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 US_Cellular_Field.jpgis.

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.

~AC

15 Comments

Yeah, I don’t think Carroll has any choice — we don’t have many people left, he’s got to play!
Carl Pavano has been unreal. Comeback Player of the Year, at least.
I watched the Tigers lose to the Angels already and we’re three outs from being six games back (and almost caught up with the Royals!). Obviously, outings from Sowers and Huff are going to be key this weekend, but Jake Westbrook is scheduled to start for Akron tomorrow…I hate this team for making me have crazy dreams.
There’s no way we can trade DeRosa until we’re officially dead in the water. He’s keeping us afloat.

Maybe if they just share some of the shots of Jim Beam with you, then you won’t mind the new press room! lol!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

LET IS BLEED!

Funny that pretty much every Indians fan has written off Hafner, if he could somehow tay healthy, they could have an incredible offense … wouldn’t be suprised if they went on a little run with Carmona out of the way, June is prime Jhonny Peralta time, he’ll probably hit 5 HRs this month

It’s kind of uplifting to look at the probable pitchers page on this site (which needs updated, AC!) and see just how awful Chicago’s rotation has been, too. We’ve got some good looking match-ups in the next week.

Odds Barfield is benched tomorrow after going 2 for 4 with an RBI today?
I’m guessing pretty good.

YES, we are potentially one game away from being out of the cellar! Baby steps for this team. I have a few observations:
First, LACF it is entirely possible that Barfield sits tomorrow b/c Wedge is a doofus. IF Carroll can play through the slight break then I’d concur with LACF and would like to see Jackson fill Carmona/Ohka’s spot in the rotation in the short run. Let Sowers, Huff and Jackson fight over who doesn’t get optioned if and when Westbrook returns, not to mention Scott Lewis (if two of them are getting lit up). You can send down Valbuena to bring Jackson up. That way we get back to having 8 RPs which includes 2 lefties. Second, can someone explain to me why Choo was in LF and Garko was in RF? Choo is almost guaranteed to be your starting LF since he has started there 41 of his 47 GS. I just don’t understand this manager. Third, Kelly Shoppach was 0-2 with RISP. D’oh. Fourth, Francisco, Peralta and Barfield each saw 20+ total pitches in their 4 ABs. Nicely done. Fifth, Detroit has cooled off going 3-7 over their last 10 games. No one expected Porcello and Jackson to be that dominant all season. Verlander, yes. Those other two, no. Here’s hoping we get back to .500 by the end of June.

AM, my one thought today was “how do we get Shoppach out of this line-up?” Obviously, the problem is the injury to Cabrera. If we play Victor behind the plate every game, that puts Garko at first every game, and with Cabrera out that means DeRosa is at third and our outfield loses some pop with Grady out. It worries me that, if given the chance, we won’t deal Shoppach.
That, and he’s currently the personal catcher for the only good pitchers we have. That probably has a lot to do with why he’s being held on to.
I’d be happy with DeRosa, Peralta, Barfield, Garko/Martinez as our infield until Cabrera is back.

Wedge has created this idea of the personal catcher simply to guarantee Martinez a day off in the past (Paul Byrd). He has now gone too far with it for far too long. Greg Maddux had a personal catcher in Atlanta for years and deservedly so. I don’t find Pavano’s “resurgence” to be any way indicative of Shoppach’s skills. Nor Lee for that fact. I do like the infield you have provided. It affords Wedge the ability to start Carroll at 2B or 3B while simultaneously giving guys a day off when needed because of DeRosa, Garko, and Gimenez’s flexibility. Having said that and given our luck this year with injuries I’d say that Peralta is next to go on the DL because that would totally mess up our infield alignment. I’m calling my shot right now. Peralta, strained quad, by the end of the weekend.

Indeed! I think Barfield should be playing at second. He has gone through a lot, and has done nothing but prove his value top-side this season. Let our utility infielder give people days off like he is supposed to do. I like Carroll, and I think with his versatility, he will still get playing time with the DeRosa, Peralta, Barfield, Garko/Martinez setup.

I think not enough has been said about Pavano. Last night he was incredible, but he has been rock solid for several starts in a row. The way he is doing it should be a model for all pitchers who have stuff less than that of arms like Joba or other flame throwers. Pavano does an excellent job of working up and down, in and out, and changing speeds. He locates the ball very well, and really does not have any pitch that is overpowering, just three solid pitches which he can locate. That is all there is to in pitching, changing speeds, changing eye level, and getting ahead. At one point in last night’s game STO showed a stat that he was continually getting ahead of hitters, and when you get ahead not only does it setup a K, it forces hitters to swing at bad pitches and you get easy ground ball/fly ball outs. Throwing 101 pitches, what a quality start.

One more comment on the personal catcher issue for Pavano. I extracted this from the April post by AC: “As expected, Kelly Shoppach is catching Carl Pavano today. They were also matched up in Spring Training. But Wedge said that’s not a concrete pairing, the way Shoppach-Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez-Fausto Carmona are.” No surprise that Wedge cannot even stick with his own decree. LACF is right, this better not be a reason we refuse to trade Shoppach.

Ryan, you are absolutely correct about Pavano, as was Buster Olney when he said “the Indians may or may not be barreling toward a sell-off of players like Mark DeRosa, but Pavano — one of the biggest free-agent busts of all time with the Yankees — has unquestionably been one of the best free-agent bargains.” If you want some perspective go back into the AC’s April blogs and read what some people were saying about Pavano after only 3 starts. Classic in-the-moment stuff from fans.

Everyone expected or at least hoped that Cliff Lee would be the ace this year. Asking Lee to duplicated his 2008 season is inconceivable but somewhere between his 2008 and 2005 seasons was/is possible. Carmona has been a disaster this year. Once again, we hoped to see him rise to his 2007 form but would have taken a middle ground between ’07 and ’08. What we got was a wilder version of his 2006 closer’s form. The revolving door that has occurred between our forth and fifth starting pitching options has been below average and inconsistent all season. It doesn’t matter who is there, it has been atrocious. With Aaron Laffey’s success as a SP prior to injury it would make no sense to call him a #4 SP. Realistically, he was #2 or #3 at the time. Henceforth, I am making the argument that Carl Pavano has saved our pathetic rotation this season from being a total debacle.

It would be interesting to have AC compute his incentive-laden salary given the stats he’s projected for assuming no post season or yearly awards: 34 GS, 205 IP, 159 SO, 43 BB (3.7K/BB ratio), 17-11, 1.26 WHIP, 4.63 ERA. He has been everything that we could have asked for and more.

interesting post thanks
Blue Eyes

nice post thanks!!!

Blue Eyes

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