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Giambi's presence means plenty in upbeat meeting

CLEVELAND -- Maybe the division race is over. Either way, the season certainly isn't.

After dropping four straight to Detroit earlier this week, the Indians entered Friday with a 62-53 record, seven games back in the American League Central, but just three games out of a Wild Card spot. With 47 games still to play, including 29 against teams with sub-.500 records, the Tribe has plenty of time for a playoff push.

The Indians seem aware of that fact. After a team meeting following Thursday's loss, there were plenty of players in the home clubhouse, which wasn't nearly as joyless as one might expect.

"I like when G runs a meeting," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said, referring to veteran designated hitter Jason Giambi. "The more G talks to our players, to me, to the staff, the better everybody is. I was thrilled. Man, when you have a guy that special around, to not use it would be a serious waste of talent. And I don't mean just in the batter's box. I mean in the clubhouse, his presence. I'm very grateful for him."

Francona, who has preached a one-day-at-a-time philosophy since he started, is happy that his players are remaining positive.

"They should be. They really should be," he said. "We got beat around. It wasn't very much fun. But we're in the middle of August, and because of what our record is, we've earned the right to show up every day, and every game is so meaningful. That's why they hurt so much when you lose. But it's a lot of fun to come to the ballpark when every game [matters]."

Mark Emery is an associate reporter for
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