others, feel free to pass them along)

If tonight’s game does indeed occur, these are your lineups…

INDIANS (14-15): CF Grady Sizemore, RF Franklin Gutierrez, LF David Dellucci, C Victor Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 1B Ryan Garko, 3B Casey Blake, 2B (say it with me) Asdrubal Cabrera. C.C. and his ever-shrinking 7.88 ERA on the mound.

ROYALS (12-16): CF David DeJesus, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, 3B Alex Gordon, LF Jose Guillen, 1B Billy Butler, RF Mark Teahen, DH Miguel Olivo, C John Buck, SS Tony Pena. RHP Luke Hochevar makes his fourth career start.


  • On Thursday night, Wedge brought out Rafael Perez to face Ichiro Suzuki in the eighth inning. Willie Bloomquist was caught stealing to end the inning. When Suzuki led off the ninth, Wedge went with closer Rafael Betancourt, rather than sticking with the lefty Perez. Why? “It's always a lot easier for a guy to come in and get a save when they start their own inning," Wedge said.
  • Here's a nice change of pace. Mike Aubrey is replacing a player on the DL, rather than going on the DL. Aubrey, the Tribe's first overall pick in 2003, has been promoted to Triple-A Buffalo for the first time. He'll be filling in for last year's Eastern League MVP, Jordan Brown, who went on the DL with tendinitis in his knee. Wedge said Brown's injury is not serious.
  • Travis Hafner has two multi-hit games since April 14.
  • I just saw tomorrow night's giveaway item, the "CyCy" Sabathia bobblehead doll. It doesn't resemble a guy who weighs 290 pounds.
  • Wedge words of wisdom: "I don't know who said, 'Practice makes perfect.' If you're practicing the wrong way, you're getting worse."

All right, I'll be riding the pine the remainder of this weekend, so the blog will be on a two-day hiatus. Over on the site, you'll be placed in the capable hands of David "Young Zeus" Briggs, who not only is the tallest sportswriter in the business but who also was the associate reporter in Cleveland last season. Enjoy.


"Look to the cookie, Elaine, look to the cookie"

Baseball games are long, and the press dining room at Progressive Field always has dessert sitting out. I’ll save you the hassle of computing these two seemingly unrelated items by providing this simple formula: Time to kill + free dessert = chubby sportswriters.

We sportswriters, even the non-chubby ones, know our dessert. I’ve made a strong effort to limit myself to one dessert per home series, but it doesn’t always work that way. I’m a sucker for Peanut Butter (and I know it’s not AP style to capitalize Peanut Butter, but it is AC style, so you’ll have to bear with me… and yes I really did just write AC style… please strike that from the record).

During this homestand, media relations guru Bart Swain and I have taken on a particular affinity for Fast Break candy bars. Have you seen these things? They contain chocolate, PB and… nougat, I think. Not that I know what nougat really is, but it’s good. Bart is giving these things the vitamin treatment.

Your choice in dessert says a lot about you as a person. I’m a fan of ice cream people. They are down to earth. But I don’t mind a little creativity. One writer in here said he likes to take a jelly doughnut, remove the jelly, stick a Peanut Butter cup inside and warm the doughnut up. Now, removing the jelly from a jelly doughnut seems difficult. Placing the PB cup inside seems downright impossible. As Swain said, “That’s like giving birth backwards.” Anyway, give it a shot, and let me know how it goes for you.

Speaking of creativity, Wedge got a little creative with tonight’s lineup. For starters, Travis Hafner is moved down to the No. 6 spot, just a couple days after Wedge said he wasn’t even considering such a thing (things change in a hurry in this game). Wedge said Hafner’s problems at the plate are the Indians’ chief offensive concern, and he doesn’t see the point in having Pronk bat third while he’s still getting himself straightened out.

Here’s how the lineups look this beautiful May evening…

INDIANS: CF Grady Sizemore, 3B Casey Blake, LF David Dellucci, C Victor Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, DH Hafner, 1B Ryan Garko, RF Franklin Gutierrez, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. Paul Byrd on the mound.

MARINERS: CF Ichiro Suzuki, 2B Jose Lopez, LF Raul Ibanez, 3B Adrian Beltre, DH Jose Vidro, 1B Richie Sexson, C Jeff Clement, RF Wladimir Balentien, SS Yuniesky Betancourt. RHP Miguel Batista pitching.


  • Martinez is now leading the AL in batting average with a .366 mark.
  • A pretty incredible stat on Cliff Lee… According to Elias, his .163 on-base percentage allowed is the lowest by a pitcher over his first five starts of a season in … 99 years. You remember Frank Smith, right? He pitched for the 1909 Chicago White Sox and had a .159 OBP after five games. But I’m not telling you anything you didn’t know.
  • SportsTime Ohio will debut a new show Tuesday at 6 p.m. “Indians Minor League Magazine” will take a look at the farm system, highlighting prospects and staff. It will be hosted by Al Pawlowski and the immortal Mark Schwab.