Working It Out

CLEVELAND – What better way to spend a day than standing around at Jacobs Field, watching professional athletes stretch and take batting practice with hundreds of media types huddled along the base lines. Minus the surplus of scribes, this is normally called pregame, though usually there’s a game afterward.

The highlight of my day actually came at lunch, when I grabbed some grub at the Fourth Street Bar and Grill with Toronto Sun’s Mike Rutsey. We walked into the restaurant and were led to our table in what appeared to be a normal little joint. Turns out, when you round the corner, there’s a bowling alley in the place! I mean, it’s one thing to have a bar in a bowling alley, but to have lanes in a bar? That’s quality.

Nothing out of the ordinary happened during the workout today at The Jake. Yankees manager Joe Torre revealed his roster, which includes exactly zero left-handers in his bullpen for the ALDS. Torre also opted to stick with his typically lineup, instead of tweaking it to account for facing tough left-hander C.C. Sabathia.

I was assigned to do a piece on New York’s Chien-Ming Wang (a headline writer’s worst nightmare), who is starting in Game 1 for the Bombers. Wang is basically the Yankees’ Roy Halladay — a groundball pitcher who tries to induce early contact. Interestingly enough, Cleveland grounded into the fewest double plays in baseball this year, while Wang created the most. That should make it an interesting pairing.

I’m going to get back to taking in the final frames of this D-backs vs. Cubbies contest. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the ballpark here around 1:30 and will have a few stories I’ll be working on. Before this series is over, I plan on asking Travis Hafner how he plans on fixing John McDonald’s swing this winter. Talk about an odd pair to be workout partners in the offseason. Then again, maybe working out with Mac is what led to Pronk’s dimished stats this year…food for thought.

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