"Radio is a sound salvation, radio is cleaning up the nation"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
For the purported “Rock ‘N Roll Capital of the World,” Cleveland sure has some lousy radio.
Some will dispute or disprove what I am about to write, but I stand by the belief that if it’s not entirely accurate, it’s at least emotionally accurate, and that’s half the battle:
If you turn on your radio in Cleveland right this moment and do a quick scan of every station, you will hear at least one John Mellencamp song.*
Go ahead. Try it. I’ll wait.
*While I’m waiting, I’d like to point out that no disrespect is intended to Mellencamp, whose music I generally enjoy. But just once, I’d like to hear something rare off the “Scarecrow” or “Whenever We Wanted” albums — maybe “Minutes to Memories” or “Love and Happiness” – instead of the 1,382,958,134th local airing of “Jack and Diane.”
Now that you are properly pumped by the catchy chorus of “Authority Song,” I’ll bring you the good news: I finally found a Cleveland radio station I like, or, dare I say, love.
I don’t know how long it’s been on the air (I’m usually late to the party with such things), but if you have any self-respect and dignity, you’ll tune in to V107.3 FM. Since my return from Spring Training and discovery of this station, I’ve already heard some live U2, a little Lucinda Williams, some Neil Young, the Raconteurs and some rare Dylan. Stuff I have never heard on any Cleveland station. Ever.
So at the risk of sounding like a pitchman (and an unpaid and unprompted one, at that), do yourself a favor and check it out.
But before you do, read this…
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Shin-Soo Choo was the hero of the homestand, capping it off nice with today’s five-RBIs effort and his second career grand slam. He became the 25th Indians player to drive in five or more runs in a game during the month of April. The Indians are 25-0 in those games.
- Choo is on some kind of a tear. Over the last seven games, he’s batting .545 (12-for-22) with four homers and 12 RBIs. “He was a one-man wrecking crew,” Manny Acta said.
- Obviously, Choo can’t possibly keep up that pace. But this homestand was big for him, because his slow start, in which he struck out nine times in his first 21 at-bats, was eating at him. He leaned on the likes of Travis Hafner, Mark Grudzielanek and Mike Redmond for advice on not putting too much pressure on himself. “I feel like I played this way in Spring Training,” Choo said. “I didn’t put pressure on myself [in the spring]. The first three or four games, I put pressure on myself. But I talked to some guys and the hitting coach and they told me not to worry too much. I’m trying to see the ball and hit the ball.”
- Choo is just the second player in the AL to drive in five or more runs in a game this year. The first was Carlos Quentin, who drove in six in Toronto last week.
- Speaking of driving in runs, Mark Grudzielanek did that in a big-league game today for the first time since July 29, 2008. The only 11 games Grudzielanek played in last year were in the Minors.
- The Indians’ four-game winning streak is their longest since a five-game streak in late July last year. The Tribe has won five straight overall against the White Sox, and they swept the Sox in Cleveland for the first time since 2003.
- Not many people were here to see the sweep. Only 10,564 tickets were distributed for today’s game. After drawing 42,061 for the opener, the Indians drew 54,169 over the last five games of the homestand.
- The consistency we’ve seen from Fausto Carmona has to be encouraging to the Indians. Has he been dominant? No. But he’s been effective in limiting the damage off him, even when he quickens his tempo a little much and loses some control. In 20 innings, Carmona has walked 12 and allowed 12 hits, but only eight runs have scored on him. Today, Acta pointed out that Fausto threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 25 hitters he faced. We, uh, didn’t see much of that last year.
- You know who we might see this year? Yohan Pino. I remember Torey Lovullo telling me how much he loved this guy at the tail end of ’09, and the new coaching staff and Lou Marson quickly developed an appreciation for Pino’s stuff in spring camp. In two starts for Triple-A Columbus this year, Pino is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Since joining the Indians in the Carl Pavano trade, he is 4-0 with a 1.38 ERA in four starts, striking out 25 and walking four in 26 innings. The Indians didn’t protect Pino in the Rule 5 Draft over the winter, and it’s looking like they dodged a bullet.
- The inimitable Bob Feller on the way injuries are handled in today’s game: “The DL’s the worst thing that’s happened to baseball since the Black Sox scandal,” he said. He was asked if they had the DL in his day. “Hell no,” he said. “If you got hurt, you didn’t play.” And a gallon of milk was about 40 cents. Those were the days.
- That’s all for today. For the off day, I’ll have a new edition of the Indians Inbox on Indians.com. And a Choo feature is in the works for Tuesday morning. I’ll catch back up with you Tuesday from Target Field.