I'm sitting on my watch, so I can be on time
Just because today’s game wasn’t good enough for FOX doesn’t mean it’s not good enough for us, right? Right.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Shin-Soo Choo is not in the lineup and not in the ballpark. He flew out to Phoenix on Thursday night to be with his wife, Woon Mi, for the birth of their second child. It was a boy who weighed in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. No name yet. Choo was expected to be back in Cleveland tonight. No word on whether he’ll be in the lineup Sunday.
- But Choo better make it back in time for the Wonder Girls’ performance on Gateway Plaza before tomorrow’s 1:05 p.m. ET game. The South Korean girl group will no doubt be singing its hit single, “Nobody,” which is a favorite of Choo (“I want nobody, nobody but Choo”). They’ll also throw out a ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.
- Throughout the second half, people – fans and media like – have insisted that the Indians should shut down Grady Sizemore. Obviously, the Tribe made that move yesterday, and some think it should have come much sooner in this lost season. “I don’t understand that,” Eric Wedge said. “What do we want him ready for? Are we getting him ready for Thanksgiving? Are we getting him ready for Christmas? … The guy wanted to play, and he wasn’t putting himself in any danger for next year, so that’s how we played it.”
- As for the notion that perhaps the Indians should have had Sizemore go under the knife at the beginning of the year, so that he could rehab and be ready for a strong second half, the fact of the matter is that Sizemore didn’t even inform the training staff that he was dealing with the elbow problem until May. And as Wedge stressed, surgery is considered a last resort, not a first line of thinking. “Surgery is not something you just jump into,” Wedge said. “It’s a big deal.”
- Michael Brantley has the green light on the basepaths, and that’s certainly a rare luxury for a rookie, especially one in his first week in the big leagues. “His feel is something I trust early on,” Wedge said. And Wedge, of course, reserves the right to take away that green light anytime he sees fit.
- Jose Veras tossed a perfect inning last night, and Wedge said he saw improvement. “He had better command,” Wedge said. “We’ve always liked his fastball. But I liked the way he pounded the zone and worked ahead.”
- Tony Sipp is really opening eyes, as he’s allowed just one run over his last 15 appearances, striking out 17 batters in 13 2/3 innings. “He trusts his stuff,” Wedge said, “and he’s been very aggressive.”
- Though cleared to be activated off the DL, the switch-hitting Trevor Crowe is still limited a bit from swinging from the left side.
- I caught up with Carl Pavano, who said he’s acclimated well to his new surroundings in the Minnesota clubhouse. He had laudatory things to say about playing for Eric Wedge and about working with head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff. Pavano said the Indians had no real financial incentive to be careful with him and his pitch counts early in the season, but they are the reason he is still on the field at this juncture of the year. He’s still dealing with the shoulder issue that caused him to skip a couple starts with the Tribe, and he said that’s left some of his pitches up.
- All in all, count me among those surprised to see Pavano log 162 innings pitched this season and still be a factor in September. It’s good to see, because Pavano, contrary to what anybody in New York thinks, is a great guy.
- Kelly Shoppach is the head driver on the struggle bus. He’s 4-for-his-last-34. He’s struck out 16 times in 43 plate appearances in that span.
- Andy Marte enters tonight in an 0-for-12 funk after a hot week.
- Last night’s win was the Tribe’s 700th in the history of this ballpark. The Tribe is 166 games over .500 all-time at Progressive (nee Jacobs) Field.
- First baseman Beau Mills drove in his 82nd run of the season in Double-A Akron’s 5-1 win over Erie last night. He’s now ranked seventh in the Eastern League in RBIs. Josh Tomlin won his league- and organizational-best 14th game. Jose “Can’t Stand Ya” Constanza swiped four bags to give him 48 on the season, which is tied for the fourth-most in the league.
- On a completely unrelated note, tickets for the Ohio University-UConn tilt at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio (the navel of the universe) tonight are just $5. If you hurry, you can still make it.