"I've been reviewing Darren's internship journal. Doing laundry, mending chicken wire, high tea with a Mr. Newman."
This week, we officially welcome associate reporter Matt O’Donnell into the fold at MLB.com, and he’ll help out on the Tribe beat.
Matt graduated from Ohio University over the weekend, so he’s still got a little Court Street coursing through his blood. And I’m excited to have a fellow Bobcat in the fold.
Previous associates include Andrew Gribble, who is covering Auburn for the Opelika-Auburn News, and the inimitable David Briggs, who is working for the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune. O’Donnell has big shoes to fill — and not just because Briggs is 7-foot-3.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Eric Wedge had strong words for Jhonny Peralta today. Peralta is batting .249 with a .336 slugging percentage and .340 on-base percentage. He simply has not been driving the ball, as evidenced by his 14 total extra-base hits. Wedge has already benched Peralta for consecutive games twice this season, and he’s contemplating doing so a third time. “He’s got to get his head straight,” Wedge said. “Jhonny’s not a baby anymore. He’s been up here five or six years. He’s going to have to figure it out. I don’t want to keep seeing the same thing day after day.”
- Luis Valbuena, owner of a .179 average, is not only a regular, but now (or today, at least) he’s batting leadoff. Wedge wanted to give Jamey Carroll a day off, and he didn’t want to move the struggling Ben Francisco (5-for-42) back to leadoff. So Valbuena gets the job for the night. Wedge said he liked seeing Valbuena work two walks off Dave Bush last night, and he’s talked the past week about how his at-bats are better than the stats indicate. “I don’t look at the numbers,” Wedge said. “This is a good opportunity to get him up there. It could be a good shot in the arm for him.”
- Wedge railed against two areas that bother him about this ballclub — the walks (an astonishing 261 and counting) and the strikeouts with runners on third and less than two out. “I’m tired of talking about it and tired of seeing it,” Wedge said.
- The pies in the face worked in ’07. Maybe the championship belt will work in ’09. WWE’s Jerry “The King” Lawler delivered a replica belt to the clubhouse today, at Travis Hafner’s request. It will go to the player voted “player of the game” after each win. Whoever wins the belt the most over the remainder of the season gets to keep it all winter. More on this important development in this story on Indians.com.
- Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Grady Sizemore will begin taking batting practice and making throws from the outfield this weekend in Chicago. If his left elbow tolerates that well, he could avoid arthroscopic surgery. We’ll see how it goes.
- LHP Scott Lewis makes his second rehab start tonight, getting the nod for Double-A Akron.
- Victor Martinez drove in his 500th run last night and hit his 99th homer. He’s now second in the AL in batting average, with a .341 mark.
- Hafner’s three-hit game last night was his second of the season after not having a three-hit game in all of ’08. His seven total bases equaled a season high.
- How about the news on Mel Hall? Terrible.