"When I walk down the street, people stop and stare"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
The LeBron Jersey Guy, as he shall now be known, can scratch last night’s heckling at Progressive Field off his personal bucket list.
Other items on his “to-do” agenda include…
- Play Michigan fight song outside Jack Tatum’s funeral.
- Take swigs from a bottle of Crown at AA meeting.
- Wear hilarious “Where’s the Beef?” T-shirt to PETA rally.
- Take non-neutered dog for a walk… to Bob Barker’s house.
- Wear hooded sweatshirt, bad mustache and big sunglasses while mailing a package at the post office.
- Move to Miami.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Jhonny Peralta has left the building, and Jayson Nix is now the starting third baseman for your Cleveland Indians. Nix earned the first crack at the position with his solid play as the regular at second before Asdrubal Cabrera returned from the DL and bumped Jason Donald to second. Andy Marte will back him up. Luis Valbuena is here in a utility role.
- Many of you are wondering why Jared Goedert isn’t here. The Indians want to get a good look at what they have in Nix, for one. They also want to see defensive improvement from Goedert, whose error total in 46 games (11) is only slightly less eye-catching than his home run total (17). Sounds like Goedert will be a September callup.
- Travis Hafner was scratched from tonight’s lineup with … say it with me… right shoulder soreness. This is the first time this season that the Indians have announced that the shoulder is bothering Hafner. It’s doubtful that it’s actually the first time it’s bothered him, though. We’ve already seen how much Hafner has altered his swing to account for the shoulder. Apparently, last Friday’s game against the Rays, twice delayed and then restarted because of rain, exacerbated the issue. Does not look like this shoulder thing is going away, and that, of course, only makes a bad contract look worse.
- Not sensing that the Indians are close to making any other trades before Saturday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. As I tweeted last night, I was told flatly last month that they have no urge to move Fausto Carmona, despite any rumors you’ve read. Things can change and evolve in a month, but trading Carmona doesn’t make any more sense now than it did then. When asked about trading starting pitching, this was what Mark Shapiro had to say last night: “I would say that, compared to the past two years, there’s no sense of urgency that we have to move anyone, there’s no financial motivation or the need to create opportunities for anyone. We’ll take a look at each individual case and the value we can get back, as well as alternatives that would get the playing time. Those things enter into the equation.”
- None of the above applies to Kerry Wood, who has no future here and, in fact, barely has much of a present here. The Indians would move him in a heartbeat, if they could. He could certainly clear waivers and be dealt in August. First, he has to get activated, and that’s coming soon. Wood worked a perfect inning for Double-A Akron tonight — eight pitches, eight strikes. He’s expected to be activated this weekend in Toronto and will likely see one or two appearances in the seventh or eighth inning before returning to the closer’s role.
- Until then, that role belongs to Chris Perez, who showed, in catcher Chris Gimenez’s description, pure rage with runners on the corners and none out Tuesday night against the Yankees. Gimenez said Perez is fearless. He let out a primal scream when he struck out Mark Teixeira for the second out of that inning and did what Gimenez called “Jeter fist pump” when he got A-Rod to ground into a force out to end it. “I get fired up watching Perez,” Gimenez said.
- Marte was not happy to see Peralta go. “He was like a brother to me,” Marte said. Peralta was informed of the trade around 6:20 p.m. last night. Marte said Peralta was “ready” for that kind of news. “He signed here when he was 17, and he had his house and his family here,” Marte said. “It’s hard to get used to. But it’s good for him. He was excited about having a chance to play short there.”
- For some reason, there was an aluminum bat sitting in Marte’s locker. “Maybe that’ll do it,” one observer wryly noted.
- What did Luis Valbuena do to get his season back on track at Triple-A Columbus? “He hit,” Manny Acta said. Well, certainly it’s more complicated than that. Valbuena, who hit .313 with a 1.032 OPS and batted cleanup for the Clippers, said he had better footing and use of his legs to pull the ball more consistently. Defensively, he played 10 games at short, seven at third and six at second.
- Valbuena took over Shin-Soo Choo’s old locker (Choo moved to the “Jim Thome locker” near the entrance to the showers last week). “A lot of hits in that locker,” Choo said, pointing to Valbuena’s new home. “That locker, .300. This locker (gesturing to the Thome locker), .320.”
- Big League Choo, by the way, entered tonight batting .455 (10-for-22) with five doubles since his activation from the DL.
- Ezequiel Carrera, the Triple-A outfielder acquired in last month’s Russell Branyan trade, was placed on the Columbus DL with a right hamstring injury. He had been batting .318 since coming over.
- Acta shaved media relations director Bart Swain’s head. So… now you know that.
UPDATE: This four-game series against the Yankees attracted 112,060. That’s a 15 percent increase to total season attendance at Progressive Field.