QUIET ISN'T GOOD AT THE JAKE
Top of the eighth, Indians down 4-1. You can count the number of spinning Tribe-time towels on one hand. It's one quiet place.
The Indians are on their way to Boston tomorrow for Game 6 unless they rally back.
The attendance at tonight's game was just announced as 44,588.
WHY CAN'T WE BE FRIENDS?
Bottom of the fifth and Kenny Lofton popped up to left-center. He started running toward first and then ... wait. He spun around and headed toward Josh Beckett on the mound.
All of a sudden, there was a rush toward the mound from every corner of the field. Both dugouts emptied, both bullpens, and every security guy down on the field all swarmed to head off whatever could it was that needed to be headed off.
What was blaring from the loudspeakers at the Jake while all this was going on? "Why Can't We Be Friends?" Someone has a sense of humor here.
I wonder what Beckett could have said that sent Kenny into orbit ...
JUST ISN'T MANNY'S NIGHT
In what may be the longest RBI single in recorded history, Manny Ramirez in the top of the third smacked the ball so hard it hit the fence in centerfield just right of the 370-foot sign. He drove in a run but wanted more. He stood on first base, trying to get the ump to call a time out or give him a home run. He was alternating between those two signs as he walked toward the field ump.
It was difficult to figure out what he was arguing; the ball clearly hit the fence. He got in the ump's face but was herded back to first by the base coach.
Thrown out at home and missing going over the wall by inches. Manny can't catch a break.
Maybe it's all the booing.
TIT FOR TAT
Three hits for the Indians in the bottom of the first and they tie it up., 1-1.
The Red Sox are up in the top of the second.
It's as if every person in every seat is down on the field with the Indians. When a pitch is thrown, you can almost feel 40-some thousand people holding their breath and then collectively exhale when the ball hits the glove. There's a little wind from the west -- or the whipping Tribe-time towels, I'm not sure.
AND THE GAME IS UNDER WAY
The Jake is packed with flag-waving fans on a beautiful night for baseball -- 69 degrees.
Getting the most reaction at team introduction: The boo for Manny Ramirez, the cheer for Kenny Lofton.
It's a tough top of the first for Tribe fans, quieted by the Youkilis homer and the Manny double.
Holy smokes! Threw Manny out at home. Let's see what that foretells for this game.
WHAT ERIC WEDGE WAS SAYING BEFORE THE GAME
He told reporters the mood in the clubhouse was the same today as it has been every other game day.
"Same approach today as we've had the entire season," he said.
Reporters then asked him what he thinks about all the adoration coming his way ... specifically Paul Byrd likening him to Braveheart.
"It's all about the player. Any time you can gain a player's respect, it means the world to me," he said.
As far as being a leader, Wedge said it's something he doesn't think about.
"It's my job to give these guys direction when they need it, to make sure they go out there prepared and ready to play each and every day -- and respect the game and know what it means to be a good teammate ... then we'll let the results take care of themselves."
About the lack of postseason experience on the 2007 Indians, he said, "They've done a great job. They haven't gotten ahead of themselves. They know that for them to be at their best, they have to work off themselves because that's the only thing they can control. Our guys do a good job of leaning on each other. It's their clubhouse. It's their team. They do a good job of taking care of each other in there and keeping an eye on each other."
Asked what he thinks about the Joe Torre situation (this afternoon, he turned down a contract extension that would have included a pay cut of $2.5 million -- from $7.5 to $5 million), Wedge said, "I think Joe Torre is one of the greatest managers of all time.
"He's earned and deserves to do whatever the hell he wants to," he said.
What has Coach Wedge been doing in the last 24 hours?
"Spent as much time as possible with my family. We worked out last night, then I wake up today and come to the ballpark. It's a normal day.
"I really like watching these guys play. I love the way the compete, I just don't want to get caught up in results. Just go out there and trust that the rest will take care of itself."