Tougher than the rest

The walk from the visitor’s dugout to the clubhouse at Fenway Park takes you down a damp, dank hallway that still has mildew from 1937.

That walk always reminds me precisely what I love about Fenway Park. It has that “feel” you can only get here and at Wrigley Field. While I understand the rationale behind the hoopla surrounding the final game at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, spare me any mention of it being the same park where Babe Ruth hit No. 60 in 1927 or Don Larsen threw a perfect game in the World Series, because that park was basically obliterated in the renovations of 1974-75.

Forget the 33-year-old Yankee Stadium. Give me Fenway. Give me the Pesky pole, the Green “Monstah,” the lone red seat in the right-field bleachers that marks Ted Williams’ longest home run, and the coffee stain in the visitor’s clubhouse that was probably left by Tony Lazzeri.

Give me all this, and I’ll give you tonight’s lineups…

INDIANS (79-77): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Shin-Soo Choo, SS Jhonny Peralta, 1B Victor Martinez, DH David Dellucci, C Kelly Shoppach, RF Franklin Gutierrez, 3B Andy Marte. LHP Cliff Lee (22-2, 2.41).

RED SOX (91-65): RF Jacoby Ellsbury, 2B Dustin Pedroia, DH David Ortiz, 3B Kevin Youkilis, LF Jason Bay, SS Jed Lowrie, 1B Sean Casey, C Kevin Cash, CF Coco Crisp. RHP Tim Wakefield (9-11, 4.18).


  • Josh Beckett hit three guys last night but said he didn’t have bad control. Uh, sure. “I don’t think I had control issues,” said Beckett. “One guy had gigantic body armor on the whole [expletive] left side of his body.” That guy would be Ryan Garko, who shrugged off Beckett’s complaint. Manager Eric Wedge added, “So what?”
  • Thanks in part to Beckett, the Indians are now one hit batsman from tying a Major League record (100) set by Houston in 1997.
  • Jhonny Peralta is just the 12th shortstop in history to record 40 doubles and 20 homers in a single season.
  • With a win tonight, the Indians would equal their best record of the season (three games over .500).
  • Brian Slocum, one of the forgotten men in the Indians’ expanded clubhouse, will have minor elbow surgery performed Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic. A small inciscion will be made to remove tissue that has been causing him pain. The surgery shouldn’t affect his offseason throwing program. 
  • Cliff Lee hasn’t lost in 78 days. If he wins tonight, he ties the club record for wins by a left-hander, set by Vean Gregg in 1911, and becomes the first Major Leaguer to win 23 since Randy Johnson and Barry Zito did so in 2002. Lee is also on pace to have the highest-ever winning percentage for a 20-game winner.
  • Shin-Soo Choo’s second-half OPS is 1.046, which is the highest in the AL among those with at least 200 plate appearances.  
  • The Indians have scored the same number of runs as the White Sox this season (772), despite having 57 fewer home runs. The Sox have played one less game than the Tribe.
  • The line of the week, already, is as follows, and it shall remain anonymous: “Hey, did you say hi to Kenny Lofton? He’s still standing on third base.”

Lastly, I hope you all did something special to celebrate Bruce Springsteen’s 59th birthday. Hopefully you didn’t blast “Jessie’s Girl” on your Ipod.



Ouch. Cabrera sits for three games, and Wedge elects to use Carroll instead of Barfield. That has to hurt.

Not that I disagree, mind you, but it comes down to Barfield or Marte in the line-up…that can’t be nice for Barfield’s ego.

I know people always point out that Kenny was stopped at third, but I always remember the fact that Casey Blake hit into a double play right after that. I mean, runner on third, one out, and we couldn’t bring him home.

Oh that’s not right, I feel still the sting. Not of the choice by Skinner but by the whole darn thing. Big wounds leave big scars.

HEY CASTRO AND ALL YOU DEPRESSED INDIANS FANS! AS A LONG SUFFERING RED SOX FAN, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! You have a great ballpark, a solid organization, and the nucleus in Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore, and Victor Martinez of a great team!
The one thing you lack is class. Every time your team takes the field with that Chief Wahoo logo on their caps they look Bush League. They look like an A ball team trying to draw fans by using a family friendly cartoon clown. It’s time to retire Chief Wahoo for the following reasons.
1) As I’ve already stated, it looks Bush League. I know that the Orioles won the 1983 World Series wearing their dufus looking Disney-esque bird but they looked like rejects from a 70’s retro night doing it and ditched the look in favor of a sleek authentic Oriole when they moved to Camden Yards. The Tampa Bay Rays ditched the Devil and now look and play a lot hotter being featured as the Florida sun’s Rays. If I were an Indians player in the seventh and deciding game of a series, I wouldn’t feel too confident looking over at my teammate and seeing a smiling Sambo on his forehead. As a Red Sox fan, I laugh everytime I see your Indians take the field.
2)Chief Wahoo’s red-faced smiling Sambo expression is an insulting caricature of Native American Indians. There are plenty of other iconic Indian images not being used by other professional teams. (The Braves tomahawk, the Chiefs arrowhead, and even the Redskins face with feathers show more class.) The bow and arrow of the Ohio Shawnee tribe would evoke a stronger image for the Indians. You could form a “C” out of the bow, hilight the string as an “I”, and have an arrow image in motion coming out of it.
You have a great club. It just needs to project an image that’s TOUGHER THAN THE REST. Thanks for helping us clinch a playoff spot!
—Red Sox fan

Who invited that guy?

i guarantee that guy’s got an mlblog, and i bet every time he writes his top ten reasons that “Youk is awesome,” he’s wondering why the Globe won’t return his calls, and for that matter, why Youk won’t just love him the way he needs to be loved.

I’m sorry, but did someone just tell us we need an “image that’s TOUGHER THAN THE REST”? And this guy’s favorite team and logo is a clothing item that people wear on their feet? If a pair of socks is what you consider tough, than I think I will just stick with what we have, because I don’t know if there is a less tough or intimidating team name or logo in all of sports, than a pair of socks.

Wow. I actually just went though all the teams in my head thinking, “There has to be something weaker than a pair of socks… Maybe the Angels, but there are Angels of Death; maybe the Twins, but those Twins from ‘The Shining’ are damn intimidating; possible the Padres, but well, priests, eh, nevermind.” In conclusion, you’re absolutely correct. There is not one team name/mascot less intimidating that some socks, albeit red or white.

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