Results tagged ‘ Casey Kotchman ’
CLEVELAND INDIANS (55-77, 4th, -17.5G) vs. TEXAS RANGERS (78-53)
RHP Jeanmar Gomez (4-7, 5.11) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (6-10, 4.95)
First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. (ET)
TV: STO Radio: WTAM/Indians Radio Network
POSITIVELY 4TH STREET: The four-run threshold has emerged as somewhat of a benchmark for the Indians this season, as the Indians are 41-25 when plating at least 4 runs in 2012…conversely, Cleveland is 14-52 when being held to 3-or-fewer runs…Tribe has scored 3 runs-or-less in 10 of the club’s last 12 games.
LATE LAUNCHES: CASEY KOTCHMAN connected for a 2-run HR in last night’s loss…the blast marked the 13th home run hit by Cleveland in the 9th inning this season, T3rd-most in the A.L. and majors behind Toronto (17), and New York-AL (14)…that said, the Indians are just 3-9 this season when hitting at least one 9th-inning home run.
GOTTA HAVE A FIDDLE IN THE BAND: The Clevelanders are playing host to the Texas Rangers for 3 games this weekend, first meeting between the two clubs in nearly 4 months since Tribe took 2 of 3 tilts from May 4-6 here at Progressive Field…tonight marks the 2nd of 6 scheduled games between the Indians and Rangers over the next 14 days…Cleveland went 1-9 vs. Texas in 2011.
CLEVELAND INDIANS (54-63, 3rd, -10.0G) vs. LOS ANGELES ANGELS (61-56)
RHP Roberto Hernandez (2012 debut) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (5-10, 5.82)
First Pitch: 10:05 p.m. (ET)
TV: STO Radio: WTAM/Indians Radio Network
HALO EFFECT: Indians right-hander ROBERTO HERNANDEZ is set to make his 2012 debut with the club in search of his first career win against Los Angeles-AL…is winless despite owning the 5th-lowest career ERA all-time as a starter against the Angels (min. 5 starts), a list topped by teammate JUSTIN MASTERSON…Hernandez has an 0-3 record in those 7 starts, averaging less than 3.0 runs of support-per-9.0 IP (2.76 RSA).
RUBBER SOUL: Cleveland enters today’s tilt with a 16-21 record in series finales this season (6-11 on the road), which includes a 7-7 mark in rubber games (3-2 on the road)…club has lost 6 of last 9 rubber games after winning 4 of first 5 to begin the year…a victory today would secure the Indians’ first series win since taking 2 of 3 from Detroit July 24-26.
LEFT COAST: After getting a pair of shots from MICHAEL BRANTLEY and CASEY KOTCHMAN last night, Indians left-handed batters have now connected for a major league-high 69 home runs in 2012.
OAKLAND STROKE: Tonight the Indians will fly to the Bay Area to face the Athletics for just the 2nd time in 2012 after taking 2 of 3 in Oakland April 20-22…club is 98-133 all-time at the Coliseum, but has won 5 of last 8 there.
Indians Clubhouse attendant Ramon Diaz, 23, graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American studies and American history. A Cleveland native, Diaz sat down with TribeVibe and shared his daily responsibilities in the Indians Clubhouse.
TribeVibe: Describe your job on a daily basis.
Ramon Diaz: It’s pretty [laid back], but at times it’s sort of hectic. [It is] responsive; you have to attend to players’ needs. There’s some downtime, but other times you’re just on the go getting something for the players like a shirt, running an errand for them, picking somebody up in their family. It’s varied, but overall, it’s always active.
TV: What kind of duties do you have during a game?
RD: We have to get [the players’] jerseys during a game. If they have extra Under Armour that needs to be dried, we have to do that. If somebody needs something from the trainer, we need to run that out. Let’s say, Pronk is up to bat, and a pad falls out of his helmet; [the batboys] have to run up here, glue that, and get back on time. They have to keep doing that constantly.
TV: Is there a certain player that needs something routinely?
RD: [For pitchers], we have a rotation, so I know, every two innings I have to go out there. Kotchman comes out every two innings because he sweats [a lot]. He wears these cool jerseys, and he comes up here, gives us his jersey, and he puts a new one on. He gives us his jersey, we wash it and dry it, put a new one out and give it to him. There is a total of two jerseys, but we do it about three or four times. [Kotchman] is easy because he comes up here, and we just go back and forth.
TV: Have you always been an Indians fan?
RD: Of course, I was a big fan in the 90s. I went to [St.] Ignatius, and Chuck Kyle, the football coach there got me the job. He does speeches for the Winter Olympic Program. He recommended me to [Head Clubhouse Attendant] Tony Amato, and I’ve been here ever since. It’s been a summer job.
TV: Who is your favorite player?
RD: I don’t have a favorite. I try to, personally, look at the good in everybody, so each person has something to bring. Me and CP [Chris Perez], we’re real close; we talk about shoes. Same with Joe Smith. I can talk to Justin Masterson about certain things about life.
TV: What has been the most memorable interaction with a player?
RD: ALCS, 2007, I was going to school at Columbia, and the Indians were playing the Yankees, before they built the new Yankee Stadium. Tony arranged so I could batboy for that game. I went to school, and I met the team at their hotel. I got to drive to the stadium with CC [Sabathia] and Tony. That was probably most memorable because you went through, and all these people were screaming. They give you all these passes, and that was Yankee Stadium before the new one was built. It was cool to see that and go in that small clubhouse.
TV: What has been your most intimidating moment?
RD: The first day I came here, [former Indian] Arthur Rhodes was picking on me since I was new. I had these pants, and Tony gave me my uniform. Arthur came up to me and said, ‘You got baggy pants on; this isn’t the street.’ I had to change pants four times. For about a good three months, he would mess with you.
TV: Are you afraid of anything in particular happening to you?
RD: Not doing what I need to do in a timely manner. Let’s say, I have to get a simple shirt. [If] I can’t get it to [a player] on time, and the top of the inning is up; that’s scary because you don’t want to be that person that holds someone up. Same with [the batboys]; you don’t want to be that guy.
TV: What is the best part of coming to work every day?
RD: Other than the people that I work around, you get to watch baseball. Think about it, the way you get to interact with other people — crowds come here and put all this esteem on these players — they’re just normal people. Seriously, some of these people do weird things just like you; you realize that you have a lot in common with these guys on TV.
-Megan Golden, TribeVibe contributor
Sitting quietly at his locker, located immediately adjacent to the clubhouse entrance, Indians first baseman Casey Kotchman continues to wait for his young teammates to seek his guidance.
Kotchman, 29, signed with the Indians as a free agent after playing a huge role in Tampa Bay’s comeback season last year. The Rays carried a 48-41 record into the All-Star break and wound up tied with Boston for the American League wild card with just one game remaining in the 2011 regular season.
Rays infielder Evan Longoria and Kotchman each collected two hits in the final game, leading Tampa Bay to an 8-7 victory in 12 innings over the New York Yankees and a spot in the postseason.
The Rays eventually fell 3-1 to Texas in the American League Division Series, and Kotchman began searching for a club with interest in signing him.
Reflecting on his experience last season, Kotchman, sitting next to former Rays outfielder Johnny Damon, said he sees many similarities between the Rays and Indians.
“Being down nine games to start September and being able to get to the playoffs when everything’s not in your favor is nice,” he said. “That’s the fun part about being here with this group in Cleveland is that you always have a chance. No matter how far out you get, you always have a chance.”
The Tribe currently owns a 44-41 record at the All-Star break, and Kotchman promises to be a key to the second half.
Kotchman, a former first-round draft pick, is batting .311 in 22 games since June 15.
“A big part of [winning] is trying to stay even-keel and not [letting] anything good or great or success get you too high,” he said. “If you exalt yourself, you’ll be humbled. This game and life can humble you really quickly; it’s better to just humble yourself.”
Kotchman has surely humbled himself in the Indians clubhouse. Not only does he sit in the corner of the locker room, but he also does his best to stay out of the way of his teammates.
“I’m in the corner, the best place for me to be,” he said. “If anybody ever needs anything, I’d like them to know that I’m there to listen or help out. Other than that, everybody’s good about going about their business here the right way to prepare themselves, so you don’t ever want to get in their way.
“Everybody’s doing their own thing; that’s what they did to get here. The younger players, they got to the big leagues based upon their talent, their work ethic, their desire, their preparation, so you don’t want to do anything to deviate from what’s made them successful.”
If any of Kotchman’s teammates do happen to seek advice from the veteran in the corner, he is prepared to remind them that success on the field stems from good team chemistry.
“It’s been nice so far as we head into the All-Star break to be right in the thick of it,” he said. “I think it’s a day-to-day, breath-to-breath type scenario, where you just want to have fun. You come to the field for a game for a living. [We] put on a costume for a living. It’s supposed to be fun, and that’s the best way to play.”
-Megan Golden, TribeVibe contributor