If you want to, you can feed on me
Those of us in the media get treated pretty well. We are given pre- and postgame access to the clubhouse. We are fed. We are often placed in premium seats above and behind home plate. And when we arrive to work, we have, at our disposal, more notes and statistics than you could fit in this or any blog.
Except at U.S. Cellular Field, that is.
Here in Chicago, the press box was recently moved up a level and down the first-base line. This was done so that the former press box could be turned into the Jim Beam Club, where the Sox’s more sophisticated fans can dissect the game’s finer points while slamming shots of Kentucky’s finest straight bourbon.
This year, the powers that be decided to “go green” and stop printing out notes and stats for the media. It’s an effort to help the environment (I’m sure it has nothing to do with saving money), and I applaud it.
In fact, I humbly submit a few other suggestions for the White Sox to further enhance the experience of covering a ballgame in U.S. Cellular Field in an environmentally sound manner.
1. Take away our chairs. Just imagine how much more attentive the media will be when it’s a standing-room-only environment. The chair I’m currently sitting in is rather comfortable. I’m sure it would bring the Sox a few bucks on eBay, and that’s money that could be used to support any number of environmental causes.
2. No more electricity. Those billion-gigawatt lights that illuminate the field for night games should adequately support the press box, as well. And have you seen the battery life of the modern laptop? We don’t need plugs.
3. Eliminate all restrooms. Think of all the plumbing hassles and wasted water that will be avoided when media members are no longer permitted to go to the bathroom. And to those who question this new policy, just repeat what Elaine said to George when he was caught urinating in his gym’s shower: “Did you ever hear of … holding it in?”
4. Cancel the food service. Sure, a few sportswriters will go hungry. But let’s face it, most of us are overweight, anyway. And if you take away the food and water, you’ll be that much closer to a solution to the bathroom predicament. That’s called killing two birds with one stone, people.
Yes, the key to reducing U.S. Cellular Field’s carbon footprint is obvious. Mess with the press, and all your problems are solved.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- The Indians are, as you might imagine, bracing themselves for the possibility that this season simply isn’t going anywhere. As much as the Indians have been through this season, they entered tonight a reasonable seven games back in the AL Central. But when you factor in the injuries, the inconsistencies and the general snake-bitten nature of this club, it’s hard to imagine a comeback.
- In talking with general manager Mark Shapiro today, I got the sense that he’s coming around to that concept, too. He didn’t repeat the mantra that the Indians are “one good week away” from being back in contention. Rather, with regard to the still-developing trade market, he said the Tribe is “on the sideline” right now, “keeping a pulse” of what’s going on. Stay tuned.
- Double-A Akron right-hander Hector Rondon, one of the top pitching prospects in the system, left his start Thursday at Reading in the middle of the fourth inning with right biceps soreness. He is listed as day to day. You’ll remember that the Indians briefly moved Rondon into relief last month before going back to starting.
- Travis Hafner is going to reduce the number of swings he takes pregame in an effort to prevent further setbacks with his surgically repaired right shoulder. He’ll take BP on the road, where the visiting team hits fairly close to game time. At home, however, he’ll probably take some days off from the Indians’ team BP work.
- Look for Pronk to start again Saturday and get a day off Sunday. That sounds like the plan, anyway (these things have a way of changing with Hafner, as you’ve no doubt learned). The basic gist is that Hafner can’t play three or four days in a row right now.
- Jamey Carroll had X-rays today on his ugly right middle finger. He injured it Tuesday in Minnesota, fielding a Carlos Gomez grounder. He put his hand in the glove a little too quickly, and the ball struck the tip of the finger. It is now a swollen, purple eyesore with a black nail. It looks like the tip of an ogre’s finger (not that I’ve ever seen an ogre, but I’m just imagining).
- Anyway, as expected, the X-rays revealed a fracture of the joint at the tip of the finger, but it’s not anything that affects Carroll on throws, and, therefore, it’s nothing he can’t play through. “The doctor looked at me like I should be hurting worse than I am,” Caroll said. The finger is on the same hand Carroll broke earlier this year.
- Tomo Ohka will fill Fausto Carmona’s rotation spot, but the Indians haven’t decided when that spot will come up. They have an off day Monday, so they can rearrange their rotation. For now, it’s expected that Cliff Lee will pitch Tuesday against Kansas City, and Carl Pavano will pitch Wednesday. Nothing else is determined, but the right-handed Ohka might be used to separate left-handers Jeremy Sowers and David Huff.
- The Indians announced a pair of Minor League signings today. Left-hander Michael Gosling and outfielder Rob Mackowiak are both Columbus-bound.
- Gosling was 7-1 with a save and a 4.37 ERA in 21 appearances for the Twins’ Triple-A club in Rochester before being released on June 2. He owns a career Major League record of 3-4 with a 4.79 ERA in 43 appearances, including nine starts, and last reached the bigs with the Reds in 2007.
- Mackowiak played two games at Buffalo before his April 2 release. In parts of eight Major League seasons from 2001-08, he hit .259 with 64 homers and 286 RBIs in 256 games with the Pirates, White Sox, Padres and Nationals.
- The latest Baseball Prospectus postseason odds report gives the Indians an 11.4 percent chance of winning the division and a 1.16 chance of winning the Wild Card.
- As the Indians walked out of the locker room and hit the field for pregame stretching today, Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” was playing on the clubhouse speakers. If that’s not a perfect theme song for a team that has eight players on the DL and just sent its No. 2 starter to rookie ball, I don’t know what is.