"That bird flew right into your head, like he couldn't avoid it!"

The gulls have taken over at Progressive Field. What was once a cute distraction became national news last night, when Shin-Soo Choo's game-winning single struck a bird, who came out with a limp, a missing feather and a story to tell his kids. seagull.jpg

 

Members of the Indians' ballpark operations staff were holed up in a meeting this afternoon to discuss the problem, and the club sent out a press release regarding the situation. This if the official word from vice president of public relations Bob DiBiasio:

 

“Over the past few weeks, the Cleveland Indians have been doing extensive research regarding the gull issue we’ve encountered at Progressive Field this season. This research has included contacting a variety of institutions, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Wildlife Research Center (including Hopkins and Burke Lakefront Airports), Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio Division of Wildlife and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, to name a few.  Main reason for this issue has been the increase of nesting pairs in Cleveland’s ‘Flats’ on flat top roof buildings. Gulls are riding the wind currents up the valley walls to the ballpark in search for food scraps to feed their young. The Indians are continuing to research ways to control this issue under the guidance of gulls being federally protected.”


I spoke with Harvey Webster, a wildlife expert at the Natural History Museum, this morning, and he told me we're dealing with some intelligent birds who know how to find free food (sounds like some media members I know... well, minus the intelligence, of course). Webster had some thoughts on why they might be here and whether the Indians have any chance of doing something about them.

 

That story is right here.

 

In the meantime...

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Surprising nobody, Anthony Reyes had both the ulnar nerve transposition surgery and the Tommy John ligament replacement surgery in California this afternoon. As a result, he won't be back for a year.
  • Eric Wedge spoke at length today about how valuable Jamey Carroll is to this club. He said he views Carroll as more than your standard utility guy. "He's more of a regular," Wedge said, "but he's not a guy you're going to play seven days a week. If you give him calculated days off, he's going to perform."
  • And now, Carroll is the Tribe's leadoff man - at least, on the days he starts. Ben Francisco, who is 4-for-his-last-30, kind of nosedived in the leadoff role, so it's Carroll's turn. "I like him up at the top of the order, whether it's leadoff or the two hole," Wedge said of Carroll.
  • When it comes to that play involving the bird last night, the consensus in the Indians' clubhouse has been that Coco Crisp had no chance of throwing out Mark DeRosa, whether the ball struck the bird or not. That's difficult to dispute, if you've ever seen Coco throw.
  • DeRosa said he was less concerned with the bird and more worried that Choo's ball was struck too hard. He had already taken off for third and was momentarily concerned the ball would be caught on the fly.
  • Wedge said Luis Valbuena's numbers (.203 average, 277 on-base percentage, .351 slugging percentage) are no indication of the tough at-bats he's put up. He said Valbuena has not been overmatched up here. "He's a fierce competitor," Wedge said. "He's very demanding of himself." He's also off for the night.
  • The Indians have now won six games in which they were trailing after six innings. That surpasses last year's total.
  • A total of 10 Major League games were decided by one run last night.
  • Tomo Ohka will be the 507th starting pitcher used in the history of the Indians franchise tomorrow night, but he'll be just the second born in Japan. The legendary Kaz Tadano made four starts in 2004. Ohka will be the 10th starter used this season.
  • Jake Westbrook's second rehab start with Double-A Akron was rained out last night. He'll oppose Portland tonight, throwing four innings.
  • Scott Lewis threw three perfect innings for Class A Lake County against Delmarva last night. He'll make his next rehab start Tuesday.
  • The bullpen has allowed just one run over its last 12 1/3 innings of work, over three games.
  • Former Browns tight end Aaron Shea watched batting practice today. He wore an Affliction T-shirt.

~AC

21 Comments

Oh, AM is going to LOVE this post!
I’ve got no problems with Carroll being in the line up more often than not, simply because he’s better than our other options, although I do think Barfield deserves more opportunities than he’s getting — at least as much as Valbuena.
I also can’t argue with him in the lead-off spot, just because our options are limited.

Do you know what the rule is if a bird interferes with the game?

Julia
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Ball hits a bird at an Indians game and there’s no reference to Major League? You don’t disappoint often AC, but I think you dropped the ball on this one. At least the bird survived…

LACF, I did get the impression that AC might be directing that post squarely at me if ever so slightly. If that’s the case then I’m happy.

Be careful, AM, tribetime1 might yell at you for even thinking that.
Hey, who’s this “Huff” guy pitching for us today? Seven IP and 1 ER (and who could blame him for that, given the batter)? Are he and Sowers in some kind of strange support group we don’t know about? If so, keep going to the meetings!
And, man, we need to work something out with S. Korea. Choo is just awesome.

Joe Smith = bust

Thought Wedge left Huff in for too long, to be honest. But it worked out well enough in the end.
Tomorrow should be interesting!

Hey, four scoreless for Jake! Good stuff.

not to mention 3 perfect innings from Scott Lewis at Lake County. And while djacks’ comment is a bit overstated I do have a problem with our bullpen. We have a matchup righty that can’t get out righties and a matchup lefty that can’t get out left handers. Problematic.

Yeah, I consider our bullpen to be this weird, ill defined entity at the moment, although I think that will change when the fabled month of July comes around. I think once we get our rotation set, then we’ll get our bullpen set, too.
There are guys in there that are still trying to learn their roles, which is sad to say at this point in the season. But I think we’ve got the arms we need.

Speaking of Scott Lewis, I think it will be interesting to see what happens with him. If Jake Westbrook and Aaron Laffey are both healthy and back to form, they clearly deserve to be in the rotation. But if Huff continues to pitch like he did yesterday or Sowers continues to get better, I wonder what they’ll do with Lewis, as his major league track record is a few weeks at the end of last season. I don’t think he’s a lock to come back to the rotation.
I think, when it’s all said and done, we should have eight guys in the bullpen, and 2-3 of those should be lefties. So perhaps the two guys of the Sowers/Huff/Lewis group that don’t get the last rotation spot will both end up in the bullpen (with Perez as the situational lefty, I guess).

LACF, toss Carmona into that situation (hopefully sooner than later) and you’ve got madness. I agree that Westbrook and Laffey should be in the rotation, but I’m really high on Huff right now too.

I consider our bullpen to be this weird, ill defined entity at the moment, although I think that will change when the fabled month of July comes around. I think once we get our rotation set, then we’ll get our bullpen set, too.
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sooner than later) and you’ve got madness. I agree that Westbrook and Laffey should be in the rotation, but I’m really high on Huff right now too.Psychology Diploma

entity at the moment, although I think that will change when the fabled month of July comes around. I think once we get our rotation set, then we’ll get our bullpen set, too.
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at the moment, although I think that will change when the fabled month of July comes around. I think once we get our rotation set, then we’ll get our bullpen set, too. computer diploma

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I wonder what they’ll do with Lewis, as his major league track record is a few weeks at the end of last season. I don’t think he’s a lock to come back to the rotation. PhD business

Man! tell you what! leave it to the birds to mess up a perfectly good game! Actually, we hae t be careful of how it’s dealt with…Peta will be all over it! very bad credit loans

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