The Indians started August off right, with a 12-2 butt-kicking of the Rangers, which included all nine Tribe starters collecting at least one hit and scoring at least one run, something that hadn't happened all season. In addition to all that offense, Salazar worked out of one bad jam, and did pretty well on the night.
Other Tribe items
The Indians are honoring Jim Thome tonight, unveiling a statue of him, and handing out replicas of it to the first 12,500 fans through the gates. If you happen to get one of those statues and can't think of anything to do with it, feel free to mail it to me!
The team honored radio man Tom Hamilton before Friday night's game. Hamilton has been calling Tribe games for 25 seasons now. Zack Meisel at Cleveland.com has a nice profile of Hamilton.
Chris Dickerson didn't play on Friday, after exiting Thursday's game early with a sore knee, but he's not expected to land on the DL, and could be back in the starting lineup as early at this evening.
On Jonah Keri's podcast this week, he spoke with Pedro Martinez. There's some good Expos chatter in there, in addition to talk of his years in Boston, including some very interesting stuff about the Pedro game many Tribe fans probably remember best (and by "best" I mean that we remember it well, not that we remember it fondly), his relief appearance in Game 5 of the 1999 ALDS, when he pitched 6 no-hit innings, as the Indians we eliminated. Pedro says that game is what began the injury problems that plagued the second half of his career:
"That's when my shoulder started barking.... I did it it out of pure guts and adrenaline.... From the 84-86 mph that I was probably throwing in the first inning, I went all the way up to 94 again, but at the end of the game I was dying. I've never been in more pain than I was that day."
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth looks back at the trade deadline moves made by the teams who went on to win the World Series in each of the last ten seasons, finding that few of the moves they made really mattered, and the moves that did matter were often unpopular at the time.
According to FanGraphs, no team's chances of winning a Wild Card spot were hurt more by deadline moves than the Tribe's. On the other hand, those moves led to a drop of just 0.6% in the Indians' chances of winning the World Series, in large part because those chances were already so low.
The A's released $10-million relief pitcher Jim Johnson. This was a smart move, because he's been dreadful. Oakland has as good (or better) chance of winning the World Series as anyone, so it's not as though adding Johnson during the offseason torpedoed their season, but it's worth being reminded that even the great GMs (and Billy Beane is just that) make some terrible decisions.
This week's sort of off-topic topic
Mark Avery Kenny is a graphic designer after my own heart. In the past he designed Simpsons themed logos for every NHL team (well, that move is half after my heart, since I know very little about hockey... I do know the
Crew Blue Jackets got one of the very best designs), and now he's designed Star Wars themed logos for all 30 MLB teams. The only thing that keeps me from declaring the man a hero is his awful, terrible, couldn't be any worse choice for the Indians. You can see all of them here.