CLEVELAND -- Kenny Lofton donned the navy blue blazer that comes with induction into the Indians team Hall of Fame on Saturday night, drawing a rousing ovation from those in attendance at Progressive Field.Of course, if the 43-year-old Lofton had his way, he would have been donning a Tribe uniform and drawing cheers for his feats on the field. Though he's been out of the game nearly three years now, Lofton still has the body of a man half his age and still has the desire to show off his athletic talents. And having spent the majority of his 17-year career in that Indians uniform, Lofton understands as well as anybody how much winning a title -- in any sport -- would mean to this city. "I wish I was in uniform to help any way I can," Lofton said. "[Fans here] are dying for something special. Hopefully they get it soon." Lofton admitted it felt "a little weird" to be getting the alumni treatment and be inducted "as a young fella." After all, he did not leave the game on his own terms. But he's thankful that if his career did have to end, it ended with the Indians in 2007, on a team that advanced to the AL Championship Series. "Maybe that's the way the book was supposed to be written," Lofton said.
Acta's brief tenure as third-base coach ends
CLEVELAND -- Manny Acta can go back to his normal duties now.You know, managing a ballclub. Not directing traffic at third base. Acta's two-day gig as the Tribe's third-base coach came to a close Friday night. Steve Smith, suspended two games in the wake of Tuesday's benches-clearing brawl in Boston, was back in action on Saturday. Coaching third was nothing new to Acta. That was, after all, his job with the Expos and Mets back in the day. Acta won't really miss it, but he said the two-day trek back in time was good for the soul. "Plan for where you're going, but don't forget where you come from," Acta said. "Who knows? I've seen a lot of managers go back to coaching third base again."
New players cause locker shuffling for Tribe
CLEVELAND -- In the seven days the Indians were on the road, they added seven bodies from Triple-A Columbus who weren't on the active roster when the Tribe departed for Toronto on July 30.So when the Tribe returned home Friday, plenty of locker shuffling went on, keeping home clubhouse manager Tony Amato busy. No one made out better than Justin Masterson and Joe Smith, who inhered the coveted corner locker spots left behind by Jake Westbrook and Kerry Wood. The two spots offer seclusion behind a pillar. "I asked Tony if I could move here next year," Smith said. "He said, 'If you wait, it will be gone, because we'll need to use those spots for September callups.' So I moved now."
The Indians and Twins honored the Negro Leagues on Saturday night, with the Tribe wearing the uniforms of the 1946 Cleveland Buckeyes and the Twins wearing the uniforms of the 1909 St. Paul Gophers. Historian and former Indians right-hander Jim "Mudcat" Grant was on-hand to educate fans on Negro League history. ... The Indians' 47-63 record through 110 games was the exact same record they had at that point last year. ... Chris Perez's blown save Friday night ended a streak of eight straight conversions since June 11 and ended his scoreless streak at 14 1/3 innings. ... Matt LaPorta's walk-off homer Friday night was the 50th in MLB this season.