CLEVELAND — With his team entering Saturday with their first opportunity to officially clinch the Central Division title, Indians manager Eric Wedge still wouldn’t budge.
Cleveland owned a 7½-game lead over second-place Detroit, with its magic number at two through Friday, but Wedge refused to discuss anything regarding a potential playoff appearance or his plans for the remainder of the regular season.
“There’s always conversations that you have, but I really have not allowed myself to think about that,” said Wedge, whose team will most likely open the playoffs against either Boston or New York, should it qualify. “The focus still has to be on today and what we’ve yet to accomplish.”
Wedge has been as stoic as they come when asked about winning the division, making the postseason or finishing with baseball’s best record, which the Indians owned through Friday at 91-62.
But he is all in favor of celebrating the moments should they come.
“The celebration is part of it,” he said. “If you work hard to accomplish something, when you do, you should celebrate.”
David Dellucci has been active since September 6, but has yet to make an appearance. Will he make one before the regular season is complete?
“We’ll have to wait and see. I’m not sure,” Wedge said.
Dellucci (hamstring) continues to take pregame batting and fielding practice, but if he doesn’t play, odds are long that he would find a spot on the postseason roster. He hasn’t played since June 19.
With the Giants opting not to bring Barry Bonds back next year, baseball’s all-time home run hitter will be on the free-agent market this winter, expected to go to an American League team to DH.
Would the Indians be interested?
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to say,” Wedge said with a smile. “We’ve already got (our designated hitter).”
Assistant general manager Chris Antonetti has been rumored as the favorite for a number of general manager openings across the majors, even turning down an offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
It appears that Antonetti isn’t going anywhere after purchasing a home in Westlake at a listing price of $895,000.
Neal Huntington, a special assistant to GM Mark Shapiro, is reportedly in line for the Pirates job.
Former Indians manager Mike Hargrove will attend Cleveland’s Fantasy Camp 2008 in Winter Haven, Fla., Jan. 26-Feb. 2. It will be the final camp held at the Chain of Lakes complex, with the team moving spring training operations to Goodyear, Ariz.
Other Indians greats scheduled to attend the camp include Bob Feller, Len Barker, Rick Manning, Mudcat Grant and Joe Charboneau.
Fausto Carmona, 23, entered Saturday leading the American League with a 3.03 ERA. Should he win the ERA title, he would be the youngest pitcher to do so since Dave Righetti did it for the Yankees in 1981 at the age of 22.
• Oakland scratched Sunday’s scheduled starter Rich Harden and will replace him with left-hander Dallas Braden in his place. Harden has battled injuries the past two seasons, with shoulder problems limiting him to seven appearances (four starts) this year.
Contact Chris Assenheimer at 329-7137 or firstname.lastname@example.org.