CLEVELAND (AP) -- Omar Vizquel didn't know how to say goodbye.
So as the fans in Jacobs Field bestowed him with another
standing ovation Sunday, Vizquel removed his cap and patted his
right hand over his heart.
"That means I love you all," he said.
The feeling was mutual.
Vizquel got a warm send-off in possibly his final home game for
Cleveland, and the Minnesota Twins reached 90 wins for the third
straight season with a 6-2 victory over the Indians.
Vizquel, the Indians' wildly popular shortstop, went 1-for-4 in
the team's home finale -- perhaps his last game wearing Cleveland's
Unless he's willing to accept a reduced role next season and
work out a new contract with the Indians, Vizquel's 11th season
with Cleveland will be his last.
"I want to stay here," he said before Sunday's game. "But
it's not up to me."
Carlos Silva (14-8) allowed one run and eight hits in seven
innings, improving to 4-0 in his last eight starts as Minnesota won
for just the second time in six games.
Jacque Jones had two RBI off Francisco Cruceta (0-1) for the
playoff-bound Twins (90-66), who continue to be overlooked despite
being back in the postseason.
"People said we were not going to win 90 games or the
division," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We didn't pay attention
to those people. We're pretty proud of what we accomplished. We
think it's a pretty big deal."
A three-time All-Star and nine-time Gold Glove winner, Vizquel
is expected to become a free agent in November. He has a mutual $5
million option for next season that the Indians are not likely to
The 37-year-old Vizquel is willing to accept a one-year deal to
remain -- and retire -- with the Indians.
"I think we can work it out," said Vizquel, who will meet with
general manager Mark Shapiro immediately after the season. "This
is the first time I've ended a season not knowing where I am going
to be for the next one."
If Cleveland fans had their way, Vizquel wouldn't be going
Hundreds lined up before the game to shake hands with Vizquel,
who joined his teammates at the turnstiles to welcome them as they
arrived at the gates.
Some carried "Keep Omar" signs, and many stopped to hug
Vizquel or tell him how much he meant to them.
"That was awesome, man," Vizquel said. "It was so cool to see
so many people that I haven't seen for a while and people that I've
known for years."
Playing in his 747th game at Jacobs Field, Vizquel received a
loud ovation each time he came up. He popped out in his first two
at-bats, and got kidded about it by teammate Casey Blake.
"I said, 'O, these people didn't come here to see you do
that," Blake said.
Vizquel led off the sixth with a single but was forced on a
double play. Before stepping into the batter's box in the eighth,
Vizquel waved to the crowd and then took a deep breath before
"It was pretty hard," he said. "That's the most emotional
I've been. It was hard to go in there and swing the bat."
He grounded out to second, but not before he tried to beat the
throw with a headfirst dive into first, the type of play that has
typified his stellar career.
Vizquel took his spot in the field for the ninth, but manager
Eric Wedge sent Jhonny Peralta in to replace him -- a moving gesture
that caught Vizquel off guard.
"I didn't know they were going to do that. I wonder if that's a
sign I'm not coming back," he said with a laugh. "I'd better ask
Wedge what he was doing."
When he reached the dugout, Vizquel stopped to acknowledge the
fans and the Twins, who were applauding Cleveland's No. 13 from
across the field.
"He has always been a hero and always will be a hero to
everybody in Venezuela," said Minnesota pitcher Johan Santana.
"He was my favorite player growing up and probably will be
Vizquel's young teammates, too, were moved by the possibility
that his career in Cleveland could soon be over.
"I hope one day I can have half the success that he has had,"
said rookie outfielder Grady Sizemore, who had three hits and
Cleveland's two RBI.
Gardenhire is the seventh manager to reach the 90-win
plateau in his first three seasons and first since Davey Johnson
did it with the New York Mets (1984-86). ... Vizquel has not made
an error in his last 52 games. ... The Indians went 44-37 at home,
their first winning season at the Jake since 2001. ... Twins CF
Torii Hunter didn't start for the third straight game as part of
Gardenhire's plan to get his players rested for the playoffs.