Indians head to playoffs on winning note
Laffey tosses five strong innings; Hafner reaches 100 RBIs
KANSAS CITY -- Aaron Laffey ducked into the visitors' clubhouse at Kauffman Stadium between innings early in Sunday's game and saw the inevitable.It's tradition for Major League rookies to don ridiculous costumes at some point on the final road trip of the year. And on this day, the bell tolled for Laffey and his fellow first-timers. "I came in here to get a Gatorade and saw them," Laffey said. "I didn't even want to look at mine." What Laffey, who pitched the Tribe to a 3-2 victory over the Royals in this regular-season finale, eventually found in his locker stall pleased him. It was a giant, bright parrot costume, which certainly beats some of the alternatives -- namely, a flamboyant cowboy outfit donned by Ben Francisco and a flight attendant's uniform worn by Jensen Lewis. But goofy getups aren't all Laffey (4-2, 4.56 ERA) has to smile about these days. He told reporters he has been informed by manager Eric Wedge that he is on the Indians' postseason roster, where he will be ready to pitch out of the bullpen. So that solves the mystery of who the Indians' 11th pitcher will be in the ALDS against the Yankees. Laffey will join starters C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Jake Westbrook and Paul Byrd and relievers Joe Borowski, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, Aaron Fultz and Tom Mastny. "To come up in early August and be able to make the playoff roster is real exciting," Laffey said. "I'm pumped to get the playoffs going." As are the rest of the Indians, who put a victorious final touch on their 96-66 season. It ties them with the Red Sox for baseball's best regular-season record and with the 1996 Tribe team for the sixth-best record in club history. All this with a payroll around $70 million. "That's just this team," said Borowski, who picked up his American League- and career-best 45th save on this day. "We just find ways to win. It's enjoyable. Guys never quit."
American League Division Series schedule
|Wed., Oct. 3||6:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Fri., Oct. 5||8:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Sun. Oct. 7||3 p.m.||Angel Stadium||TBS|
|*Mon. Oct. 8||9:30 p.m.||Angel Stadium||TBS|
|*Wed. Oct. 10||8:30 p.m.||Fenway Park||TBS|
|Thu., Oct. 4||6:30 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|Fri., Oct. 5||5 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|Sun. Oct. 7||6:30 p.m.||Yankee Stadium||TBS|
|*Mon. Oct. 8||6 p.m.||Yankee Stadium||TBS|
|*Wed. Oct. 10||5 p.m.||Jacobs Field||TBS|
|* If necessary. All times ET.|
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.