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Shin-Soo Choo wins it late for Tribe: ”The Indians stood up for Shin-Soo Choo on Saturday and Choo reciprocated by standing up for his teammates as well. Choo’s game-winning, two-run double off Greg Holland snapped a 10th-inning tie and lifted the Indians to an 11-9 victory on a wild night that had the Cleveland right fielder cast as the central character in a topsy-turvy plot.
When Choo was hit by Jonathan Sanchez pitch in the third inning, it triggered a crazy chain of events, which included both benches emptying twice, three Cleveland ejections and a Kansas City rally from a seven-run deficit to force extra innings. But in the end, Choo’s bat proved the difference in keeping the Indians from the growing possibility of a demoralizing loss.
Cleveland led 9-2 when the Royals gained momentum against a bullpen that faced a long night after starter Jeanmar Gomez was ejected for hitting Mike Moustakas in the third. That development came after Sanchez had hit Choo. Last year, Choo was hit by a Sanchez pitch in San Francisco and suffered a broken left thumb.
Yuniesky Betencourt’s solo homer off Vinnie Pestano tied it at 9 in the eighth, but Choo saved the night with his big blow against Holland. Chris Perez worked a clean ninth for the save.
“Always we try to win the game, but especially tonight,” Choo said. “We have to win the game.” [MLB.com / Robert Falkoff]
Gody and Casspi fuel win for Cavs over Wizards: ”James Singleton’s 19-foot jumper to start the fourth quarter tied the game at 73, the first tie since the score was knotted at 22 at the end of the opening quarter. The Cavaliers responded to the pressure on consecutive possessions with a corner 3-pointer from Luke Harangody and a 3-point play from Omri Casspi, who made the hoop with the harm. Those buckets sparked a 16-7 Cleveland run, giving the Cavs an insurmountable 89-80 lead with under six minutes to play.” [Truth About It / John Converse Townsend]
On Johnny Damon and the Indians: ”Strange as it may be to acknowledge, here we are in mid-April (a little over 7 months after making the Ubaldo deal that seemed to signal a new aggressiveness at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario) talking about a Johnny Damon signing that still hasn’t been formally announced, with a wildly player-friendly contract attached to it. It was merely five games into the 2012 season when the team reached out to a 38-year-old player, essentially as a rental for about a month or so, that hadn’t been signed and who is willing to accept a base salary of $1.25M because he represented something potentially better than anything else they had in the system or brought in during the off-season.
Now, don’t take that to mean that Damon isn’t an upgrade to the Tribe roster as it exists right now, but it certainly conveys the idea that the Indians are (still) unsatisfied (and rightfully so) with their LF configuration. They hate the internal options enough (both top-side and in AAA) that we’re talking about Johnny Damon, after wasting a couple of days earlier in the off-season dissecting Bobby Abreu…and I’m glad we have Damon instead of Abreu. While this signing shouldn’t come as a total surprise as we watched talk and Tweets for the latter part of Spring Training that the Tribe was attempting to find an OF anywhere, actually bringing in a player like Damon is telling about what the Indians think of the internal options and how his signing brings the organizational failure to come up with a “Plan B” past Grady this off-season and to draft/develop a suitable corner OF for too long under some pretty hot lights.
In terms of how it affects the current roster, I can’t decide if this signing is an indictment of Brantley and what they think of him, a continuation of the search to find an OF not named Shelley Duncan, or an instance of throwing something up against the wall and hoping it sticks. Regardless, it smacks of desperation and when you throw the alleged contract terms on top of that stink of desperation, as well as possibility that he won’t even be ready to play for a couple of weeks and you start to see the corner that the Indians had painted themselves into by not coming up with a “Plan B” for the inevitable Sizemore injury during the off-season.” [The DiaTribe / Paul Cousineu]
Indians ejected early last night against Royals: ”The Cleveland Indians opened up an early lead and chased Kansas City pitcher Jonathan Sanchez from the mound after just 2.2 innings pitched, but because of a wild inning, will now be forced to play without three vital cogs for the remainder of the night.Cleveland manager Manny Acta, third baseman Jack Hannahan and starting pitcher Jenmar Gomez were each tossed from the game by umpire Gary Darling in the bottom of the third inning after Gomez hit Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas with a pitch. Gomez left the game without yielding a hit and throwing just 20 pitches.
The altercation on the field came a mere minutes after the Indians knocked home five runs in the the top half of the inning and forced Sanchez to the bench. Designated hitter Jose Lopez was the catalyst, and plated a pair of runs on a double in just his second game in the starting lineup this season. With Gomez forced to the locker room, Cleveland is hoping that last year’s 12-game winner Josh Tomlin will be able to protect a slight lead into the middle innings.” [SB Nation / Dave Ryan]
Rock and Roll legends in CLE last night: ”Green Day, there to induct GNR, got things off to a crushing start with “American Idiot’s” “Letterbomb” as Billie Joe Armstrong exhorted the crowd to “stand up…This is f—ing rock ‘n’ roll! This is not a f—ing party — this is a celebration, motherf—ers!” That set the tone for a night that mixed musical fireworks with warm and emotional speeches, putting plenty of heart in rock ‘n’ roll and reveling in past glories to, as Armstrong also said, “know where you f—ing come from.”
So Bette Midler choked up as she remembered the late Laura Nyro as “the very essence of New York City, really, not in the gritty, real sense but in the passionate, romantic, ethereal, maternal sense. She would take the most ordinary people in the most ordinary situations and spin them into heroic figures…” Carole King noted that the “most fervent wish” of the late Don Kirshner, receiving the Ahmet Ertegun Award for non-performers, ”was to be inducted in this iconic institution”; his widow, Sheila, noted that Kirshner would have turned 77 on April 17 and considered the induction “the best present he could’ve received.” Fortunately, Johnny Meeks of Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps — one of the six backing bands/vocal groups being inducted years after their frontmen — was there to be inducted the day before he turned 75.
Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea let the tears flow freely as he thanks his mother, producer Rick Rubin and others — and recalled playing street football with former GNR drummer Steven Adler when they were teenagers together in Los Angeles. Bandmate Anthony Kiedis, meanwhile, thanked his longtime friend and cohort for helping him to get clean. And Ronnie Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones each paid tribute to the late Small Faces members Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.” [Billboard Music / Gary Graff]