"Everybody knows that Peanut BUTTER is a dairy product!"
To the genius who first combined peanut butter with chocolate, I offer a teary-eyed thank you. You, my friend (and I do consider you a friend, though we’ve never met) made Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups possible, so your prodigious role in American culture has long been cemented.
But the good people at Pierre’s have added to your legacy with their Nuts About Buckeyes ice cream. They’ve taken those Buckeye candies (again, peanut butter covered with chocolate… the most important pairing since Adam and Eve), placed them in vanilla ice cream, tossed in a peanut butter-flavored swirl and created, possibly, The Greatest Ice Cream Known To Man.
This ice cream was available in the press box last night, and I ate roughly half a gallon of it. It’s an edible work of art, and a perfect use for a set of Buckeyes who, unlike their Columbus counterparts, don’t run the risk of getting trounced by USC tonight.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- David Huff is going for his 10th win tonight. If he gets it, he’ll be the Tribe’s first 10-game winner this season. The Indians are rooting for him, because they haven’t faced the ignominy of not having a 10-game winner since way back in 1987, when Scott Bailes, Phil Neikro and Tom Candiotti all shared the team lead with seven wins.
- Last night, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Royals left fielder David DeJesus became the first outfielder in 17 years to throw out the potential winning run at home plate in the bottom of the ninth inning or later twice in one game. The last was the Cardinals’ Bernard Gilkey at Houston on Aug. 25, 1992.
- The issue of third-base coach Joel Skinner sending the runner twice (with one out in the ninth and with two out in the 11th) was already addressed in my game story from last night. But Eric Wedge was asked about it again today, and he said essentially the same thing. “You try to win the ballgame [in those situations],” Wedge said. “If you look at the norm, that’s not the norm, to throw him out twice. So many things can go wrong [with the throw and the catch] and so many things have to go right.” Michael Brantley tried to jar the ball loose when he collided with Miguel Olivo in the 11th, and the ball snow-coned in Olivo’s glove but did not pop out.
- Joe Smith, recovering from a tweaked left knee, was on a mound Friday, but he didn’t have a ball with him. He did what was called “dry work,” getting accustomed to making his pitching motions off the mound. “I got a little bit sore,” he said, “but that’s to be expected.” Smith expects to throw off a mound for the first time since Aug. 29 when the Indians get to Minnesota on Monday. He’ll probably have to throw off a mound a couple times before the Indians consider bringing him into a game.
- Wedge reiterated that his decision not to use Kerry Wood in a tie game at home had nothing to do with Wood’s health. He said Wood would have pitched the ninth if the Indians took the lead in the eighth.
- It’s been suggested by some that Travis Hafner might as well be shut down to open up at-bats for others. But Hafner has already had a limited number of at-bats this season, as it is, and Wedge sees no point in him not finishing the season. “His at-bats [lately] have been as good as he’s had all year,” Wedge said. Pronk is 19-for-his-last-56 (.339) with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 15 games. He’s still playing no more than three games in three days. He only played four games in four days once this season.
- Andy Marte is 3-for-29 with a homer. What happened here? “He wasn’t missing pitches for a short period of time,” Wedge said. “He’s strayed from that. He needs to be in a better position to square up the baseball.”
- Michael Brantley’s career-opening eight-game hitting streak came to a close Friday night. As reported previously, he was just the second Tribe player in the last 50 years to hit safely in the first eight games of his career (Josh Bard, who hit in nine straight in 2002, was the other), according to Elias.
- At the Cleveland Indians Charities Golf Outing last month, a fan by the name of Gary Taylor bought a package at the live auction that included four tickets and a limo ride with Slider to the game. Taylor generously donated the package back to the Indians, who offered it up to the Boys and Girls Club. The West family of Cleveland was awarded the package, and they were here tonight, taking in batting practice pregame and loving every minute of it. Congrats to them.
- Progressive pitchwoman Flo threw out the ceremonial first pitch again tonight. She’s a lefty, and she can work on short rest. Sign her up.