Cubs pitching coach brings firsthand experience at Progressive Field to Maddon's bench
By Adam McCalvy and Carrie Muskat
CLEVELAND -- Game 1 of the World Series at Progressive Field will have something of a familiar feeling for Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio. He started Game 5 of the 1995 American League Championship Series in this stadium for the Mariners against the Indians.
Bosio surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings and took a loss against Orel Hershiser. The Indians won the series in six games.
"We were just talking about that," Bosio said before the Cubs' workout on Monday. "Walking in the clubhouse, I saw David Ross in the hot tub, and he's like, 'Man this thing's hot.' I said, 'You're going to appreciate it tomorrow when it feels like it's 40 degrees.'"
Cold weather played a role in last year's National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Mets, but it has not been a factor this year in the postseason. Temperatures were in the 60s for Games 1, 2 and 6 of the Cubs' NLCS win against the Dodgers, and they reached the 90s for the three games in Los Angeles.
Tonight's forecast for Cleveland calls for a daytime high of 51 degrees with a low of 41.
"You'll be warmer than you think in the atmosphere," Bosio said. "The crowd here can get really loud. They're right on top of you. They're ferocious. But we've had that on this journey, at our place and on the road. San Francisco was hostile, L.A. We think we're ready for it. A lot of guys have been through that with Boston.
"There's little nuances with this park, how it plays. We'll go over that as a coaching staff and a scouting staff to try to give the guys as much information as possible to prepare for these games."
Year-long retirement party: Ross played for Indians manager Terry Francona and, obviously, for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and has learned from both.
"He relates to the guys -- he almost feels like a player, the way he hangs out and sits and talks in the dugout," Ross said of Francona, who was his manager in Boston in 2008. "He's a very simple guy, doesn't let the moment get too big. I saw how he handled the Trevor Bauer [injury situation]. In a lot of markets, people would've made a huge deal about it, and he's like, 'Oh, we have an extra day, we'll see what happens.'"
Bauer cut his hand while repairing a drone, which forced him out of his Game 3 start in the ALCS.
What has Ross gleaned from Maddon?
"I understand that being outside of the box sometimes might be all right," Ross said. "I've actually understood that the conventional ways of playing baseball is how everybody else wants to play, and when you get outside of that, it affects the other team in a negative way. It's almost nice to do the unexpected or have the other team on their heels about what you're doing next. I've learned in my career, you have to worry about yourself and not the other team. I see teams come in and worry about what we're going to do."
Souvenirs: Reliever Mike Montgomery pitched a series in Cleveland in April as a member of the Mariners. The crowds were a bit sparse relative to what he'll see tonight.
"I was like, 'Man, this park is really nice, and I wonder if I'll get to see it when it's packed,'" Montgomery said Monday. "And now, here we are."
Now, Montgomery is with the Cubs following a July trade, and he picked up a win and his first postseason hit in Game 4 when he singled. On Monday, the lefty made sure to grab his nameplate from the World Series media day festivities. He'll give it to his mother, along with the ball from that hit.
When Montgomery returned to Chicago for Game 6 of the NLCS, he had a few more bats from his supplier. What he's hoping is that he'll get a right-handed batting glove. As he stood in the on-deck circle at Dodger Stadium before his at-bat, he realized he had two left-handed gloves. He didn't use anything as a result.
"Maybe I shouldn't hit with batting gloves because I got a hit," Montgomery said.
By the way, the Cavaliers will open the NBA season tonight next door to Progressive Field.
"Cleveland's kind of the place to be sports-wise," Montgomery said. "You wouldn't have thought that before. Now you've got an NBA championship [ring ceremony] and a World Series [game] on the same night."
Superstitions:Kris Bryant is aware of the link between the Cubs and a goat, who was denied access to Wrigley Field, which allegedly led to a curse being placed on the franchise. Bryant has done a couple commercials involving goats.
"This whole goat thing -- who cares?" Bryant said. "I think it's embracing whatever curses there are -- no one believes in that. I don't. I don't believe in superstitions. I change my underwear when I have a good game, so there is no superstition. I don't believe in it."
It was raining on the day he filmed one commercial, and the animal didn't want anything to do with Bryant.