Results tagged ‘ Jamey Carroll ’

And the rain fell down on the cold hard ground

It’s Opening Day in Cleveland, so, naturally, I’m typing this during a rain delay.

Yeah, it’s cold today (45 degrees at first pitch). And yeah, the rain blew around all day before it began to pour in the fifth inning. But this is nothing, right?

“Our fans are used to it,” Eric Wedge said. “They’ve sat out here in worse conditions than this.”

We Clevelanders toss out the phrase “at least it’s not snowing” as if that’s any sort of consolation whatsoever.

But hey, at least it’s not snowing.

And the delay gives me the opportunity to throw some mid-game minutia your way.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Jamey Carroll’s left hand is in a splint as he recuperates from that broken fifth metacarpal shaft suffered in his last at-bat of the spring. “The longest Spring Training in history, and I get hurt in the last inning of the last game,” Carroll said. If it weren’t for bad luck, he’d have no luck at all.
  • Thus far, it’s been a straight swap of the catching duties for Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach. Martinez caught Scott Lewis today, and Shoppach will, of course, catch Cliff Lee on Saturday. No word on who is catching for Anthony Reyes on Sunday.
  • During the pregame roster and lineup introductions, the Indians’ training and strength and conditioning staff got to trot out to the third-base line for their turn in the limelight. Considering all the injuries the Indians endured last season, I’d say the honor was well-deserved.
  • The Tribe hit five homers Thursday. That feat only happened once last season – July 30 against Detroit, in a 13-inning game.
  • Entering today, the Indians were 58-50 all-time in home openers
  • Wedge liked what he saw from Travis Hafner in Thursday’s home run. “That was the swing, that was the speed and that was the path [the Indians want to see from Pronk],” Wedge said. But “that” was also an 84 mph fastball from Eddie Guardado.
  • I was much more impressed with Hafner getting around on Scott Richmond’s 93-mph fastball for a two-run double off the right-field wall in the first inning and a 92-mph fastball for a solo homer to the Indians’ visitors’ bullpen in the right-field corner in the third. Pronk’s starting to look a little more legit.
  • The Indians have not started a season 0-4 wince 1985, when they started 0-5.
  • Wedge was really relaxed with the media today. Somehow, he got on the subject of his first exposure to baseball. It came in 1977, when he was 11 years old and first played Little League. The coach asked Wedge (“a short, fat, squatty kid,” as he put it) if he wanted to try catching, and he was all for it. “I thought it would be cool to put all that stuff on,” Wedge said. On his bedroom wall, he hung posters of Carlton Fisk, Johnny Bench and Thurman Munson. No Farrah Fawcett, sadly.
  • The Tribe’s clubhouse has new carpet, and it was GM Mark Shapiro’s wife, Lissa, who picked out the color scheme (a deep blue in the clubhouse and a gray in the halls). Mark pretty much designed the alternate uniforms worn for the home opener, holidays and weekend home games. Move over, HGTV.

~AC

I ain't here on business, baby, I'm only here for fun

Off days on the road are pretty much a waste. Personally, I’d rather spend a day off at home with friends and family than in some Marriott Courtyard watching HBO.

So when the 2009 schedule came out, and I saw the Indians had an off day scheduled in Arlington, no less, you can imagine my chagrin.

040709b.jpgAnd then the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour schedule came out, and all was once again right with the world. The Boss rocked Tulsa, Okla., last night, and my brother Bill and I were there — on the floor, about 10 yards from Bruce’s microphone.

By now, any reader of this blog is already familiar my Springsteen obsession. So I’ll spare you the detailed account of how he scorched the earth with his guitar solo on “Seeds” or my enthusiasm over his ability to captivate and inspire an arena-filling crowd not just with his musicianship but also through his boundless energy and sheer depth of feeling. I won’t mention that the band — even with Clarence Clemons, the bearer of two bad hips and two bum knees, having to be elevated to the stage, quite sadly, by a mechanical lift — has never sounded tighter and never handled Springsteen’s famous setlist audibles more ably.

But I will say that I’m currently nursing what I believe to be a broken toe as a result of the stage crush that ensued when Bruce came toward us near the end of “Rosalita.”

And to quote a less-inspiring rocker, it hurts so good.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians will induct former players Sandy Alomar Jr. and Wes Ferrell into their team Hall of Fame in August. Former owners Bill Veeck and Dick Jacobs will also be inducted as the inaugural class of the Distinguished Hall of Fame for non-uniformed men and women who significantly contributed to the fortunes of the franchise. Veeck and Ferrell will be inducted posthumously.
  • Cliff Lee said he intended no disrespect toward Victor Martinez on Monday when he referenced Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s two-run single to the right side and said, “If Vic lays out and is able to catch that ball, those runs don’t score.” I was there when Lee said it, and it was clear he was making a point (not much of a point, but a point nonetheless) that mere inches separated that play from being an out. He wasn’t throwing Martinez under the bus, but some people (namely, the talking heads on “Baseball Tonight”) read it that way.
  • Lee is on line to start the April 16 opener of the new Yankee Stadium, opposite former mate CC Sabathia. Pretty cool.
  • Speaking of former Indians, the Rangers are giving Omar Vizquel the start at short tomorrow.
  • Adam Miller’s throwing program is ongoing at the Player Development Complex in Goodyear. He’s still not to the point of facing live hitters, according to Eric Wedge.
  • Jamey Carroll will not have surgery to repair that broken bone in his left hand. It will heal itself naturally. Carroll is still expected to miss four to six weeks.
  • Wedge offered another reason why he wants Travis Hafner in the cleanup spot: “The last thing we need is to put him somewhere in the lineup where he’s not accustomed to being,” Wedge said, “because then you have him trying too hard to get back to where he used to be.”
  • Anthony Reyes, scheduled to make his first start of the season Sunday against the Blue Jays, worked 4 2/3 innings not against but for Mount Olive College in an exhibition on Tuesday night. He faced the Class A Kinston hitters and limited them to a run on two hits with a walk and eight strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches.
  • Tonight’s game marks the 400th all-time meeting between the Indians and Rangers.
  • Former Tribe pitcher Mike Bacsik, who now works for an sports talk radio station, was in the Indians’ clubhouse before tonight’s game. Bacsik will forever be remembered for serving up Barry Bonds’ 756th career home run.
  • Bullpen catchers Dave Wallace and Dan Williams attempted to count the number of balls used in Spring Training this year. They weren’t sure of the exact number, but it was in excess of 12,000.

~AC

Hey mister deejay, won't ya hear my last prayer

I really don't see how it's even remotely possible that anyone could or would need to listen to a radio station other than E Street Radio -- the all-Bruce Springsteen station on Sirius and XM.

 

Actually, I'm on my second rental car of the spring already, because the Sirius subscription in the first one ran out a day into my rental period. That wasn't going to cut it. I need access to the only station where it's standard practice to hear, on average, five versions of "Thunder Road" (the studio version, the live version from the Agora Ballroom in '78, the solo piano version from the live boxed set, the original version named "Wings for Wheels" from early '75 and the studio alternate version in which the woman he's singing to is named Chrissie, not Mary) a day.

 

To me, that's perfect radio. But for the rest of you, perfect radio involves the Indians broadcasts.

 

Unfortunately, not every game down here in the Cactus League will be carried by WTAM, WMMS and the Indians Radio Network. Tom Hamilton, who arrived to camp today, will be in the booth for Wednesday's opener and 20 other spring exhibitions.

 

The rest of the time, you can turn to the soothing sounds of Jim Rosenhaus right over in these parts at Indians.com. Those of you with a subscription to MLB.com's Gameday Audio feature can tune in at the site for every game, including the ones not carried on the radio. For the complete spring broadcast schedule, click here.

  

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • It will be David Huff opposing Hector Rondon in the first inning of tomorrow's 1 p.m. intrasquad game. The game will last five innings in all. Rafael Betancourt, Kirk Saarloos, Adam Miller, Greg Aquino, Jensen Lewis, Masa Kobayashi, John Meloan and Ryan Edell will all get an inning of work.
  • Also of note for the intrasquad is that Ryan Garko and Jamey Carroll will both play in the outfield, while Josh Barfield will be at third base. Eric Wedge said he’s seen enough of Garko to determine it’s worth a shot, particularly in such a meaningless game.
  • At the end of this morning’s workout, the position players took part in an interesting situational hitting drill. They were divided into two teams. When a player would step into the cage, the players from the opposing team would call out a situation — for example, bases loaded with the infield in and one out — and the hitter would have to respond with the appropriate at-bat. Get it right, get a point. Get it wrong, lose a point. The team with the fewest points at the end had to pick up all the balls sprayed around the field. Some funny moments came out of this, and you can read about them on Indians.com in a little bit. But the highlight was when Shin-Soo Choo’s situation was basically “don’t hit a homer.” He hit a towering shot off the center-field wall, about a foot and a half short of going out. Big League Choo, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Nick Weglarz is a beast at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. He was one of the early arrivals to Minor League camp this year, because he's due to leave to represent Canada in the World Baseball Classic this week. He took batting practice with the members of big-league camp this morning. I'll write up Weglarz in the coming days, but the main things you need to know about him is that he's got the body of a Travis Hafner with enough athleticism, the Indians believe, to remain in left field. He's not your typical power hitter. At Class A Kinston last year, he had a .396 on-base percentage, drawing 71 walks and striking out 78 times.
  • Another Andy Marte sighting today. He was working out at the complex and changing in the Minor League locker room. The Indians weren't able to work out a trade involving Marte, and he was officially exposed to waivers this morning. Teams have until Wednesday to claim him. I'll have Marte's take on his situation in a story on Indians.com this afternoon.
  • Jhonny Peralta will see some time at third this spring, but it won’t be a “steady diet,” Wedge said. It will be just enough to ensure Peralta is ready to jump over there from time to time during the season, if the need arises.
  • Former big-league player and hitting coach Mickey Brantley will be here tomorrow to see his son, Michael, in action.

 ~AC

"I happen to dress based on mood… This is Morning Mist."

These must already be the dog days of camp if yesterday's discussion centered around dog names.

 

(I particularly liked the idea of getting nine fish and naming them all after the members of the starting lineup. However, that might be difficult to pull off with the Tribe. You might need a few versatile, utility fish to fill in when the other fish are in a slump or need a break from ... I don't know ... swimming laps, I guess.)

 

Today's topic: Clothing.

 

Now, I don't claim to have an admirable wardrobe. Far from it, in fact. Sportswriters technically aren't allowed to wear anything but sweatpants and polo shirts featuring the logo of some event from 1996. Also, I hate to sound like a cranky old man. But seriously... what's with these Affliction shirts?

 

You know what shirts I'm talking about, right? They usually have some sort of skull on them. Or maybe it's not a skull. I guess I haven't really taken the time to examine them closely. (Edit: After I started writing this entry, I went into the clubhouse and did examine one of them closely. It featured a sword going through an empty rib cage, surrounded by flowers. Reminds me of prom night.) But I do know that they're always form-fitting (I would love, just once, to see a guy wearing an Affliction shirt three sizes too big for him), and they are a hit among ballplayers. I'm starting to think they serve as a secondary uniform for this particular team.

 

I don't get it. I don't want to get it. And if you can't tell by this post, I'm really ready for the games to start down here, because I have nothing better to do than write up the unceremonious end of Andy Marte's reign and rant about T-shirts.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • GM Mark Shapiro is back in camp after leaving for Baltimore due to the death of his grandmother. With Shapiro back, he and Eric Wedge began holding their two-on-one meetings with position players.
  • Another rather uneventful morning on the back fields. The players did some work at their individual positions, and the second round of live BP was held.
  • It can be somewhat telling to see who's getting work at which position and what group they are in. For example, Luis Valbuena, Josh Barfield and Beau Mills all got work this morning in what could be considered the Major League infield group (Mark DeRosa at third, Jhonny Peralta at short, Asdrubal Cabrera at second and Ryan Garko at first). Barfield was at second base and Valbuena was taking grounders at short. Jamey Carroll worked with DeRosa at third base.
  • The plan this season is for Carroll to serve as, essentially, the backup third baseman. With DeRosa expected to see some time in the outfield, Carroll can step in at the hot corner. Barfield will probably make this team and serve as Cabrera's backup at second base. So much of Carroll's time on the field, to this point, has been spent at third.
  • Wedge's first impression of third baseman Wes Hodges: "For a young player, he does a nice job staying in the middle of the diamond [in BP]."
  • Someone asked whatever happened with Edward Salcedo, the prospect to end all prospects who the Indians reportedly made a run at last year in the Dominican and were even rumored to have signed for $2.9 million (obviously, that wasn't the case). Last I heard, there was an investigation into Salcedo's age and doubts that he was really 16. The talk about Salcedo coming out of the Dominican quieted in a hurry when that investigation began. 

~AC

(Clarence Clemons' saxophone solo in "Jungleland")

Today's blog headline goes out to the Indians' resident iTrac vision training specialist Jason Stein, also known in these parts as the "Master of Self-Promotion."

 

Stein and I don't see eye to eye on, well, anything, and not just because he's taller than me. One of our many arguments yesterday centered on music. He claimed that Bruce Springsteen's "Jungleland" (referenced in yesterday's blog headline) has a superfluous saxophone solo, while I claim that the solo is the greatest saxophone solo in rock history (granted, it didn't have a heck of a lot of real competition for this honor, but it's an honor, nonetheless), and, therefore, integral to the song's beauty.


clemons.jpg 

Stein's contention was that he listens to music for the lyrics, and he said the simple fact that you can't "quote" a saxophone solo in my blog postings is proof enough that the musical interludes don't matter.

 

So, out of pure spite, I'm sticking it to Stein with The Big Man's solo today, in headline form. If you close your eyes, I swear you can hear it. Or you can just watch it here.

 

If you can't tell from the above post, it's another slow day in camp. And let's face it... this is what you might call a trend. The early days of camp are always rather mundane, but at least it gives us plenty of time to bicker over Bruce.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Pitching coach Carl Willis said Kerry Wood looked good yesterday -- too good, in fact. Wood's stuff is way ahead of where it needs to be this time of year. "He was impressive, to say the least," Willis said, shaking his head. "By no means was he out of control, but we might have to slow him down a tad."
     
  • In the clubhouse this morning, after PFPs had wrapped up, several of the pitchers were watching a show about Game 7 of the '97 World Series on the MLB Network. Jensen Lewis said he still remembers watching that game on his couch. "I rubbed my face raw with nerves," he said.
     
  • The position players took BP for the first time on Field No. 1 this morning. That's the one with the exact dimensions of Progressive Field.
     
  • The full-squad is in-house. In fact, the addition of Tony Graffanino means an even 60 players are in camp. So each and every one of the 60 lockers in the Indians' clubhouse is spoken for. Lots of elbow-bumping going on.
     
  • Position players took their physicals. Their two-on-one meetings with Eric Wedge and Mark Shapiro have been pushed back because of Shapiro's absence due to a death in the family. When Shapiro returns this week, the meetings will be spread out over the course of three days.
     
  • One number change this year: Jamey Carroll has given up No. 7 to Mark DeRosa and taken No. 11. Carroll was hoping he might get something in return for the number (a nice steak dinner, perhaps?), but it hasn't happened yet. And Carroll is already justifying the situation by praising his new number. "It's a one for each kid," said Carroll, whose wife, Kim, gave birth to twins last year.
     
  • Josh Weir of the Canton Repository pointed out that Ben Francisco and Shin-Soo Choo each have exactly 509 Major League at-bats under their belt. What are the odds of that? (Note: Please don't conjure up some scientific formula that proves the odds were actually quite good, thereby making me look like an idiot. Please.)
     
  • You knew this story was coming, and it's a shame. Winter Haven businesses will be hurt by the Indians' absence. One estimate is that Spring Training generated $25 million in economic impact for the city each year.
     
  • Finally, it just dawned on me that Richie Cannata's sax solo on Billy Joel's "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" is also quite good. Not "Jungleland" good, but still good.

~AC

 

UPDATE: Wedge said, in general, he was happy with the shape guys reported in. But without naming names, he said, "There's always a couple that don't look quite how you want them to." Then he added sarcastically, "It's not like you have anything to get in shape for."

 

UPDATE No. 2: Alto Reed. "Turn the Page." How did I forget that one? Yes, yes, that definitely needs consideration for top sax solo. I'm biased, of course, so I'd still list The Big Man at No. 1, but Alto's up there. And does anybody know his real name? It can't be Alto Reed, right? This has always bugged me, but I've never seen an original name. If his birth name really was Alto Reed, he had no choice but to become a saxophonist. It's the same as that old Seinfeld bit about naming your kid Jeeves and, thus, sealing his fate as a butler. Then again, if you're named Jeeves, you can also become the guy who answers everybody's questions on the Internet. OK, I'm rambling. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers