Everyone is abuzz with anticipation concerning Jon Lester's start tonight. His August 2nd start last season against Cleveland is on the big screen TV in the Indians' clubhouse as we speak.
Watching Lester that day - he pitched six innings, allowed eight hits and three runs - it's amazing how physically bigger he looks now than then.
By the way, Lester's parents are here for the game.
Funny situation in the Tribe clubhouse. Worcester Telegram scribe Bill Ballou and I had to do a double-take when we saw what looked like Lester at the card table in the Cleveland clubhouse. Rest assured it wasn't Lester, but right-hander Tom Mastny who looks a lot like him.
There was a lot of talk pre-game about the unfortunate death of Tulsa Drilles first base coach Mike Coolbaugh, who lost his life when struck in the head with a line drive.
Several players and current coaches were telling stories about close calls and the constant feeling of wondering whether they're going to be hit with a linedrive.
"I pay attention to who is pitching and who is hitting," said Indians first base coach and former Sox shortstop Luis Rivera. "I make sure I move my feet out there. It can be dangerous."
The question was raised as to whether coaches will need to wear helmets in the future. Both Terry Francona and Rivera indicated that they didn't believe it would come to that. Francona said that when he coached n Detroit, Cecil Fielder was the scariest hitter he worried about. Rivera says he worries about Grady Sizemore and Victor Martinez on the Tribe side.
By the way, here's the Cleveland lineup:
CF Grady Sizemore
LF Jason Michaels
3B Casey Blake
D Travis Hafner
1B Ryan Garko
SS Jhonny Peralta
RF Franklin Gutierrez
C Kelly Shoppach
2B Josh Barfield
SP Jake Westbrook