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INDIANS NOTEBOOK From Jacobs Field



Published: Wed, September 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Local voices: The Warren-based singing group "Everlasting Hope" sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. The group was originally scheduled to sing the national anthem, but in wake of last Tuesday's tragedies, Indians officials scheduled members of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra to play the anthem. There are seven members, Elissa Grundy (Lakeview), Megan Webb (Kent State), Rebecca Webb (Kent State), Abby Kish (Youngstown State), Amy Foster, Marie Gump and Amanda Kuszmaul (Kent State graduate), and they all attend First Assembly of God in Warren, the site of Korey Stringer's funeral. The women used to sing the national anthem at Champion High School basketball games and sing "We're the Sparkle in your neighborhood" for Sparkle grocery store commercials. The group will be singing the national anthem at a later game this season, manager Denny Webb said.Hot at home: The Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games at home, including Tuesday night's 11-2 win over Kansas City. They last played on Sept. 10, losing to the Chicago White Sox 7-1. The Indians split that series 2-2. The Tribe is 9-5 versus Kansas City this year, but the Royals have won five of the last nine.Royal pain: Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney has been red-hot against the Indians this season, hitting .429 (21-for-49) with five doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs, not counting Tuesday's game. "We're going to try and stay away from Sweeney," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said.Time Change: Fox Sports has picked up this Saturday's game at the Metrodome in Minnesota. The start time was changed from 7:05 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.Streaking: Indians right fielder Juan Gonzalez extended his season-high hitting streak to 14 games on Tuesday. He's hitting over .360 in that span with four doubles, five homers and 24 RBIs. He is on pace for 155 RBIs and leads the AL with 139 RBIs. Gonzalez was named American League Player of the Week Sept. 3-9.Looking ahead: Manuel said the team is focused on winning the division -- the Tribe leads Minnesota by six games -- but admitted he has already started thinking ahead to the playoffs. Bartolo Colon and C.C. Sabathia are almost certainly going to be two of the Tribe's three starters, and Manuel said pitcher Chuck Finley is the early favorite for the third spot. "He started to get into a flow [before the layoff]," Manuel said. "He probably has the edge." Finley pitched six innings Tuesday, giving up one unearned run.Cordero back: Outfielder Wil Cordero, who has been in Puerto Rico the past week, returned early on Tuesday and was ready for last night's game. The absence raised a few eyebrows among members of the club. Manuel said Cordero received permission to visit home, but did not contact him during the absence. "I haven't talked with him yet," Manuel said before the game. "I'm not upset with him. But I would have liked to have known where he's at."

Local voices: The Warren-based singing group "Everlasting Hope" sang "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. The group was originally scheduled to sing the national anthem, but in wake of last Tuesday's tragedies, Indians officials scheduled members of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra to play the anthem. There are seven members, Elissa Grundy (Lakeview), Megan Webb (Kent State), Rebecca Webb (Kent State), Abby Kish (Youngstown State), Amy Foster, Marie Gump and Amanda Kuszmaul (Kent State graduate), and they all attend First Assembly of God in Warren, the site of Korey Stringer's funeral. The women used to sing the national anthem at Champion High School basketball games and sing "We're the Sparkle in your neighborhood" for Sparkle grocery store commercials. The group will be singing the national anthem at a later game this season, manager Denny Webb said.Hot at home: The Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games at home, including Tuesday night's 11-2 win over Kansas City. They last played on Sept. 10, losing to the Chicago White Sox 7-1. The Indians split that series 2-2. The Tribe is 9-5 versus Kansas City this year, but the Royals have won five of the last nine.Royal pain: Kansas City first baseman Mike Sweeney has been red-hot against the Indians this season, hitting .429 (21-for-49) with five doubles, five homers and 16 RBIs, not counting Tuesday's game. "We're going to try and stay away from Sweeney," Indians manager Charlie Manuel said.Time Change: Fox Sports has picked up this Saturday's game at the Metrodome in Minnesota. The start time was changed from 7:05 p.m. to 1:25 p.m.Streaking: Indians right fielder Juan Gonzalez extended his season-high hitting streak to 14 games on Tuesday. He's hitting over .360 in that span with four doubles, five homers and 24 RBIs. He is on pace for 155 RBIs and leads the AL with 139 RBIs. Gonzalez was named American League Player of the Week Sept. 3-9.Looking ahead: Manuel said the team is focused on winning the division -- the Tribe leads Minnesota by six games -- but admitted he has already started thinking ahead to the playoffs. Bartolo Colon and C.C. Sabathia are almost certainly going to be two of the Tribe's three starters, and Manuel said pitcher Chuck Finley is the early favorite for the third spot. "He started to get into a flow [before the layoff]," Manuel said. "He probably has the edge." Finley pitched six innings Tuesday, giving up one unearned run.Cordero back: Outfielder Wil Cordero, who has been in Puerto Rico the past week, returned early on Tuesday and was ready for last night's game. The absence raised a few eyebrows among members of the club. Manuel said Cordero received permission to visit home, but did not contact him during the absence. "I haven't talked with him yet," Manuel said before the game. "I'm not upset with him. But I would have liked to have known where he's at."




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