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Cleveland Indians

Snow, Snow Go Away

By admin Published: April 6, 2007

Here we are two days into the Aeros season and once again I'm sitting at home in front of my computer instead of looking out the pressbox window out onto the beautiful Canal Park field.

More snow, more cold and plummeting temperatures forced Aeros officials to cancel the season opener for the second consecutive day Friday.

Initially, I was feeling pretty bummed about it. I miss baseball, and I want them to play.
But then in listening to the Indians try to play through snow squalls in Cleveland in their home opener, I am reminded why sometimes in baseball it's just better to wait until conditions improve to play.

That's because Tribe catcher Victor Martinez sounds like he's gotten hurt running the bases in the third inning of a game that's already had three delays due to snow. I'm not watching it on TV, so I didn't see exactly what happened. But I'm guessing the cold, icy conditions didn't help.

Everyone wanted the Indians to play Friday, myself included. But when a player gets hurt, it makes you think twice about whether it's worth it. Sure, the Indians have a viable back up in Kelly Shoppach. But with Victor starting the season strong behind the plate and at bat, I hate to see him out of the lineup even for a few days.

Now, I don't feel so bad about the Aeros being postponed again. What if something would have happened on the mound to prospect pitcher Chuck Lofgren? Or what if Trevor Crowe slipped in the outfield chasing a ball? I don't even want to think about it.

I know grounds keepers across the state have more than earned their pay the last couple of days. But even with all their efforts to clear the fields, playing in unpredictable weather is a risky proposition.

Unlike their major league counterparts, injuries can really derail a minor league career, where there are no guarenteed contracts and little to fall back on. Just ask one-time third base prospect Matt Whitney. The Indians sandwich pick (33rd overall) in the 2002 draft was a hot prospect out of Palm Beach Gardens High School who had a Can't Miss tag on him. That is until an unfortunate accident off the field at spring training the next season left him with a fractured tibia and fibia and changed his life.

Whitney has never been the same player, despite how hard he's worked to come back. Four years after the freak accident, he remains at the low Class-A level, where this year he is trying to convert to a first baseman with the Lake County Captains.

Guys get hurt enough just playing the game, let alone trying to do it in bad weather. Let's be glad the Aeros officials have been smart enough to realize such.

In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that the third time is a charm Saturday afternoon.

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