Papa go to bed now, it's getting late
Someone in the Rays’ front office had a brilliant idea over the winter.
That’s merely an assumption on my part. You would think someone somewhere in that office must have had a brilliant idea at some point over the winter — even if it was something as simple as ordering pineapple on his pizza.
Unfortunately, someone else entirely — or maybe even the same guy — had an absolutely terrible idea. He (or she) thought, “Hey, you know what would draw more fans to our games? Later start times!”
So here we are with a 7:38 p.m. ET first pitch tonight, and a 1:38 p.m. ET first pitch on Sunday.
If this somehow results in the Rays’ average attendance going up about 10,000, then God bless the genius behind the move.
And pass the pineapple pizza, because I’ve got some extra time to kill.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Still no word on who’s starting Sunday. The smart money remains on David Huff, who is Sunday’s scheduled starter for the Clippers. Zach Jackson is slated to start for Columbus tonight, so he’s out. And Jack Cassel is now on the schedule for tomorrow. “We’ve got it narrowed down to a couple guys,” is all Eric Wedge would say.
- Huff makes the most sense, even though he’s not on the 40-man. All the Indians would need to do is release somebody from the 40-man. Maybe… oh, I don’t know… a reliever who is hardly ever used and who struggles in clutch situations, to the point where the manager clearly has no confidence in him.
- Jhonny Peralta handled third base quite well last night, and Asdrubal Cabrera made an incredible play going to his right and back-handing the ball before making a leaping throw to first to nab Willy Aybar. Wedge liked the alignment, went with it again tonight and expects to go with it quite a bit in the future.
- Peralta said he felt comfortable at third. “[Playing winter ball] helped a lot,” he said. “I played at third every day over there for a month, so I got used to it.”
- The guy who has gotten the shaft as a result of all this infield tinkering is Ryan Garko, but he was back at DH tonight. Wedge, though, isn’t viewing Mark DeRosa as a second base option right now, so it will continue to be a fight for Garko to get into the starting lineup, particularly when Travis Hafner comes back.
- Speaking of Pronk, he begins his rehab tonight.
- The Indians had three different hitters (Cabrera, Shin-Soo Choo and Victor Martinez) record a four-hit night Thursday. According to Elias, the last time the Indians had three players each with four or more hits in a nine-inning game came on Sept. 5, 1987, when Tommy Hinzo, Joe Carter and Mel Hall did it.
- Martinez leads the AL in batting at .400. He’s batting .459 with 11 RBIs over his last 10 games.
- Shoulder tendinitis has limited 3B prospect Wes Hodges to DH duties at Columbus recently, and now he’s landed on the DL with a right wrist sprain suffered Tuesday. Hodges is batting .275 with eight doubles, a homer and 15 RBIs in 27 games.
- RHP Steven Wright’s Triple-A tenure didn’t last long. He was sent back down to Double-A Akron to make room for Vinnie Chulk.
- RHP Jeanmar Gomez now has a 0.45 ERA for Akron after tossing eight scoreless innings in which he allowed just four hits with eight strikeouts in a win over Altoona last night. He hasn’t allowed a run in 18 innings.
- MLB Network aired a special about the 2007 Rockies, and it was playing in the visitors’ clubhouse before the game. Jamey Carroll and Matt Herges, members of that team, were locked in. “All good memories,” Carroll said, despite the loss to the Red Sox. “That was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
- Wedge took a town car to the ballpark yesterday and left his cell phone in the backseat. The driver brought it to him, and Wedge gave him a $20 tip. And the tip was well worth it. “Not only did he bring it back,” Wedge said, “he charged it for me.” Now that’s service.