CLEVELAND -- The buzz and excitement running through Cleveland on Friday was palpable with LeBron James announcing his return to the Cavaliers. People were gathered outside the Quicken Loans Arena, located next to Progressive Field, celebrating and chanting "L-B-J" for the numerous camera crews.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura even had one individual ask to take a picture with him and a homemade sign announcing James' return on his walk to the ballpark. Ventura politely declined.
"Everybody was really excited," Ventura said. "It was a fun walk over."
White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton, a Cavs fan who grew up in Springfield, Ohio, admitted to getting rid of his James jersey upon his departure from Cleveland for Miami. But Eaton was happy for the great impact James' return would have on Cleveland itself.
"The economy boost is very much needed here," Eaton said. "It's definitely going to be good and I'll continue to watch the Cavs like I have when he was gone. We went from the worst teams in the NBA to now we're the favorites. I'm excited.
"In all sports, people can forgive athletes in certain situations and I don't think he's any different. I'm not going to tell any athlete what he needs to do with his life. He has been very successful in Miami. I'm sure Cleveland is excited to have him back, for sure. And being a Cavs fan I'm pretty excited, too, but I guess you never kind of forget the hardness of when he left."
Lindstrom hopes to return to White Sox by August
CLEVELAND -- Matt Lindstrom could be back with the White Sox by Aug. 1, per his estimation, if his rehab continues to make the expected progress that has been shown to date.
The veteran right-handed reliever, who had surgery to repair the outside tendon in his left ankle that he injured on May 19 while pitching against the Royals, planned to throw a bullpen of anywhere from 25-to-35 pitches Saturday using all of his pitches. Lindstrom will continue working at home over the All-Star break and then throw a few more bullpens upon the team's return, followed by a Minor League rehab assignment.
"I'm hoping to join the team at the latest by August 1," Lindstrom said. "Obviously I don't want to have any setbacks or anything like that so we are still being cautious.
"But I've pretty much stretched this out and worked it out to the point that there's nothing that can really happen. I don't see anything happening. It's going to be a couple of weeks, but I'm going to take these two weeks and get my arm in really good shape."
Lindstrom dealt with a mild left oblique strain during Spring Training that left him not feeling himself in the first place. His velocity was down and he was throwing uphill. But this time off has benefited Lindstrom in that his arm feels strong and his whole body feels fresh.
If this injury was arm-related, Lindstrom and the White Sox training staff might be a bit more hesitant. But he has landed on the injured left ankle numerous times throwing pitches, with fielding his position standing as one of the final tests. Lindstrom has used acupuncture, laser treatment and massage along with the usual treatments.
"For me, it's more of a mental grind right now," Lindstrom said. "Just wanted to contribute knowing when I'm healthy, I'm good and I can do my job as a part of this team. I'm looking forward to that day, and it's coming. I'm excited about it."
Ventura sits Beckham amid trade rumors
CLEVELAND -- Stuck in a 1-for-30 slump over his last seven games and hitting just .131 (13-for-99) in his last 26, Gordon Beckham got the night off for Friday's series opener. White Sox manager Robin Ventura believes the latest round of trade rumors swirling around Beckham could be negatively affecting his second baseman.
"It'll jump on you," Ventura said. "I don't know if he wants to go there, but you hear rumors of a trade. I think some of that to an extent is true, that that stuff bothers certain people.
"I don't know if he would necessarily admit it, but you hear it all the time. It's enough of a distraction to make it difficult to hit and concentrate, and I think part of that might be where he's at right now. So that's why he's not playing."
Third to first
• Double-A Birmingham first baseman Rangel Ravelo increased his hitting streak to 26 games, the second-longest in the Minors this season behind Triple-A Nashville's Eugenio Velez at 27. Ravelo has hit safely in 30 of his last 31 games.
• Alexei Ramirez needs eight homers to reach 100 for his career. He hit 73 over seven seasons with Pinar del Rio in Cuba.
• Chris Sale's .889 winning percentage from his 8-1 record in the first half represents the second best in White Sox history behind Jose Contreras' 9-0 first half in 2006.