Gone too soon
Having grown up in a house in which my older brother, Joe, owned a red leather jacket with a high proliferation of zippers, as well as a white sequined glove, count me among those sad to hear the news about Michael Jackson’s death at the age of 50.
While he’ll no doubt be remembered for all the tabloid fodder he provided, particularly in the last 20 years, I’m taking this moment to remember the King of Pop for his music contributions.
Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs:
5. “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” – its appearance in the “Seinfeld Chronicles” cemented its legendary status
4. “I Want You Back” (Jackson 5) – back when MJ was a boy, rather than just an old guy hanging out with boys
3. “Beat It” – bonus points for inspiring Weird Al Yankovic’s “Eat It”
2. “The Way You Make Me Feel” – barely edging “Smooth Criminal” as the “Bad” album’s entry on this list
1. “Billie Jean” — I’m not sure there was a more significant pop culture moment in the 80s than MJ’s iconic performance of this song at the “Motown 25” special in 1983
Honorable mention goes to “Thriller,” not because of its transcendent music video experience but because my Uncle Jim still plays it – on vinyl – roughly 572 times straight each Halloween, as trick-or-treaters arrive at his door.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Eric Wedge addressed his job security. You can read about that right here.
- The news of the day was that RHP Fausto Carmona was expected to get the start for Class A Lake County tonight in Eastlake, Ohio. This would be Carmona’s first start since his demotion to the rookie-level Arizona League earlier this month. As of this writing, however, associate reporter Matt O’Donnell informs me inclement weather back home is threatening Carmona’s start. Stay tuned.
- The Indians still don’t have a deadline or timetable for Carmona getting back to the Majors. “We’re just taking it step by step, really,” Wedge said. “There are certain things we want to see when he’s out there pitching. If he proves to himself and us that he’s getting beyond some of these things, then we’ll continue to move him [up].”
- RHP Jose Veras will join the Indians either Friday or Saturday. Still no word on a corresponding roster move, but you’d have to figure it will involve someone in the bullpen, as a position player would go when Cabrera is activated.
- SS Asdrubal Cabrera (sprained left shoulder joint) played DH today for Akron and went 2-for-5 with two runs scored. He’ll join the Indians in Cleveland on Friday and take part in pregame work. If all goes well, he’ll probably be activated Saturday. Wedge said he probably won’t be activated Friday, because he’s coming off playing three days in a row with the Aeros.
- RHP Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) threw his second bullpen session today. Still no word on when he’ll go out on a rehab assignment, but Wedge said the Indians hope to have him back by the middle of July.
- Obviously, DH Travis Hafner hasn’t played in a week, with the club playing in NL parks. But he did “get hot,” as Wedge put it, before today’s game, taking BP, and he’ll play two games in a row when the club returns home to face the Reds this weekend. Wedge views this as progress toward Pronk playing three games in a row in the near future.
- Victor Martinez will be happy when the Indians get back to AL-only play. Entering tonight’s game, he was batting .182 (10-for-55) against NL teams this season, including a 1-for-33 performance in NL parks.
- Grady Sizemore was out of the lineup tonight, as the Indians will be careful with him in this first week back after the three-week DL stint. But he said his left elbow is feeling fine and continues to respond well to treatment and game activity.
- C Carlos Santana and OF Nick Weglarz were selected to represent the Tribe at the XM All-Star Futures Game in St. Louis on July 12, playing for the World team. Triple-A manager Torey Lovullo will serve as a coach for the U.S. team.
- The big story back home is the Cavaliers’ acquisition of Shaq. I asked one of the Indians’ resident NBA gurus, Josh Barfield (a Rockets fan), what he thought of the deal, and here’s what he had to say: “It’s a good deal for the Cavs, but I don’t know if it’s enough to get them over the hump. They didn’t give up much to get him, that’s for sure. But I still think they need a big guard, like a Shane Battier, to take some of the pressure off LeBron on defense.”
UPDATE: A scoring change has been made from Friday’s game at Wrigley. Jhonny Peralta’s triple has been changed to a three-base error on center fielder Reed Johnson. The Cubs had the play overturned through the MLB scoring review committee. So, Peralta is now 1-for-5 with a run scored in the game. Rich Harden lost a hit and earned run allowed. The Indians’ hit total went from eight to seven.