We tore it apart and put it together again
Kauffman Stadium is tore up from the floor up, as the kids say.
As part of the ballpark’s ongoing renovation project, the capacity has shrunk from about 39,000 to 27,000. Seats have been ripped out to accomodate the expansion of the concourse. And let’s face it, the Royals didn’t need those seats, anyway.
The project has been kicked into a new gear so that the renovations will be 90-95 percent complete in time for Opening Day 2009, when the rejuvenated Royals make their push to get out of the AL Central basement. Again.
At present, this looks more like the setting for an episode of Bob the Builder than a ballgame. But it will all be worth it in the end.
Here are tonight’s lineups…
INDIANS (67-71): CF Grady Sizemore, 3B Jamey Carroll, DH David Dellucci, SS Jhonny Peralta, C Victor Martinez, LF Shin-Soo Choo, 1B Ryan Garko, RF Franklin Gutierrez, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera. RHP Anthony Reyes (2-1, 2.01).
ROYALS (60-79): CF David DeJesus, SS Mike Aviles, RF Jose Guillen, DH Billy Butler, 3B Mark Teahen, C Miguel Olivo, LF Ross Gload, 2B Alberto Callaspo, 1B Kila Ka’aihue.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- The Indians have won nine straight road games. It’s their longest road winning streak since winning nine straight July 7-Aug. 23, 2005.
- Tribe batters have been hit by a pitch 91 times this year, which blows away the club record of 80 set last season. The Indians lead the Majors (the Yankees are second with 69) and are just one shy of equaling the AL mark of 92, set by the Blue Jays in 1996. The Major League record is 100, set by Houston in 1997.
- Shin-Soo Choo has reached base safely in 24 straight games since Aug. 5. He has an RBI in eight of his last 10 games (11 RBIs total).
- Reyes’ 2.01 ERA in August was the third-best among AL pitchers with at least 30 innings of work. He only trailed Francisco Liriano (1.23) and Cliff Lee (1.86).
- As mentioned below, Travis Hafner is rehabbing at Double-A Akron tonight. The Aeros’ best-of-five series with Bowie is knotted up at one game apiece. Game 3 is at 7:05 p.m. ET tonight (though rain is in the forecast), and Game 4 is at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
- Triple-A manager Torey Lovullo has joined the Indians for the homestretch. Pitching coach Scott Radinsky is on the way.
Also, good news to report on Mitch Maier, the Royals center fielder who was hit in the face by Zach Jackson last month and suffered three facial fractures. Maier returned to baseball activities today and will begin taking BP in the next few days, with an eye on returning to the Royals’ lineup by the time the club comes back to Cleveland next weekend.
UPDATE (7:42 p.m. ET): Manute Bol, all 7 feet, 7 inches of him, is in the house tonight. But you probably expected Manute Bol to be at a Royals-Indians game, right? Apparently, he owns a farm near here.
How’d you like to be the poor jerk stuck sitting behind Manute tonight?