"I don't want a large Farva, I want a … liter of cola!"
After a decade of trial and error, the Rays have figured out that whole "contention" thing.
Their ballpark, on the other hand, remains a work in progress.
My newfound favorite feature of Tropicana Field is the press box pop machine. On Monday, a sign on the machine informed us that we are to drink the pop emanating from the device at our own risk. The disturbing sign did not provide further details, but suffice to say I stuck with water.
On Monday night, a new sign said the machine was now functioning properly but that Mountain Dew was unavailable (which, in my opinion, was a good thing).
On Tuesday afternoon, a sign told us the pop was running fine, but no ice was available.
And on Tuesday night, another new sign told us to be careful because many of the cups located next to the machine have been leaking lately.
I can hardly wait to see what today's sign entails. And here's hoping that whoever is responsible for making all these signs is getting paid overtime.
Here are this afternoon's lineups, with plenty of injury updates below...
INDIANS (49-63): CF Franklin Gutierrez, 3B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Shin-Soo Choo, DH Ryan Garko, 1B Andy Gonzalez, C Sal Fasano, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. LHP Jeremy Sowers (1-6, 5.82).
RAYS (67-45): 2B Akinori Iwamura, CF Ben Zobrist, 1B Carlos Pena, 3B Evan Longoria, C Dioner Navarro, SS Willy Aybar, DH Jason Bartlett, LF Eric Hinske, RF Gabe Gross. LHP Scott Kazmir (8-5, 2.89).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...
Victor Martinez, coming back from right elbow surgery, had a full work day this morning. He did baserunning drills, took batting practice from both sides of the plate and threw to the bases from behind the plate. But Vic is not yet ready to go out on a rehab assignment this weekend, as previously speculated. He's going to need a few of these work days before he's ready for that. Looking more like sometime next week.
Kelly Shoppach was on hand to watch Martinez's entire workout. Good teammate.
Josh Barfield, coming back from hand surgery, has also begun taking BP and should be ready to go out on rehab sooner than Martinez.
Travis Hafner (weak right shoulder) is taking swings off a tee in Cleveland and will have his next strength test Thursday. He'll also begin taking soft toss BP.
I found it interesting that Hafner took those swings off the tee this morning and Wedge was able to watch video of the session mere hours later here in St. Pete. The wonders of modern technology. I wonder if the video is on YouTube.
Wedge wanted to get Grady Sizemore, who is 2-for-17 on this road trip, two consecutive days off (with Thursday's off day). "He's had a lot to handle this year, mentally," Wedge said. "It's important to give him a mental break, as much as anything. But believe me, he doesn't want an off day."
Walking by Rafael Betancourt in the clubhouse this morning, he looked absolutely defeated.
Choo is in a 2-for-21 funk with 12 strikeouts in that span.