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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Eric Wedge's Curious Managerial Moves Continue — Starts Travis Hafner at Second Base

Posted By on Sun, Jul 12, 2009 at 8:15 PM


CLEVELAND — In last night's 15-1 loss to the Texas Rangers, Indians manager Eric Wedge made perhaps his most confusing decision to date in a season already full of odd choices. Travis Hafner, who had not started a game in the field all year — and who has struggled to even play three games in a row at DH with his shoulder injury — was placed in the line-up by Eric Wedge at second base.

Hafner, who had never played second base in his entire career, even going back to little league, committed 10 errors which led directly to 14 of the 15 runs Texas scored.

Naturally, Wedge was asked about the move after the game.

"I felt like we needed to keep his bat in the game," said Eric Wedge from the clubhouse. "He's been putting good at-bats together and I thought that with Grady at DH today, playing Travis at second would give him a chance to help us offensively."

Hafner did hit a homer, accounting for the Indians lone run of the game, but struck out his other three times at the plate.

Starting pitcher Cliff Lee was not available after the game to answer questions as to whether Hafner's solo home-run outweighed his 10 errors in the field. He made his opinion clear on the mound during the first inning, however, when he let out a vulgarity-laced tirade that fans as far as the bleachers could hear word-for-word. It appeared his words were aimed at the Indians dugout, and, presumably, Eric Wedge.

"You have to be friggin' kidding me. Right! I mean... REALLY! You're just fucking with me now. YOU'RE JUST FUCKING WITH ME!? Right?"

The reigning Cy Young award winner surrendered only one earned run in eight innings, an effective start especially considering that Lee spent most of his time in between pitches carving a deep and legible message into the dirt around the mound, which simply read: "TRADE ME."

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