Break helps Tribe's health, but psyche needed time, too
The team missed six games over the past week because of cancellations.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Charlie Manuel was worried.
Worried about last week's tragedies in New York. Worried about his health after getting the flu. And worried about his team.
"It may take a while to get back in the flow of things," Manuel said before last night's 11-2 win over Kansas City. "But I think we're going to be OK. I didn't want to put something in a player's head. If they're relaxed and ready to play, why should I say something I don't have to say?"
Manuel didn't address the team collectively on Tuesday, choosing instead to talk to each player individually.
"I can't talk for anyone, but I know how I feel," he said. "I'm ready to move on and play some baseball."
Players rested: The team missed six games over the past week because of cancellations due to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington D.C. It was a time for healing, both for the emotions of the Indians, and their health. Right fielder Juan Gonzalez was able to rest his sore hamstring. Third baseman Travis Fryman rested his sore arm. Outfielder Ellis Burks gave his ailing thumb a break. Pitchers Bartolo Colon and C.C. Sabathia got some much-needed rest.
"The break helped some of the guys with nagging injuries," Manuel said.
Pitcher Dave Burba was in Cincinnati at 1:15 a.m. last Tuesday with his wife, Star, when they had their third child, Dylan. Hours later, Burba found out about the tragedies when his brother called him that morning.
"I told him to shut up; I thought he was joking around," Burba said. "Then I turned on the TV and I was shocked. I couldn't believe it."
Burba then got clearance from Manuel to stay with his wife until Sunday night to help her.
"I was Mr. Mom for four days," Burba said. "I changed diapers, gave baths, washed clothes. But I do that stuff anyway."
Burba also spent time with his two other kids, Madison, 7, and Dylan, 5. They talked about the tragedies in New York, but Burba said they didn't really understand what was happening.
"They still don't," he said. "They talked about it in school and my daughter quizzed me a little bit. I just tried to be honest."
Paul Shuey, who was just activated off the disabled list, said baseball might be a way for people to take their mind off the incidents in New York.
"This is a big day for us," he said. "I was watching TV last night and I think Major League Baseball did a nice job. I think everyone feels this is a step we have to take to move on from some of the awfulness. This is something positive for people and maybe baseball's going to carry that flag."
Shuey said he's noticed an increased interest in faith.
Spin-off: "People are making big decisions about religion," he said. "I think that's good. You have to trust in God and hope everything turns out all right."
Some players across the country expressed misgivings about flying, but the Indians' reliever wasn't worried about air travel.
"I think the last thing a hijacker would want to do would try to take over a plane of 40 guys beefed up on testosterone who are probably looking for some revenge," he said. "I think you'll start to see a totally different reaction to hijackers. People will probably take their losses and take [the hijackers] out."