Trust none of what you hear and less of what you see

I’ve got a note for you: The Saturday, Aug. 30, game against the Mariners will not be televised by FOX, as previously expected, and will instead be a WTAM and Indians Radio Network exclusive.

And now I’ve got a question for you: If I said, “Next Saturday’s game will not be on TV,” would you assume I meant Saturday, Aug. 23, or Saturday, Aug. 30?

It seems most people would assume the 30th, yet a small but vocal minority (that I am proud to be a member of) suggests the 23rd.

This is somewhat of a touchy subject with me. Today is Thursday. The next Saturday that will occur is Aug. 23. Shouldn’t that be considered “next Saturday”? Shouldn’t the 30th be considered “the Saturday after next”?

Thus far in life, I have only found one person who agrees with me on this subject. I’ll let you chew on it for awhile. And I’ll also let you digest today’s lineups in the finale of the battle to avoid the AL Central basement…

INDIANS (58-67): CF Grady Sizemore, RF Franklin Gutierrez, DH Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF Shin-Soo Choo, 1B Ryan Garko, C Kelly Shoppach, 3B Jamey Carroll, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. LHP Cliff Lee (17-2, 2.43).

ROYALS (55-71): 2B Mike Aviles, LF Esteban German, CF David DeJesus, DH Jose Guillen, 1B Billy Butler, 3B Alex Gordon, C John Buck, RF Mark Teahen, SS Tony Pena. RHP Zack Greinke (9-8, 3.92).


  • Your daily rehab watch goes as follows: Travis Hafner went 1-for-2 with a two-run double and two walks in his second start last night at Triple-A Buffalo. Josh Barfield was 1-for-3. Victor Martinez was off.
  • The Indians’ first four hits last night were all homers, as they scored seven times in eight innings on four home runs. According to Elias, the last time the Tribe’s first four hits were homers was on June 24, 1989, when all six of the Tribe’s hits in a win over the Rangers came on long balls. Joe Carter hit three, while Pete O’Brien, Andy Allanson and the immortal Cory Snyder each hit one.
  • Jensen Lewis’ four straight saves are, pathetically enough, an Indians team-high for the season. The previous high was Joe Borowski’s three straight from May 24 to June 6.
  • The Indians are batting .286 with 205 runs scored (5.7 runs per game) over their last 36 games. Their .859 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is the fifth-best in August.
  • Jhonny Peralta and Woodie Held are the only shortstops to have three, 20-homer seasons in their career with the club. Held did it in 1959, ’60 and ’61, while Peralta did it in 2005, ’07 and, after last night, ’08.
  • The last time the Indians swept the Royals in a three-game set in Cleveland was May of 2006.
  • Congrats go out to Jeff Sibel, of the Indians media relations department, and his wife, Tiffany, who became the proud parents of a baby boy last night. Thomas John (TJ) Sibel was born at 1:04 a.m. and weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce.  Welcome to the world, young Sibel.


UPDATE (1:24 p.m. ET): There is a bat in the hallway behind the press box right now. And no, not a baseball bat. A bat bat.

UPDATE No. 2 (1:47 p.m. ET): More on this “next” debate… Let’s agree, for the sake of discussion, that “next Saturday” is Aug. 30. Fine. My question to you, then, is, when did the 23rd cease to be next Saturday?

A few people I’ve posed this question to today have replied, “Sunday.” So, basically, this past Sunday, the 23rd went from being “next Saturday” to being “this Saturday.”

Using that same logic, though, if I said “next Wednesday,” would you assume I meant Sept. 3? My hunch is that you wouldn’t. You would be more likely to assume Aug. 27, no? If so, I think I just blew your mind.

UPDATE No. 3 (1:52 p.m. ET): As if on cue, my boss just sent out an e-mail that says the following, “Based on team schedules in the coming week…. I’ve decided to schedule a Central Division conference call for next Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.”

I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.

UPDATE No. 4 (2:04 p.m. ET): I’m going to give the last word to deputy managing editor Jim Banks, who offers this sane, rational opinion on the “next” debate.

“To explain ‘this vs. next’ I think you need to think of it, as I do, in blocks of weeks. So this Saturday is the Saturday in the week we’re in, while next Saturday is the Saturday in next week. You’d say this week, meaning this week, and next week, meaning next week, with no issue of clarity at all. The same applies to days of the week.”

I can live with that, I suppose.


Update: Is it actually The Count from Sesame Street, disguised as a bat, keeping pitch counts?

I can see where you’re coming from on the next/this Saturday thing.

Also, any news on former all-world catcher from the Univ. of Toledo, Mitch Maier? I heard three broken bones, but I pull for the Mid-American kids.

I think conventional semantic logic would lead one to assume the 30th if you said “next saturday’s game…” and assume the 23rd if you said “this saturday’s game…”. using ‘this’ leaves no room for confusion regarding the next upcoming occurrence, but there is no rule in English regarding the usage of ‘next’. Your safest bet is to include the date and don’t allow your readers to assume anything.

How about if we just call this Saturday, “The Saturday Before Next Saturday”

Or would that be Last Saturday?

Now I’m really confused.

Jim Banks is right.

I’m having the t-shirts made up right now.

I have a question. When is it okay to say “today” or “tomorrow”. What I mean is, I know a lot of people who, if it is after midnight, refer to something that will be happening later than calender day, as tomorrow, since a few hours of sleep are going to separate the night from the day, but I say today, since that technically is the same day. Is there an accepted rule on this?

I smell a “Life Manual” in the works.

I was originally going to offer the following explanation:

Most people interpret “next Saturday” to be the second future Saturday for pragmatic reasons: namely that if you meant this Saturday, you’d have said “this Saturday”. Since you didn’t, you probably didn’t mean that.

But then when you brought up the Wednesday thing, that doesn’t really fit, so I arrived at the same explanation as Mr. Banks — if there’s a weekend in between, it’s “next”.
Although, suppose it’s Friday morning and someone refers to “next Monday”. The Banks Hypothesis (as it shall henceforth be known) predicts that it would be interpreted to mean 3 days from now. I doubt that’s true for most people though. I’m guessing there’s an interaction between week structure and absolute number of intervening days such that the percentage of people who say one thing vs. the other would shift by varying either one. Someone clearly needs to set up an internet survey to resolve this important issue scientifically.

To really complicate things, I bet a person’s job has an ability to predict what they’ll say. People with traditional Monday to Friday jobs should be more affected by the week structure than, say, people who work in the baseball world, where weekends don’t mean days off.

Think of it this way:

“What are you doing Tuesday?”

“Having a Central Division conference call, obviously.”

“What are you doing NEXT Tuesday?”

“Gay rodeo.”

So if the game isn’t going to be on Fox, why don’t they just make it a 7pm game so we can actually watch it? These national blackout rules confuse me. Apparently it doesn’t apply to NESN or YES for Boston or NYY (from what I am told every game is aired on these stations even if the game is during the Fox game of the week — not that there are terribly many nationally televised games that don’t include these two teams). Is the radio exclusivity because of the Indians’ contract with WKYC for weekend day games?

AC, is it safe to assume the Indians will let V-Mart, Hafner and Josh hang around Buffalo on rehab until the rosters expand to avoid cutting anyone loose until after the season?

OK AC, I have an issue with your game summary for yesterday: “seven RBIs from their All-Star center fielder “.

The acronym RBI is Runs Batted In. The plural is already encompassed in the acronym. There is no need to call it RBIs.

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