Notes: Quick action pays off for Tribe
Logistics handled quickly to allow series to shift to Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE -- Mike Seghi is in his 34th season as the Indians' travel director. He thought he had seen it all."It's hard to say anything is a first at this point," Seghi said Tuesday. "But this was a first." The first in question was the Indians' last-minute move from Jacobs Field to Miller Park, the stadium they'll call "home" for the next three days. Seghi got word Sunday that a move of the Indians-Angels three-game series might be in order, due to the persistent snow and cold in Cleveland. He was asked to make arrangements for a team charter flight to and hotel in both Milwaukee and Houston, so that a package could be placed before Major League Baseball on Monday morning. Luckily, rooms were available in both cities. Milwaukee got the final nod because of the closer proximity to Cleveland and the fact that it basically sits on the Angels' previously scheduled flight pattern. Seghi wouldn't -- or couldn't -- estimate how much it cost the team to make the unexpected road trip, though one report guessed it at $50,000. "With something like this," Seghi said, "you're not asking, 'How much?' You're asking, 'Can I do it?'" Finding accommodations for the Indians was one thing. Packing their gear was another. Home clubhouse manager Tony Amato and his staff got word of the move to Milwaukee late in the morning Monday. "Once we got it," Amato said, "we scrambled." Complicating matters was the fact that the Indians' travel bags were already packed with their road gear. Amato and his staff had to flop out those uniforms with the home ones. To save time, the team decided to just bring its road batting helmets, which are all blue, rather than the home ones, which have a red brim. Upon arrival at Miller Park on Tuesday, the Indians set up shop in the visitors' clubhouse, even though they're officially classified as the home team. The team wasn't sure how much access they'd have in the home side, where Brewers manager Ned Yost's office and the video rooms were locked. They chose instead to return to the visitor's side, which they occupied during Interleague Play last summer.
Three No. 42s: Add Grady Sizemore to the list of Indians players ready to don Jackie Robinson's No. 42 for Sunday's home game against the White Sox.
The Indians have received approval for Sizemore to join Josh Barfield and C.C. Sabathia in paying tribute to Robinson on the 60th anniversary of the day he broke baseball's color barrier by wearing his retired jersey number. And it won't take much tinkering, seeing as how Sizemore currently wears No. 24. He'll just pull the ol' switcheroo.
"It's got a little bit of history to it," Sizemore said of the number. "It's nice to recognize what he did for the game."
Sizemore's father, also named Grady, is African-American.Proud papa in pain: Victor Martinez stayed in Cleveland for the first day of this "road" trip. Not just to rehab his strained left quadriceps muscle, but also to witness the birth of his daughter, Maria Victoria. Margret Martinez gave birth to the baby girl Tuesday morning. She weighed in at 6 pounds, 5 ounces. The couple also has a 2-year-old son, Victor. As for Martinez's condition, he's not able to play, but the team isn't placing him on the 15-day disabled list just yet. For now, Kelly Shoppach will start behind the plate, with first baseman Ryan Garko filling in as an emergency backup. Triple-A catcher Mike Rose is in Milwaukee, in case the club needs to put Martinez on the DL. Rose worked out at Miller Park on Tuesday afternoon, then dressed in street clothes and left the park when the Tribe went out to stretch. "Garko's been working hard in the cages, working on catching," manager Eric Wedge said. "We're going to run with Shop and Garko. If we need to get Mike Rose, we can make that happen." Wedge said the club hopes Martinez will be ready to play by the weekend. Long layoff: At last, the Indians had a ballgame to play Tuesday. And while the wait was long for all involved, it was particularly brutal to those who didn't see any action in the three games in Chicago and the aborted home opener Friday against the Mariners. Relievers Jason Davis and Fernando Cabrera, for example, hadn't pitched since Spring Training when they arrived to Milwaukee. "They've been working on the side while [the weather problems in Cleveland have] been going on," Wedge said. "Obviously, we need to get them going." Nice gesture: When the Indians left Jacobs Field behind, they also left behind quite a bit of food that was to be served during the Mariners' and Angels' series. Now, that food has been given to those who need it most. The Indians donated nearly 650 pounds of produce and prepared meats to the Cleveland Foodbank on Tuesday. The Foodbank serves more than 400 hunger programs in six counties in the Cleveland area, helping out the poor, unemployed, elderly, homeless and chronically ill. Last November, the Tribe front office hosted a food drive that produced nearly 2,590 Thanksgiving meals for the Foodbank. Tribe tidbits: The Indians were expecting about 36,000 fans to attend the Angels series in Cleveland. And in a strange twist, they might have more show up here in Milwaukee. Before Tuesday's opener, the Brewers said they had sold about 11,000 tickets for Tuesday night, 9,400 for Wednesday night and 6,000 for Thursday afternoon. All tickets were $10, and the walkup lines before Tuesday's game were looking fairly long. "I think it's great," Wedge said. "Obviously, we're the flavor of the sports world right now. We're getting a lot of publicity. This shows you how passionate the fans are about the game of baseball here." ... On the whole, Wedge didn't seem overly concerned with the rust his players might suffer from after three days without game action. "Mentally, they're pretty tough," he said. "It's a tough group of guys." ... Tuesday marked the first time an American League game has been played in Milwaukee since the end of the 1997 season, before the Brewers moved to the NL. ... Left-hander Cliff Lee (right abdominal strain) made his first rehab appearance at Class A Kinston on Tuesday night. He gave up one hit and struck out four in two scoreless innings against Wilmington. Down on the farm: Buffalo finally got its '07 season started Monday night with an 8-3 home win over Ottawa. Top prospect Adam Miller gave up three runs on 10 hits in six innings, working out of two bases-loaded jams. "Adam made some key pitches at key moments," Buffalo manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think that's what a championship player does." ... Double-A Akron also kicked off its season with a 6-1 home win over Altoona. Left-hander Chuck Lofgren, the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year last season, made his Double-A debut and gave up just one run on four hits over five innings to get the win. On deck: The home-away-from-home series against the Angels continues at 7:05 p.m. ET on Wednesday, when right-hander Jake Westbrook (0-0, 12.60 ERA) makes his second start opposite left-hander Joe Saunders (0-0, 4.76).
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.