We'll sing the ol' alma mater and think of things that used to be
Of the 59 outs recorded in the Indians’ 3-2 loss to the White Sox last night, the biggest was turned in by right-handed reliever Adam Russell, who was brought in to strike out Franklin Gutierrez with two on and two out and the Indians up, 2-1, in the top of the 10th. As you know the Sox rallied to win it in the bottom of the inning, so Russell’s ability to get the Sox out of that jam loomed large.
Far be it from me to rub a loss into the faces of my loyal reading public (you’ve both been very kind to me), but I was pretty pleased to see Russell come through there. I could never root against a fellow Ohio University Bobcat. After all, only 19 of us Court Street alums have played in the big leagues over the years. Come to think of it, there might be a correlation between Court Street’s 20-some bars and its inhabitants’ general inability to advance in professional athletics.
Russell’s coach at OU was the immortal Joe Carbone. This guy is the Yogi Berra of the Mid-American Conference. I remember standing with Carbone in the press box at Bob Wren Stadium one day in, I believe, 2001. The baseball game was in a long rain delay, but, looking out the back window, we could see a women’s lacrosse game taking place. “Coach,” I said, “why are they playing and you guys aren’t?” His terse reply: “They’re tougher than us.”
There have been plenty such Carbonisms over the years. He was once disappointed with his club making excuses for itself. “You guys have got more excuses than a Christmas tree!” he told them. Still not sure what that means.
Carbone was also once disappointed to see his players incorrectly laying out the tarp on the field. All the guys were grouped to one side. “What are you guys doing?” he said. “We can’t have half the guys on half the tarp.” In reality, of course, this would be an ideal arrangement.
Anyway, here’s to Joe Carbone, here’s to Adam Russell, and here’s to the drunks on Court Street. Wish I could be with you. Instead, I’ll be here taking in the grand finale of this “nail in the coffin” Chicago series. Here are tonight’s lineups…
INDIANS (37-47): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Casey Blake, DH David Dellucci, 1B Ryan Garko, C Kelly Shoppach. LHP C.C. Sabathia (6-8, 3.78).
WHITE SOX (48-35): SS Orlando Cabrera, C A.J. Pierzynski, LF Carlos Quentin, RF Jermaine Dye, DH Jim Thome, 3B Pablo Ozuna, 1B Nick Swisher, 2B Alexei Ramirez, CF Brian Anderson. RHP Jose Contreras (7-6, 3.99).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Double-A Akron had four players named to the Southern Division team for the Eastern League All-Star Game — RHPs J.D. Martin (7-3, 3.26 ERA in 21 games) and Randy Newsom (5-0, 1.75 and 24 saves in 36 games), 3B Wes Hodges (.307, 15 doubles, nine homers), and SS Josh Rodriguez (.269, 13 doubles, five triples, four homers, 37 RBIs).
- But Newsom is on to greener pastures. He was called up to Triple-A Buffalo today. It’s a well-deserved promotion. His 24 saves were tops in the Eastern League. You might remember Newsom was the player to be named in the Coco Crisp trade. He’s also the guy trying to start a company that allows you to buy stock in Minor League players.
- Buffalo LHP Dave Huff allowed just two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in six innings last night in a no-decision at Scranton. Between Akron and Buffalo this year, Huff is 7-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 16 starts.
- Grady Sizemore has grounded into a double play once every 107.3 at-bats, while Casey Blake has GIDP once every 88.3 at-bats. They rank fifth and eighth, respectively, in the AL in terms of players toughest to double-up.
- On the flip side, Jhonny Peralta ranks third in the AL with 13 GIDPs.
- The Indians have dropped 13 games in the standings since May 16.
- Be sure to check out the latest edition of Game Face Magazine online, which went live today.
Barring major breaking news (and these days, that could drop at any moment), the blog will be shut down over the next few days. Here’s hoping everybody has a fine Fourth of July and we all return to CastroTurf with our fingers intact.