CLEVELAND — Apart from the stadium workers picking confetti off the outfield grass and some programming on the video board, there were few signs at Wednesday' night's game of the historic Cavs championship parade that went through downtown hours earlier.
But for a few members of the Rays traveling party, it was a special day to be in Cleveland.
Hitting coach Derek Shelton, who spent 2005-09 with the Indians, watched the proceedings with his wife, Ali, and daughter Gianna from a perch at Progressive Field.
"It was really neat to see," Shelton said. "Obviously they've been waiting for a championship for a long time. I could definitely relate to it, having been a coach here, and being on the '07 team that had a 3-1 lead in the ALCS (and lost to Boston). And Ali is from here, so she is invested, too. My father-in-law remembers the '64 Browns (who won Cleveland's previous major championship). So it was cool."
Rays TV analyst Brian Anderson, who grew up near Cleveland and lives in suburban Chagrin Falls, watched from home, texting with a buddy whose office was along the route but because of the crowd, estimated in excess of 1 million, had to park 30 blocks away.
"It was surreal," Anderson said. "People were saying they couldn't believe how many people were jammed into the city and along the route, but you knew it would be something like this. You knew the city was waiting to explode for a championship. I'd never seen anything like we did today."
Anderson noted that the NHL champion Penguins had an estimated crowd of only 400,000 for their parade through Pittsburgh last week.
"That's what happens," Anderson said, "when you only do it once every half-century."
INF/OF Taylor Motter and OF Jaff Decker were among the players who crossed paths with part of the crowd on their way to the ballpark. "I walked by the arena (where the parade started), and whoever had to clean that up, good luck," Motter said. "There was a lot of confetti."
MEDICAL MATTERS: DH Steve Pearce is looking at a three- to four-week absence after an MRI exam showed his hamstring strain is similar to the one that has sidelined OF Brandon Guyer since June 4. "That's probably about where he's at," manager Kevin Cash said. … RHP Ryan Webb (right pectoralis strain) will make his fourth rehab appearance tonight for Triple-A Durham.
DOUBLE-DIPPING: The Rays set their pitching for Saturday's doubleheader in Baltimore, with RHP Matt Andriese starting the 1:05 game and RHP Jake Odorizzi the 7:05 nightcap. Cash said there wasn't much science to the decision: "Just going and asking Jake which game he wants." Andriese threw 36 pitches over 1⅔ innings Wednesday as a tuneup.
DRAFT REPORT: The Rays spent some of the bonus money they saved in under-slot deals with their top picks by signing sixth-round RHP Zack Trageton for a reported $525,000, well above the $275,900 value for the 180th selection. Trageton of Las Vegas' Faith Lutheran High had a scholarship offer from Utah. The team also signed eighth-round LHP Kenny Rosenberg of Cal-State Northridge, putting 13 of the first 16 picks under contract.
MISCELLANY: Cash said he welcomed today's off-day as a chance to hit the reset button: "We probably do need to think about resetting some things.'' … INF Nick Franklin, called up after OF Mikie Mahtook broke his hand Monday, started at second (went 0-for-3), with Logan Forsythe at DH. … RHP Jacob Faria, one of the top prospects, was promoted to Durham from Double-A Montgomery, where he was 1-6, 4.21 with 93 strikeouts in 831/3 innings.