"I love the sexy slither of a female snake"
Players aren’t the only ones spoiled at the Indians’ new Spring Training home. We media types also get treated pretty well.
As I write this, I’m sitting in a cushioned swivel chair in a Goodyear Ballpark press box that contains a media dining room, wireless Internet access and working phone lines.
It’s a far, far cry from the folding chairs and the outdoor, dirt-covered, technologically challenged environment in which we worked at Chain of Lakes in Winter Haven.
It was about two years ago at this time when that box was visited by a five-foot black snake (it was actually only about three feet long, but I will add one foot to its length every year to embellish the tale). In my mind’s eye, I can still see it slithering behind my laptop. It made its way several yards to my left before a grounds crew member arrived, grabbed it with his bare hands, whipped it around his head a few times, then tossed it to its freedom behind the ballpark.
Consider this my ode to that snake and to that box. Sure, we have all the acoutrements a modern sportswriter could need. But where’s the sense of adventure?
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- First off, glad to hear Torey Lovullo is relatively OK after getting struck with a broken bat above the left eye Sunday. The curse of the maple bats lives on, despite MLB’s new regulations. Lovullo had nine stitches above his eye, which is swollen shut, but he was lucky to be wearing sunglasses at the time of the incident. The damage could have been much worse.
- Lovullo was struck because the bat bounced off the netting atop the Indians’ dugout and hit him as he turned his head to see where it went. But this is no knock on the netting, which extends to the end of each dugout at Goodyear Ballpark. The fans sitting in the first row behind the dugout were no doubt happy the netting was there, and I’ve always been in support of MLB mandating that every ballpark install such a safety precaution.
- Grady Sizemore (sore left groin) might be ready to DH by Wednesday. He took some BP and played catch today and will be evaluated again tomorrow. He hasn’t done any running or any activity with his lower half.
- Cliff Lee threw a two-inning simulated session today. He faced Victor Martinez, Travis Hafner and David Dellucci. Lee is slated to make his Cactus League debut Friday against the Brewers.
- RHP Anthony Reyes isn’t the only guy making his spring debut in tomorrow’s game agains the Rangers. LHP Tony Sipp, who has been about a week behind because of left shoudler tendinitis that sprouted up last fall, is also in the mix for the game in Surprise.
- The Rangers batted out of order in the sixth inning of today’s game, but the Indians either didn’t notice or didn’t care enough to point it out to the umpires. Travis Metcalf, who replaced No. 3 hitter Michael Young, was supposed to lead off the inning. Instead, cleanup hitter Andruw Jones led off and Metcalf batted second.
- Aaron Laffey had a rough second inning today but shook it off as fate conspiring against him. He said he was happy with his stuff.
- Always nice to catch up with Omar, although he kind of threw his 13-year-old son, Nico, under the bus. When asked if Nico plays ball, Omar said, “Nah, he’s lazy. I think living in Seattle got to him. People there sit behind desks and use computers.” He said Nico is more into playing his electric guitar than picking up a bat.
- Eric Wedge on Wes Hodges, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored today: “For a young hitter with some power, he stays in the middle of the field as well as any young hitter I’ve seen.” On the defensive side, Hodges made a throwing error at third.
- The other day, I told you Rafael Betancourt was introduced by the Goodyear Ballpark PA guy as “John Betancourt.” Today, Tomo Ohka was “Mister Ohka.” This guy… is struggling.