Mr. Ocker:

Some of us here in Central Ohio still look north to you to get our Indians news from the horseís mouth!

I just have a follow-up question to your rundown of the top managers using the squeeze play. Did that list include both leagues? Just wondering, since all the teams (other than Ozzie Guillen at Miami) were in the American League.

Also, because I thought National League managers would use it more than AL managers, but that was just a guess.

Dave Powell

Dear Dave:

The list covered both leagues, but your doubts are well-founded.

Now, about that horse and his mouth: Just call me Mr. Ed.

Sheldon Ocker

Sheldon:

I have been following the Indians since the í50s so that gives you an idea about my age. I would like to ask Manny Acta some questions. Of course, I canít, but maybe you could answer them for me or ask him for the answers.

ē?What is wrong with Matt LaPorta? I know he has some holes in his swing and is not the answer but Shelley Duncan and Johnny Damon arenít either. Damon is but a shell of his old self and if I can see this, why not others?

ē?Is there any thought of sending Carlos Santana down to straighten out his approach at the plate? Pitchers keep throwing change-ups to him and he keeps swinging through it. Does he listen to his coaches or just do his own thing?

ē?I am tired of the June Swoons and July Dives, but at least those players did not have talent. Manny is doing a great job with what he has, but I think LaPorta could do as well in left as the two above. Why not, and he swings from the right side.

Tim Mizer

Indians fan

Dear Tim:

If I knew what was wrong with Matt LaPorta, rather if I was able to fix what he is doing wrong, I would offer up my services as the Indiansí hitting coach.

Regardless of what is wrong with him, Tribe officials donít think he can play in the big leagues. He has been exiled to Columbus, probably for the duration of his time in the Cleveland organization.

Theyíre not thrilled with Shelley Duncan and Johnny Damon either, but those are the players they signed.

Santana isnít going to the minors.

He has been swinging somewhat better lately, and he will have to work out his problems against major-league pitchers. Listening to hitting coach Bruce Fields and executing his swing properly are two different things.

S.O.

Sheldon:

I always read your article first and Sunday morning was no different. However, when I finished, I realized my elbow had smeared some of the print on the box score of Saturday nightís game.

Please make an effort to avoid putting the Indians box score on the very bottom right hand side of the page.

Jay Erwin

Portage Lakes

Dear Jay:

Better yet, why donít you send me an exact diagram of your elbow (with the pertinent measurements), so I know exactly how far I have to move the box score.

Anything else? Should I alter the size of the print, the width of the columns, stop abbreviating Lillibridge? Maybe I could always make certain the Indians win (in the box score).

Whatever your needs, Iím at your service, but let the dog lick the bacon grease off your elbow before you read the paper.

S.O.