Home Runs, Pinkies, and Seagulls
Yesterday’s much needed day off was the first time the Indians didn’t have a team related activity since April 29th. I actually didn’t realize that until I just checked out the schedule. Since the last day off three games were postponed due to rain, but the players and radio announcers still come to the yard and prepare for a game. A rain out or postponement isn’t exactly a ‘day off’ it’s more like a chance to go home before 9:00. The last time the Indians didn’t have a game scheduled was on May 20th, but the team traveled that night to Charlotte. What I’m getting at is yesterday was FANTASTIC! I really felt like more than a day and from time to time you absolutely need a chance to get away and yesterday was that day. Now let’s get onto some news.
The Indians blasted the Buffalo Bisons on Tuesday clubbing a season high 5 home runs. OF Garrett Jones and 1B Steve Pearce each hit two bombs and OF Larry Broadway added another. For Pearce it was his first multi-homer game since June 25 of last year when he hit a pair against the Bisons (Cleveland affiliate in ’08, NY Mets in ’09). With his home run in the 4th inning Pearce snapped the longest HR drought of his Minor League career. It was his first blast in 29 games. A stretch of 104 at-bats without a home run. Needless to say he was relieved telling him he can’t remember the last time he squared up and enjoyed a home run trot. He enjoyed both of his shots, there was no doubt when the ball left the bat. Jones last had two home runs in a game back in August of 2007. True story…Jones called his shots before the game. We were discussing his solo blast from Monday’s game and he told me it’s been a while since he had two home runs in a game. Garrett told me he was feeling pretty good at the plate and that tonight (Tuesday) was as good as any night to get one. By the way, the home run hit by Jones were the 9th and 10th of his career at Buffalo’s stadium.
The other story of the game was RH Daniel McCutchen taking a no-hit bid into the 7th inning. The players were starting to think about the no-no in the 5th inning. CF Jeff Salazar said he was creeping up closer and closer from his normal position in CF because he didn’t want to give up a bloop single. He knew that McCutchen would have felt better giving up a hit over his head than have one fall in front of Salazar. As it turned out the first hit was a clean sinking liner to centerfield. McCutchen no-hit bid was broken up with one out in the 7th. It was a great outing for McCutchen and more importantly the Indians won 3 out of 4 games from the 17-39 Buffalo Bisons.
This story from today’s Pittsburgh Post Gazette left me confused. Pirates’ director of player developmont, Kyle Stark, says Indians 3B Neil Walker will miss 3-5 weeks with a dislocated pinkie. Huh? If you have been following others or this blog you know that is not the reason for his absence. When Neil injured himself on May June 2nd we initially thought the injury was dislocated pinkie on his left hand, but in the days since we learned it was a left knee injury. Neil is currently in Bradenton, Florida rehabbing and I have not been given a return date. Perhaps Stark is covering up the knee injury or the PG is misreporting (doubtful), but I can tell you that on the Indians radio broadcasts we have made it no secret that it’s Neil’s left knee that is keeping him out and not his pinkie.
Here are some pictures from Pilot Field, Dunn Tire Park, and the newly named Coca-Cola Field.
This stadium has had three different names and since 1988 has been the home for the Buffalo Bisons. The baseball really jumps down the lines, especially to left field. It’s is a little tougher to hit one out in centerfield with the wall 404 feet from home plate. In the next picture you will notice a net that protects an access ramp located beyond the left field wall.
Beyond the wall in right field is the player parking lot and it is where we load up the buses. Dotted throughout the parking lot are orange circles about one foot in diameter and they are labeled with names and dates of some of the longest home run hit in the stadium history. I’m sorry I didn’t snap any pictures, but some of the longest in recent history have been hit by former Ball Stater Brad Snyder.
You can always count on a hundred or so seagulls swarming the stands and landing in the outfield grass. Here is one checking out the action.
The seagulls will sit on the railings and beg or dive into the empty rows trying to scoop up discarded peanut shells and other various crumbs. It’s not unusual to see a dozen or so surrounding all three outfielders sucking up sunflower seeds. Nasty things
Take a look at this article on Ryan Davis. He is a great guy (other than he likes Michigan) and it’s a great story.
The Tribe is home tonight to open an eight game homestand. The first four will be against the Norfolk Tides with the Gwinnett Braves set to play four games beginning on Monday.