GOODYEAR, Ariz.: Sometimes you have to feel for the fans.
It doesn't seem unreasonable that Indians partisans should be permitted to watch their team play an intrasquad game at Goodyear Ballpark.
But at 9:30 this morning, the City of Goodyear informed the Tribe that fans would not be allowed in the stadium, because cleanup crews were working to get ready for Friday's exhibition opener against the Reds.
The Indians did not take no for an answer, however, and the city relented in time for the 11:15 a.m. start. Inasmuch as the game was not really advertised, few fans showed up anyway.
Before the intrasquad game, the Tribe went through its usual workout at the training complex. Among a group of prospects taking batting practice -- Lonnie Chisenhall, Beau Mills, Wes Hodges in particular -- Mills put on the most ostentatious show, continually hitting soaring fly balls over the right field fence. Among the 10 or so drives that cleared the wall, it looked like a few might land in the adjacent airport. None actually traveled that far, of course.
How important is an intrasquad game? A large portion of the Inidans' front office -- including GM Mark Shapiro and assistant GM Chris Antonetti -- watched the proceedings. Moreover pitchers were clocked by two radar guns.