You'd be hard pressed to tell his team had gotten off to an 0-3 start with the merry way with which manager Eric Wedge met the media before the Tribe's home opener Friday afternoon. The usually reserved skipper was as engaging as he's been with the media in his years in Cleveland. Here's the edited version:
Wedge on Tribe's 0-3 start and finally being home:
"You always like to get off to a good start, and it's just three games, but we know we need to do better. And it has to start with our starting pitching."
"Getting back home is going to help, being in front of our fans and letting these guys get off the road. Most of us have been gone for two plus months. So, that'll help."
On the nightmare start in Texas:
"That's a great hitters park and they came out of spring training swinging the bats really well. The difference was when we made a mistake, they didn't miss it and were able to put big innings together."
On the magic of home openers:
"Home openers are special. I just have so much respect for the fans here and how passionate they are for sports in general, not only Cleveland Indians baseball."
On today's starter, rookie Scott Lewis:
"I think in regard to temperment, he may be better suited (to start the home opener with the team in need of a win) than anybody. He's a young pitcher, but whether or not he's getting rocked around or striking everybody out, he always looks the same out there. That means a great deal to me and says a lot about him."
On starters Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and Carl Pavano, who each were rocked in their 2009 debuts during the season-opening trip to Texas:
"For Cliff, I felt like his command was better in his first start than it was all spring...Fausto showed stretches where he was really good, and then moments where things compounded on him. That's been his Achilles Heel and what he needs to get better with...Carl just didn't have much yesterday. He just had an off day... But I saw a steady progression and stuff that was real (in spring training). We didn't see it yesterday, but it's in there. I expect him to come out his next time and give us a chance to win."
On the Tribe's offense:
"The bats started to come around the last two games. (Texas starter Kevin) Millwood just took it to us the first day. He pitched as good as I've seen him since he was here in '05...(The last two games) we scored six and eight runs. That should be enough."
On the on and off again rainy weather Friday:
"The fans here are used to it. I know these fans have set out here in a hell of a lot worse conditions than this. So I expect them to be out here today. I'm a midwestern guy myself, so we know the weather is just part of it."