Francona relives 'Major League' memories
MILWAUKEE -- With the Indians in town for a rare visit to Milwaukee, the Brewers organized "Major League" night on Tuesday and created a bobblehead featuring broadcaster Bob Uecker. Milwaukee's play-by-play man played the part of Cleveland's broadcaster in the famous baseball movie.
Indians manager Terry Francona was curious why the Brewers -- one of his former teams -- was not honoring him on Tuesday.
"How come they didn't ask me? I'm in that movie," Francona said with a smirk. "You've got to look quick, man."
Francona noted that some game footage used in the 1989 movie was taken from a game he played during his season with the Indians in '88. A character in the movie, Roger Dorn, played by actor Corbin Bernsen, wore No. 24 for Cleveland. Francona wore the same number for the Tribe, so there is a brief clip of him in the movie.
"Coming off the field one inning," Francona said, "I was getting the ball from the dugout and you can tell right away that it's me if you look. It's that quick. I don't think they sent me any royalties or anything."
As it happens, Indians third-base coach Mike Sarbaugh was also an extra in, 'Major League 2,' the 1994 sequel.
"You don't remember the award-winning performance?" Sarbaugh said. "It's five seconds. A Spring Training scene. Remember [Pedro] Cerrano hugs a guy? That was me. If it were Major League 2 [night], they'd be giving away my bobblehead."
• Veteran Nick Swisher (15-day disabled list with knee issues) went 2-for-3 as the designated hitter in a Minor League rehab appearance for Class A Lake County on Monday. Swisher was scheduled to play right field for Lake County on Tuesday and Cleveland would like to see him play consecutive games in the outfield as part of his rehab.
"It sounded like he did well," Francona said. "It's not surprising, because it's his first game and I know he was all revved up and I know he'd been working hard. The big challenge, or the goal, is to start going back-to-back and bouncing back. That'll be really exciting when that starts to happen."
• The Indians headed into Tuesday's action batting .228 as a team with runners in scoring position and a Major League-low .139 with the bases loaded. Francona believes -- given the wealth of scoring chances his lineup has created -- that the offense's fortunes will improve as the season wears on.
"We have not been very successful, but I don't see guys pressing, so that's good," Francona said. "Part of it is, if we get enough opportunities, we'll break through. Those things really do even out, as long as you have good hitters, which I think we do. The hard one is when you only have an opportunity or two, because then it's really tough to win."