Indians notebook: Dellucci hoping for a better 2008
David Dellucci is sick and tired of being introspective. This summer, he wants to play baseball.
“I learned an awful lot,” the Indians outfielder said of his injury-shortened 2007 season. “I learned a lot about myself. I don’t want to have to learn any more about myself.”
Dellucci spoke to the media Monday in the home clubhouse at Progressive Field before joining some of his teammates on the club’s annual winter press tour.
The 34-year-old Louisiana native had his season cut short by a torn left hamstring suffered June 19 while trying to beat out a double play during a game against Philadelphia. He tore the section of tendon so completely that it rolled up the back of his leg and had to be surgically removed.
“I was mad when I read someplace I had a ‘strained’ hamstring,” Dellucci said. “That was no strain. I could have played through a strain. I tore the thing clean away from the bone.”
Thus, in the first year of a three-year, $11.5 million contract, the Indians received somewhat less than they had anticipated — 56 games, 178 at-bats, a .230 average and 20 RBIs.
Two years earlier, Dellucci had belted 29 home runs in 435 at-bats for Texas. He knows the Indians, and their fans, had hoped for more from the player signed to platoon with Jason Michaels in left field.
“Coming out here in front of new fans in a new place to play, you try to impress them so much, it takes you out of your game a little bit,” Dellucci said. “That’s kind of what I got caught up in. I wanted to do too much, too soon. I started swinging the bat a lot better right before the injury. That’s a fact. I’m a much better player than how I played last year.”
After the injury, Dellucci tried to get back on the field. He tried so hard, in fact, that a couple setbacks in the rehabilitation process prevented him from doing so. He batted three times the rest of the season. During the Indians’ final push for the playoffs, Dellucci said, he would come out to the dugout and sit on the team bench.
After a few minutes, he would duck back into the clubhouse.
“It was probably the toughest thing I’ve had to go through.” Dellucci said.
When the season ended, Dellucci returned to Baton Rouge. He rested, allowing his leg to heal, then began running and working out at LSU and hitting at a local indoor sports facility. He will take a physical today (“I think it’ll be a great physical.”) in Cleveland, and said he expects to “ease into” a more difficult workload during spring training.
“They’ll probably be watching me close and having some specific drills for me to do,” Dellucci said. “After that, it’ll be wide-open.”
Promotional schedule announced
The Indians announced their promotional schedule for home games Monday.
The staples — Friday fireworks, Saturday giveaways and Sunday kids’ fun days — were all retained. There are $6 hot dog nights.
Bobbleheads scheduled include C.C. Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Jhonny Peralta, Fausto Carmona and Asdrubal Cabrera. The Cabrera bobblehead will be given away Aug. 30, when the Indians play Seattle ¬— the team that traded him to Cleveland for Eduardo Perez in 2006.
TV schedule announced
The Indians also announced that all but one of their 162 games will be televised. There will be 20 games on WKYC-TV, Channel 3, eight on WJW-TV, Channel 8, and 141 on SportsTime Ohio. STO will also televised eight spring-training games, beginning March 5 against Atlanta.
The team said in a press release that its season-ticket sales (20-game, 40-game and full-season plans) are up 21 percent from a year ago and that 3,700 new full and partial season ticket plans were sold last week.
The club also said group sales are 27 percent ahead of last year at this time. Single-game tickets go on sale March 1.
Reach Repository sports writer Andy Call at (330) 580-8346 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org