Forcin' a light into all those stoned-out faces left stranded on this Fourth of July
Here’s hoping everybody had, or is in the process of having, a wonderful Fourth of July. And to the Canadian readers of CastroTurf, here’s wishing you a wonderful, uh, Saturday.
If you’re navigating this page by operating the mouse with your only remaining hand after a fireworks mishap, I truly appreciate the extra effort.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Aaron Laffey (strained right oblique) was roughed up for seven runs on 10 hits with two walks and three strikeouts in just four innings of work for Triple-A Columbus in his fourth Minor League rehab start Friday. Six of the runs came in the first inning. Laffey said he was throwing nothing but four-seam fastballs that inning in an attempt to get the pitch working for him, so he shrugged off the results. “I was going to throw that four-seamer until I got one in there,” he said. “If I gave up six hits or six runs, so be it. I was being stubborn and throwing it until I got it right.”
- Eric Wedge said Laffey the reports on Laffey were better than what the line would indicate. But the Indians had not yet decided what the next step with Laffey will be. They have an off day Monday, and the All-Star break is looming. Wednesday’s spot in the rotation is to be determined. The Indians are essentially choosing between Laffey and Tomo Ohka for that spot.
- Fausto Carmona is moving on up to Triple-A. He’ll start for Columbus tomorrow.
- Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) gave up one walk with one strikeout in one inning for Columbus in that 8-2 loss to Toledo on Friday. I’d expect him to get at least one more outing before the Indians activate him.
- No, your computer does not have some weird virus. That lineup posted below is the exact same as the one from last night’s 15-run outburst. “It wasn’t by choice that we had lineups all over the place [earlier in the year],” Wedge said. “With the performance issues we had, it was by necessity.”
- On Friday night, Shin-Soo Choo became the first Indians player to notch seven or more RBIs and four or more runs scored in the same game in more than 57 years. The last to do so was Al Rosen on April 29, 1952, when he had the same totals against the Philadelphia A’s.
- Choo was just the third player since 1945 to record four runs, seven RBIs and a steal in the same game. The others were the Pirates’ Willie Stargell, who did it on May 22, 1968, against the Cubs, and the Red Sox’s Ted Williams, who did it in June 1949 against the St. Louis Browns. That’s good company.
- Also worth noting that Choo is now 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts. “It’s a combination of him getting comfortable and making good decisions,” Wedge said.
- The Indians and Rays are the only teams to score 15 or more runs in two different games this season.
- Travis Hafner leads all active Major Leaguers in career home runs on the Fourth of July, with six. Hall of Famer Duke Snider holds the all-time record, with nine.
- Tough to see Matt Herges sent packing after he pitched so well for the Tribe for several weeks, but that’s the nature of the bullpen beast. Wedge said Herges’ pitches had begun to catch too much of the plate. “He did a good job for us,” Wedge said, “but with all the transition in our bullpen, we’re bringing some guys in here to give them a look.”
- Regarding the new guy, Winston Abreu, if you take note of such things, he’s wearing No. 59, not the No. 36 listed in the July 2 press release.
- The Indians signed left-hander Bobby Livingston to round out the Double-A Akron rotation. Livingston, 26, had spent the ’09 season between Double-A Bowie (6-2, 3.62 ERA in 12 starts) and Triple-A Norfolk (1-0, 1.80 ERA in three starts) in the Orioles’ organization. He appeared in 13 games with the Mariners and Reds from 2006-07, compiling a 3-3 record and 6.31 ERA. He’ll start Sunday at Harrisburg for the Aeros.
- MLB is honoring the 70th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s famous farewell speech at Yankee Stadium by raising awareness about Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Fred Mourey, who is battling ALS and representing the ALS Association, Gary Twardzik, who is representing the ALS Therapy Development Institute and whose best friend Chad Blooming lost his battle with ALS, and Brian Webb, who is reprsenting the Musculat Dystrophy Association and a fellow firefighter from Cleveland Fire/Local 93 who has ALS, were all filmed reading Gehrig’s ”luckest man” speech. It was set to air on the scoreboard before the game.
- Condolences to Ryo Shinkawa of the media relations department, who was rooting for his compatriot, Takeru Kobayashi, in the Nathan’s 4th of July Hot Dog eating contest, only to see him burned again by Joey Chestnut. The pride of the U.S., Chestnut set a new world record with 68 dogs consumed in 10 minutes, while Kobayashi disappointed millions by consuming a paltry 64 1/2.
- Finally, I’d like to use the blog to welcome into the world my newborn nephew, Liam, who I somehow doubt is reading this.