CLEVELAND: Indians Manager Terry Francona only lives two blocks from Progressive Field, but his sense of direction isn’t as finely developed as his sense of how to make out a lineup card.
“I got lost three times already, trying to come to the park,” he said. “Thank goodness there were people around. I got to the garage, and two people said, ‘Do you know where you’re going?’ I said, ‘Nope.’ Somebody gave me a ride in a golf cart.
“Cleveland officially has the nicest people I’ve ever met. Everybody said hello to me.”
HAFNER BACK IN TOWN — Travis Hafner received a generous ovation from the crowd during the New York Yankees’ pregame introductions, but the cheers changed to boos when he came to the plate the first time.
Maybe the fans knew something, because Hafner hit a three-run homer.
Hafner signed with the Yankees after being cut loose by the Indians.
“You didn’t really hear much until January, then it started to pick up a little bit,” he said. “Once I found out the Yankees had interest, it’s a really good fit for me.”
Hafner returned to town with a trimmer look.
“I lost 15 pounds in spring training, trying to make it as easy on my back and knees as possible, just trying to stay healthy,” he said.
COMPASSION DELAYED — Asked about the Yankees’ slow start, Francona said, “They’re a little banged up right now. To be totally honest, I hope they stay that way until Friday.”
GIVING BACK — Nick Swisher, through his charitable foundation, Swish’s Wishes, has donated $75,000 to Providence House, a Cleveland crisis nursery designed to protect children from abuse and neglect.
Swisher and his wife, Joanna, took part in a pregame presentation of the gift.
MARSON UPDATE — Catcher Lou Marson still has a stiff neck, but he is cleared to catch.
“Today was kind of my worst day,” he said. “But I think things get better from here. And I have no problem catching.”
Marson sustained the injury in a collision at the plate with Desmond Jennings of the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night.
KAZMIR COMEBACK — Scott Kazmir made at least 30 throws from 75 feet as his long toss program continued Monday.
Kazmir probably will move to 90 feet in his next throwing session and thinks he will progress to throwing a bullpen after that.
He is on the disabled list with a sprained rib cage and is eligible to be activated April 17.
FARM FACTS — Fernando Nieve (0-1, 1.50 ERA) gave up two runs (one earned) and three hits, striking out seven in six innings, as Columbus lost 3-0 to Indianapolis in Class AAA. Jeremy Hermida got two hits to raise his average to .438. ... Joseph Wendle homered and singled, driving in four runs, as Carolina beat Winston-Salem 6-2 in Class A. Francisco Lindor had a double and single and is batting .545.
— Sheldon Ocker