"It's lonely out in space, on such a timeless flight"

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com


This is an ode to A2, my home that takes me away from home.
It is the seat I have frequented on Continental’s Embraer jets for the last five years on the Indians beat. As “first class” as you can get on a regional, 50-person flight.
You know those flights. One seat on the left side, two on the right. But the beauty of sitting in A2 is that you are removed from the exhausting small talk that must be kept up with the flight attendant when you’re sitting in A1, and you are removed from having a person sitting on either side of you. Nobody bothers you in A2. You are free to complete your Jumble puzzle or read your Nicholas Sparks novel in peace.
Ah, A2. You are the perfect seat to soothe me when the sobering reality that I am about to spend three days in Arlington sinks in. You are a true companion when those tiny bags of even tinier pretzels serves as lunch. Your prime location at the front of the plane ensures me a quicker trip to baggage claim and fresher canned apple juice than those poor saps in the back.
We sat together today, A2. We’ll be together again Sunday night. Times are changing, though. The Continental and United merger became effective today, and the rigors of the baseball beat have me contemplating a career change to my first love, providing closed-captioning services for “Judge Alex.” Frankly, I’m not sure what the future holds for either of us. So I just wanted to take this moment to say thank you for the cushiony comfort and the livable, if not lordly, leg room.
A2, you are A-OK.
  • Before I get to the usual Tribe notes, I’m going to give myself a little link love. Here’s a feature on our old buddy Brandon Phillips. Here’s a column examining Miguel Cabrera’s MVP chances. Here’s another column on Reds manager Dusty Baker. Here’s a column on Joakim Soria’s underrated season. And here’s the latest installment of the Indians Inbox. Click to show you care.
  • With the home slate now complete, we can officially report that the Indians had the lowest home attendance in baseball this season, at 1,391,644. Will the fans come back if the Indians improve? “Just because they’re not showing up doesn’t mean our fans aren’t passionate,” Acta said. “I get the letters. There is a lot of bitterness and borderline offending [words]. Wherever I went, I saw people wearing Indians stuff. Everybody likes a winner. Why do you think everybody showed up in the mid-90s? Because they liked the way the uniforms looked on some guys?”
  • Justin Germano gets the starting nod Sunday, followed by a bunch of other relievers. Quite an ending.
  • Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff gave a final update on various Tribe players, most notably Grady Sizemore and Carlos Santana. Sizemore has had two post-operative checkups and is progressing to “ground-based activities,” meaning lunging and squatting, in two weeks. Santana has had two post-op checkups and is doing well, though Soloff said he could not confirm Santana’s statement from earlier this week that he’ll begin running in November (Soloff did not have the calendar handy).
  • That “ground-based activities” description is a new one. But it is a welcome clarification for those accustomed to seeing baseball players hovering above ground while strength training.
  • When Soloff was done with his session with reporters, a local scribe said, “Does he do that a lot? Because last time you guys were in town, he had one of those.” I don’t have an official tally, but I’d have to believe Lonnie is among the league leaders in press sessions by athletic trainers over the last two years. He’s had a lot of territory to cover.
  • You know who else has been busy the last two years. Hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham. He recently moved his operation from Baltimore back to Cleveland. Can’t blame Graham for that move. Adam Miller alone provided him enough business to make it worthwhile. But in all seriousness, the Indians view Graham as a tremendous asset to have nearby. He is very well-regarded in sports circles.
  • Heck of a squeeze bunt put down by Trevor Crowe to push across the game-winner in Wednesday’s nightcap. You don’t see too many well-placed bunts on 99 mph fastballs delivered head-high and out of the strike zone. 
  • Manny Acta was asked what he’s thought of Crowe’s season. “We didn’t envision Crowe on this ballclub, with the personnel we had going into Spring Training,” Acta said. “I had heard he was talented, which you expect from a first-round pick, but that he sometimes plays a little out of control. He’s made a lot of progress, in that respect. He had a legit opportunity to make a big-time impression here and put himself on the inside track of being an everyday player. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But he did enough good things for me to continue to think he’s going to be a good part of what we’re trying to do here.”
  • The subject then turned to second baseman Jason Donald, who was also not expected to get such a meaningful opportunity at this level this season. Acta said that while Donald’s final numbers don’t capture the attention or imagination, he was pleased with the way Donald never went through a major swoon and continually worked hard to make improvements at the plate and in the field. “He kept his head above water and played good enough to not get sent back down once [Asdrubal] Cabrera came back,” Acta said. “It’s a tribute to him.” Will Donald enter 2011 as the starting second baseman? “It depends on what we do in the offseason,” Acta said. “He proved he can compete, and he got one more year under his belt.”
  • Today was pay day for the players. One guy approaching arbitration-eligibility for the first time was heard to remark, “This is the smallest paycheck I’m going to get until I’m a 40-year-old retread.” Line of the day.


Dammit, AC! You keep writing that well and you’ll be going all LeBron on us for greener pastures! Great articles… you’ve got a heck of a future.
Also, I know the Tribe really doesn’t have anyone right in front of them to overtake, but this win streak got me thinking… are any teams known for tossing out AAA talent at the end of the year to drop their W/L % and improve their draft position?

Hey AC….you know if you don’t want the gig anymore, can you at least get me on the short list for the job before you turn the lights out? You know I’d rock it out.

http://amyharber.mlblogs.com (Jobu’s Teepee)

I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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