BOSTON: It's not often that a man is dismissed from his job and keeps right on working at the same assignment.
But that is the position Eric Wedge finds himself after being fired on Wednesday -- he was told several days earlier -- with five days left in the Indians' season. So it was just another road trip to Fenway Park to play the Red Sox Thursday night, even though it is like no other trip in Wedge's seven years as the Tribe's skipper.
It's the end of the line on this job, but Wedge is young (41), can put together an impressive resume -- one observer noted that all he had to do to get another manager's job was play the video of Wednesday's press conference -- and probably will be hired to lead another big-league team.
That's what he wants to do. But would he prefer taking a few months or a year off first?
""I really haven't thought about that yet,'' Wedge said. ""I just know at some point in time I want to manage again.''
Managers who have just lost their jobs don't always face the media, but Wedge answered question upon question without a trace of bitterness and with only praise for the employer who decided he was no longer an asset to the franchise.
""Yesterday was a long day, to say the least,'' Wedge said. ""And we have four more games here.''
As usual, Wedge will focus on on his duties, which for now are to finish out the season in a professional manner.
If Wedge had to be fired, he wanted it done in Cleveland, in part not to cheat the local media from being on hand to report an important story.
""It was a difficult day for everybody,'' he said. ""But it was the right day to do it and the right time. I thought it should be done in Cleveland, so people would have access.''
Wedge, his wife Kate and their two children probably will continue to live in Northeast Ohio until he gets another job. Kate Wedge not only heard the news as a baseball wife but as a member of the local community.
""She knew for a little while,'' said Wedge, referring to being told last weekend. ""She handles everything with class and appropriately. Our two children were born in Cleveland, and we've spent a lot of quality time there. So in that respect, it's tough.''
ABRUPT END -- Carlos Carrasco's season ended abruptly when he was struck on the leg by a smash off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth inning of Thursday night's game against the Red Sox.
Preliminary diagnosis: a bruise of the left medial quad. Carrasco was replaced by Jensen Lewis.
FARRELL NOT TALKING -- Red Sox pitching John Farrell has stopped talking about the possibility of becoming the Indians' next manager.
On Wedneday, he told the media he was bent on finishing his duties in Boston but, ""I'm ambitious. Yeah, I do have the goal of maybe one day fulfilling that role, but I can't tell you where and when that will be."
In addition to being a former Tribe starter, he was the team's farm director before taking the job with the Red Sox. Farrell still make his off-season home in Cleveland.
He is said to have a clause in his current contract that prohibits him from managing elsewhere until 2011. However, it is unlikely the Red Sox would stand in the way of Farrell getting a promotion. Boston probably would use the clause to extract compensation from a team.
CABRERA STILL OUT -- Asdrubal Cabrera, removed from the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader with a strained right hamstring, didn't make in the lineup Thursday night.
However, he still might play a game or two before the season ends Sunday.
HELLO BYRDIE -- Former Tribe starter Paul Byrd came out of retirement to pitch for the Red Sox, beginning Aug. 30. Since then, he has compiled a 1-3 record and 5.81 earned-run average.
At 38, Byrd isn't sure he wants to try it again next year. In fact, he's leaning against it. But for now, he's enjoying himself. And he didn't have to invent any new pitches or tweak his delivery. Oh, maybe he did just a little.
""(Pitching coach) John Farrell has me twisting a little more on my delivery, but that's it,'' Byrd said.
TRIVIA TIIME -- Elias Sports Bureau figured out this oddity:
Justin Masterson is the first major-league pitcher to lose a 1-0 game, throw nine innings and strike out at least 12 batters (Wednesday night) since May 6, 2000, when Tampa Bay beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park, and Pedro Martinez struck out 17.
The last Tribe pitcher to be this unlucky was Sam McDowell, who lost 1-0 to the Athletics and struck out 14 in 1968.