CLEVELAND -- Filtering through the notebook in the final hour before the first pitch of Game One between the Yankees and Indians:
---Managers have a tough schedule prior to postseason games. Indians skipper Eric Wedge had separate meetings with the broadcast crews from TBS and ESPN Radio more than four hours before gametime. Then came a session in his office with print reporters who regularly cover the Indians (props to the Tribe PR department for inviting yours truly to that session), and then a formal gathering on the interview room podium for the visting and national media.
"It's really the biggest thing that's different," Wedge said.
---I've known Wedge for nearly seven years, since he first came to Buffalo in 2001, and he simply loathes talking about himself. I asked him what kind of emotions he was feeling three hours before the first playoff game of his big-league career but I knew what answer I would get. Which was really no answer.
"The only word that keeps coming to my mind is that I'm excited," he said. "I'm excited to get it going and watch our guys play."
Classic Wedge. He's a great guy who simply wants all the attention on his players and will stay as vanilla as possible to make sure that happens. He was relaxed and joking with us in his office, about his sprouting beard, movies, anything that didn't have much to do with baseball. Question got asked and he went back to Wedge-speak. Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto did a terrific feature on Wedge in today's editions and no, I'm not recommending it because he quoted me! It's just plain good.
---The Yankees' lineup choice is interesting as they have five left-handed hitters against C.C. Sabathia. Joe Torre is obviously figuring this is going to be a low-scoring game and went for defense behind Chien-Ming Wang with Doug Mientkiewicz at first rather than Jason Giambi.
---Wedge said Ben Francisco was "very close" to making the postseason roster but that he chose Trot Nixon to give him another left-handed bat. Nixon's experience against the Yankees in 2004 with the Red Sox certainly played into the decision as well.
taggedAL Division Series | Bisons/Indians | Major leagues | Yankees