Switching up the luck plus news and notes
Jul 24, 2011, 10:46 AM
Sunday mornings are usually interesting and the Sunday after 14 losses was no exception. I was warned by a fan in the lobby of the team hotel that Eric Wedge had shaved off his mustache. I had been thinking that this was something we could see soon enough and today was the day.
He actually shaved it off at the ballpark after last night’s game.
“I hope they didn’t push forward that tee shirt order,” Wedge joked.
“Drastic times, drastic measures,” he continued. “I just wanted to lighten them up a little. They are pressing like hell and want to win a game so bad they are getting in the way of themselves and I think last night it was as evident as ever. We will see. Come out here and relax and play hopefully.”
He said his aim was to lighten them up and get them to smile. To that end he asked that we do the same when we left. He was joking a little but he believes that a lighter mood definitely helps in all situations and that the players must get past the previous game the next day.
Did I see a lighter clubhouse this morning? Well, it was quiet but not morose. Not a lot of morning guys on this team. Some were watching the Hall of Fame induction speeches. “This is pretty cool,” Justin Smoak said to no one in particular.
Brendan Ryan was in a tizzy after seeing a milk shake stand on his way into the clubhouse and not being able to go out and get one. No problem, a clubbie went after one for him and Ryan was seen with both the milk shake and a fully loaded Fenway Frank shortly after. Iron stomach Ryan.
I talked to Carl Willis about what Wedge was trying to do and he said that he has seen this before. He also said that he almost made a change as well. I had joked with him Friday about getting a haircut like Felix’s to change up the luck. Well apparently he mentioned this to Felix who liked the idea. If they had won Friday Willis would have been sporting the fe-hawk complete with lightening bolt.
Last bit of superstition I saw today took place in the dugout about an hour before game time. Brandon League was coming in from working out and saw Miguel Olivo on the bench. He approached him and did the handshake, fist bump, slap, beat up each other routine they do after he saves games. “It’s been two weeks!” League exclaimed.
Today could be tough by the way. Mike Blowers who hit the knuckleball as well as anyone and better than most in baseball says that the conditions favor Wakefield today. To that end Wedge has asked Smoak to consider batting right handed today, something that some switch hitters prefer to do against knuckleballers.
One last note, Chone Figgins was a late scratch from today’s game for personal reasons.