I had a friend was a big baseball player
Braylon Edwards catches footballs for a living. But he caught on to baseball pretty quick at Progressive Field during the Indians’ pregame activities today.
Edwards, the Cleveland Browns wideout, had asked the Indians if he might be able to take a few hacks during batting practice, and the club was more than happy to oblige. He was given a jersey with his name and No. 17, a bat from reliever Jensen Lewis and an experience he can brag about for years to come.
Why will Edwards brag? Because on his final swing in BP, Edwards took first-base coach Luis Rivera deep, smacking a high fly into the left-field bleachers, about 400 feet from home plate.
“I felt it right away,” Edwards said. “It was a good hit.”
And it didn’t matter that this was BP. Edwards did what any fan would do in this situation. He trotted around the bases to make the homer official.
“I don’t get to hit one of those very often,” said Edwards, who guessed that he last took batting practice when he was 15. “I hit a homer, so I felt the need to run the bases.”
Edwards also played catch with Lewis and shagged some fly balls. He didn’t drop any balls, but, as one sarcastic onlooker noted, it wasn’t a Sunday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Edwards, of course, isn’t the only sports star in the house tonight. The Yankees are in town, and that means CC Sabathia is back at Progressive Field. A throng of reporters and cameramen huddled around Sabathia in the Yankee dugout before batting practice. I’ll have a story on CC’s return in advance of his start tomorrow.
- You won’t like this. CC, who attended last night’s Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals with some of his Yankee teammates, was asked what advice he’d give his buddy LeBron James about making the move to New York. “It’s the biggest stage in the world,” Sabathia said. “He’s the best player in the NBA. If he wanted to come there, I think they’d welcome him with open arms.”
- Regarding the David Dellucci move, there’s not much more to add that hasn’t been said already. The guy just didn’t perform here. But there’s an old expression, “I don’t blame you, I blame the guy who hired you.” That’s how I feel about the Dellucci situation. I didn’t know then and I don’t know now what the Indians were thinking when they gave a platoon outfielder a three-year contract. But mistakes happen, I guess.
- Grady Sizemore remains in DH mode. Eric Wedge said Sizemore will probably pick up a baseball to test out his sore left elbow on Sunday or Monday. Still looks like the Indians will have to make a call on Sizemore when Travis Hafner comes off the DL.
- Saturday night’s game will be on WMMS 100.7 FM because of the Cavaliers conflict. If, God willing, the Cavs win Game 6, then Monday night’s Tribe-Yankees game will also be moved from WTAM to WMMS.
- Thursday’s win was significant not just because it completed a sweep of the Rays, but also because it was the Tribe’s first win this season when scoring less than four runs. The Indians were 0-16 in previous games in which they scored less than four. In fact, the win snapped a streak of 29 straight losses, dating back to last year, in such a situation.
- Double-A Akron OF Nick Weglarz had a slow start this season, but he’s made up for it in a hurry. Weglarz is batting .378 (28-for-74) with seven doubles, six homers and 28 RBIs in 23 games this month.
- LHP Chuck Lofgren will make a spot start for Columbus on Sunday. Lofgren has an Eastern League-best 1.48 ERA at Akron this season.
- If you’re like me, the one thing you wanted to ask Braylon Edwards is, “Do those five-hour energy pills he advertises really work? Well, here’s the answer. “They work,” he said. “No ifs, ands or buts about it.” After all the rain delays this week, I think I could use one of those.
UPDATE (6:50 p.m. ET): Tonight’s game will not start on time. The tarp is being rolled out on the field as I write this.
UPDATE No. 2: Can’t believe I forgot to mention that Slider is receiving the coveted “Golden Silly String” award for his induction into the Mascot Hall of Fame after tonight’s game.
UPDATE No. 3: Here’s CC’s new house.
UPDATE No. 4: One more link. Here are Rays skipper Joe Maddon’s intriguing thoughts on why his team can’t win in Cleveland, as told to my buddy Marc Lancaster of the Tampa Tribune.