HBT Weekend Wrapup


I think half the time I write that as “Weekend Wrapup” and half the time I write it as “Weekend Wrap.”  Eh, consistency is overrated.

  • That A.J. Burnett-Joe Girardi business from Saturday night.  True Fact: I landed in New York at about 9:30 AM yesterday morning. My cab driver, however, already had detailed inside information about all of this from “a guy who knows a guy who [he] used to work for who works for the Yankees now.” From nine hours earlier. When the Yankees were in Minnesota. He says the media got it all wrong and that “there’s a whole f**kin’ bigger story there that the Yankees ain’t gonna tell nobody.” But my cab driver knew it. OK.
  • Chipper Jones is coming back next year. Bloggers: set your macros for “day-to-day with ____ soreness.”
  • K-Rod is open to returning to the Mets next year. The Mets could not be reached for comment because they knocked their phones off the hook while convulsing from the most violent laughing fit in recorded history.
  • Brian Cashman doesn’t want to be the Cubs’ GM.  Or the Orioles or anyone else’s for that matter. Because while he appreciates that folks like to write stories about him going various places, he is not, in fact, certifiably insane.
  • The Yankees could maybe be interested in Rich Harden. I suppose “Harden beating the Red Sox in Game four of the ALCS after the Sox passed on him due to his medicals back in July” would make for interesting off-season fodder in Boston.
  • I can’t decide if 2011 will be known as the “The Year of Appendectomies” or “The Year of Oblique Strains.”
  • Give ’em enough rope
  • Jeff Jered Weaver signed a big contract extension. Some folks are saying that he cost himself many millions by signing now instead of when he hits free agency after 2012. That’s probably true. It’s also true that to get those extra millions he’d likely have to at least entertain the notion of going to New York, the city that helped chew up and spit out his older brother, and to bypass the chance to stay in beautiful Southern California and the pitcher-friendly AL West for a sum that will set him and his descendants up for several generations. So no, I’m not gonna get on the guy for this.
  • The Pirates locked up young talent. Kind of a new approach for them. No, not the spending money part. The having young talent part.

Into the week we go. And if I seem more chipper than usual this week, realize that my kids go back to school tomorrow. And, for the first time they’re both gone all day, five days a week.  Don’t get me wrong — I love my kids and love havin’ ’em around — but now I can blog pants-free while listening to The Dead Kennedys cranked up to 11. At least until about 3:45pm when they get off the bus.

The kids I mean. Not the Dead Kennedys. They would have no business riding a school bus in my neighborhood.

Cavaliers will move ring ceremony to avoid conflict with World Series start

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 11: A general exterior image of the Quicken Loans arena which is next door to Progressive Field where the Chicago White Sox will take on the Cleveland Indians on July 11, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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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, 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.

Indians could benefit from long rest before the World Series

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09: Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 9, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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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.