BALTIMORE -- Conversations about the use of foreign substances by pitchers have been prevalent over the last few days in Major League Baseball, and Indians manager Terry Francona wanted to get ahead of it.
Francona scheduled a meeting with his entire pitching staff prior to Friday’s series opener in Baltimore to address the topic, including the accusations that were made against James Karinchak by White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone during the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game, stating that Karinchak continually touched a spot in his glove.
“James has so many gyrations out there that he reaches in without even knowing it,” Francona said. “But we did talk to him and kind of alerted him. 'Hey, you know, this was out there and we just wanted you to know it.' Because we don't want our guys to get in trouble. We want to play the game the right way. We're going to talk to the entire staff here in a few minutes.”
There was no clarification as to whether Karinchak was using a foreign substance. However, Cleveland is hoping to make the rules clear as to what is and is not permitted to avoid any accidental mistakes in the future.
Indians remember Tolman
The Indians released this statement on Friday, following the passing of special assistant Tim Tolman on Thursday at the age of 65.
"Tim was a friend and mentor to many throughout the organization, serving as a Special Assistant, Advisor, Field Coordinator and Major League Bench Coach while with Cleveland," the statement read. "In addition to his time with the Indians, Tim worked in Player Development and Scouting for the Houston Astros, was the coordinator of instruction for the Seattle Mariners, and was the Major League Third Base Coach for the Washington Nationals. A true baseball lifer, Tim played parts of seven seasons in the Major Leagues, never committing a fielding error. Tim’s wisdom, quick wit, and ability to connect with others will be truly missed. He is survived by his wife, Christy, and their sons, Andrew and Casey."
Tito inspired by Mancini
Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini has touched thousands of lives with his incredible story. As most know, he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer early last year, missed the entire 2020 baseball season, recovered and made an unbelievable return to the game in '21. Francona went through a difficult health year in '20 himself, but marveled at the journey that Mancini went through from afar.
“I was literally driving home from Goodyear, [Ariz.], when they sent me home because of the pandemic,” Francona said. “And I was driving home and I called the Orioles … and I said, 'Look, I don't know Trey Mancini, he doesn't know me. But can you please pass along that I'm really thinking of him.' So I've kind of watched.
“Again, we never want a guy to beat us, but I'm so happy that he's playing baseball. Because that means he's healthy. Can't think of anything better than maybe him going 0-for-12 and giving him a wave and saying, 'Man, I hope you're healthy.'”
Sarbaugh away from team
Third base coach Mike Sarbaugh was away from the team on Friday to attend his son’s high school graduation. Kyle Hudson coached third base in the series opener in Baltimore.