After a week off I have no idea what in the hell is going on. Some dude tried to convince me on Twitter last night that Texas A&M has petitioned to join the AL Central and I’m inclined to believe him. That’s what happens when you get in the car with the kids, drive 450 miles, plop in front of a gorgeous expanse of clean blue water and just turn your brain off for a week.
Usually the Weekend Wrap feature catches me up to date after a couple days off, but there’s no hope for me catching up from the whole vacation. But heck, two or three days is better than nothing, so let’s give it a whirl:
- Carlos Zambrano went crazy, quit on his team and is now in deep with management. This is not a repeat from, like, every year for the past decade.
- CC Sabathia gave up a bunch of homers on Friday night too, and all he’s going to do is shake it off, pitch better next time, remain a good teammate and collect millions and millions of more dollars. What’s so hard about that again?
- Rest in Peace Ernie Johnson.
- Rest in Peace Cole Hamels’ Arm.
- Bryce Harper may be emotionally immature, but boy howdy is he OK physically.
- This is just begging for one of those body-switch movies a la “18 Again” or whatever that thing is in which Jason Bateman is currently debasing himself.
- The Diamondbacks have a machine that prints up tomato can corner infielders.
- “Is Mr. Torre gone?” “Yes, Scott. He’s gone. He can’t hurt you anymore.” “OK then. I’ll sign.”
- I know a lot of good people who are out of work. And then I read something like this.
- Someone should introduce Freddy Garcia to carry out food.
- The Logan Morrison demotion is rather interesting. Especially given that everyone involved is talkin’ about it.
- Your team’s fans suck.
- Dan Uggla’s hitting streak is over. In other news, hitting streaks are kinda overrated. For example, Ted Williams hit better than Joe DiMaggio did over the course of the latter’s 56-game streak. Splinter just bunched his together more erratically. So what? Makes me wish that Uggla hit in 57 games so we could all finally admit that such things are more curios and coincidences than actual badges of greatness. DiMaggio was great for a lot of stuff. 56 straight games with a hit is pretty minor on the merits.
And we now return you to your regularly-scheduled obsessive blogging.
In a show of good sportsmanship, the Cleveland Cavaliers have moved their championship ring ceremony start time back to 7 PM EDT to avoid conflicting with the start of the World Series opener on Tuesday. The Indians are set to host Game 1 at Progressive Field on October 25, while the Cavs will open the 2016-17 NBA season against the New York Knicks at the nearby Quicken Loans Arena, preceded by a ceremony recognizing their first franchise title.
In the event that the Indians clinch a World Series title, it’ll be the first time Cleveland has seen two championships in the same calendar year since 1948, when the Indians’ last Series title came on the back of the Cleveland Browns’ All-American Football Conference championship against the Buffalo Bills. The same was true for the Dodgers in 1988, when their World Series win against the Athletics coincided with the Los Angeles Lakers’ 11th championship, while Chicago has yet to see a multi-title year among their NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB franchises.
Regardless of the Series’ outcome, Cleveland fans will get the chance to revel in one long-awaited championship win on Tuesday before watching the beginning of a nail-biting conclusion to another long-awaited playoff run. The Cavaliers are scheduled for 7 PM EDT on October 25, while the Indians will take the field at 8 PM EDT.
If any team can turn a six-day rest period into an advantage, it’s the Indians. The club polished off their pennant race with another injured starter and an overtaxed bullpen, as Trevor Bauer exited in Game 3 of the ALCS with a laceration on his right pinky finger, leaving the bullpen to shoulder 16 innings through the last three games of the series. On Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reported that injured starter Danny Salazar could rejoin the rotation in the World Series, though he’ll need at least one more simulated game before Terry Francona determines whether or not he’s fit to return for the team’s last postseason push.
Bauer, who has been under the close watch of hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, told the press that he feels confident that he’ll be ready for a World Series start when the final showdown commences on Tuesday. Keeping the wound bandaged is not an option during games, and Bauer said that Dr. Graham decided against additional stitches to keep the laceration from re-opening. Instead, they’re banking on extra days of rest to heal the cut naturally. Should Francona pencil the right-hander into the lineup for Game 3 or 4, he’ll have had 10-11 days to rest his finger between starts — just a hair under the seven games Bauer said he was prepared to pitch.
Salazar, too, has been preparing for a World Series showdown. He’s scheduled to pitch three innings of a simulated game this weekend, and if it goes well, it could land him a spot in the starting rotation alongside Bauer, Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, and newcomer Ryan Merritt. Salazar has been sidelined since September 9 with a right forearm strain, and even after undergoing a rigorous throwing program over the last several weeks, any kind of comeback is expected to be curbed by a strict innings limit. Francona has been understandably tight-lipped about his World Series roster, but he hasn’t yet nixed the idea of utilizing Salazar out of the rotation, provided the right-hander remains healthy for another week or so.
The Indians have had to remain flexible throughout their seven-game playoff run after weathering injuries to Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, pushing their rotation through several games on short rest and relying heavily on Andrew Miller and Cody Allen‘s one-two punch in the ‘pen to clinch more than a few postseason victories. While history doesn’t always favor the first team to secure their league’s pennant race, an extra week of rest should only benefit Cleveland’s beleaguered pitching staff.