Gonna chase the clouds away
A wet and dreary day at the ballpark this afternoon led to batting practice taking place inside. So all the real entertainment had to come elsewhere…
Seen and heard No. 1: Walking by the ticket booth this afternoon, I overhead a guy say to the clerk, “Is this where you buy the Akron Aeros tickets? There are so many Minor Leaguers on this team!” He was really proud of himself for this witty banter. A nice effort, but Columbus Clippers would have been much more accurate.
Seen and heard No. 2: Bob Feller stopped in the hallway near the press box and was trying to read the writing on his jacket. I told him it read, “Cleveland Orchestra.” When I commented that it was a nice item, he said, “The price was right.” Feller gets a lot of freebies.
Seen and heard No. 3: Eric Wedge was working out in the weight room, where the “50 Most Outrageous Moments” in baseball history were airing on TV. One clip was of Chan Ho Park karate kicking the Angels’ Tim Belcher, who is now a special assistant to the Indians’ front office. Wedge got a big kick (no pun intended) out of this. “Belcher’s in like five of the 50 outrageous moments,” Wedge said.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Pitching coach Carl Willis explained the rotation flip-flop of David Huff and Tomo Ohka. While the original goal of separating similarly styled lefties Jeremy Sowers and Huff in next week’s Brewers series was scrapped (they’ll start back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday), Willis said he looked at the rotation long-term and saw that the Indians can go with four starters for two turns through the rotation after next Thursday’s off day. So Ohka can make this one start Saturday and then get skipped. And by the time the fifth spot is needed again, Jake Westbrook and/or Aaron Laffey might be ready to return.
- Jhonny Peralta is back to shortstop and Luis Valbuena is back to second because Wedge felt Jamey Carroll needed a day off.
- The First-Year Player Draft has come to a close. You can find the recaps of the Indians’ first 30 picks here: Day 1. Day 2. A recap of the Tribe’s Draft, as a whole, is right here.
- A certain segment of the population no doubt enjoyed and appreciated the Draft’s move to prime-time for the first three rounds, though I’m not sure the execution was quite what it should have been. If you’re going to make the Draft a centerpiece event, as MLB has done, why hold it at the same time as many of your games? Why not hold the prime-time portion of the Draft on, say, a Monday, have little to no game action that day, and make the Draft the only show in town, so to speak?
- One reason the Indians felt comfortable using back-to-back picks on pitchers from the University of Arizona is the success, so far, with last year’s selection of left-hander Eric Berger from that very school. Berger won his fourth game for Class A Kinston last night at Myrtle Beach. He is now 4-4 with a 2.37 ERA in 12 starts, ranking fourth in the Carolina League with 54 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings.
- Tomorrow night marks the start of 15 straight games against NL Central opponents. The Indians are 109-105 all-time in Interleague Play.
- The Tribe ranks sixth in the AL in fielding percentage (.985) and leads the AL with 74 double plays turned. Shin-Soo Choo is now tied for fourth among AL outfielders with four assists.
- On a sad note, Woodie Held, who played seven seasons with the Tribe from 1958-64, passed away this morning at the age of 77 after a long battle with cancer.
- The Indians and American Red Cross will team up for a blood drive before Tuesday’s game against the Brewers. It will take place on the Gateway Plaza from noon to 8 p.m. ET. And it’s dollar dog night, so you can give blood and then harden your arteries a little bit.