And the rain fell down on the cold hard ground
It’s Opening Day in Cleveland, so, naturally, I’m typing this during a rain delay.
Yeah, it’s cold today (45 degrees at first pitch). And yeah, the rain blew around all day before it began to pour in the fifth inning. But this is nothing, right?
“Our fans are used to it,” Eric Wedge said. “They’ve sat out here in worse conditions than this.”
We Clevelanders toss out the phrase “at least it’s not snowing” as if that’s any sort of consolation whatsoever.
But hey, at least it’s not snowing.
And the delay gives me the opportunity to throw some mid-game minutia your way.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Jamey Carroll’s left hand is in a splint as he recuperates from that broken fifth metacarpal shaft suffered in his last at-bat of the spring. “The longest Spring Training in history, and I get hurt in the last inning of the last game,” Carroll said. If it weren’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.
- Thus far, it’s been a straight swap of the catching duties for Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach. Martinez caught Scott Lewis today, and Shoppach will, of course, catch Cliff Lee on Saturday. No word on who is catching for Anthony Reyes on Sunday.
- During the pregame roster and lineup introductions, the Indians’ training and strength and conditioning staff got to trot out to the third-base line for their turn in the limelight. Considering all the injuries the Indians endured last season, I’d say the honor was well-deserved.
- The Tribe hit five homers Thursday. That feat only happened once last season – July 30 against Detroit, in a 13-inning game.
- Entering today, the Indians were 58-50 all-time in home openers
- Wedge liked what he saw from Travis Hafner in Thursday’s home run. “That was the swing, that was the speed and that was the path [the Indians want to see from Pronk],” Wedge said. But “that” was also an 84 mph fastball from Eddie Guardado.
- I was much more impressed with Hafner getting around on Scott Richmond’s 93-mph fastball for a two-run double off the right-field wall in the first inning and a 92-mph fastball for a solo homer to the
Indians’visitors’ bullpen in the right-field corner in the third. Pronk’s starting to look a little more legit.
- The Indians have not started a season 0-4 wince 1985, when they started 0-5.
- Wedge was really relaxed with the media today. Somehow, he got on the subject of his first exposure to baseball. It came in 1977, when he was 11 years old and first played Little League. The coach asked Wedge (“a short, fat, squatty kid,” as he put it) if he wanted to try catching, and he was all for it. “I thought it would be cool to put all that stuff on,” Wedge said. On his bedroom wall, he hung posters of Carlton Fisk, Johnny Bench and Thurman Munson. No Farrah Fawcett, sadly.
- The Tribe’s clubhouse has new carpet, and it was GM Mark Shapiro’s wife, Lissa, who picked out the color scheme (a deep blue in the clubhouse and a gray in the halls). Mark pretty much designed the alternate uniforms worn for the home opener, holidays and weekend home games. Move over, HGTV.