Indians say choice of Game 5 singer 'coincidence'

Updated: October 18, 2007, 12:31 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Teams have been known to go to extraordinary lengths to get an edge. But the Cleveland Indians swear Thursday night's choice of pre-game singer is not a piece of gamesmanship.

Danielle Peck, a country music singer who also happened to date Red Sox ace pitcher Josh Beckett, will sing the national anthem and "God Bless America" at tonight's Game 5 in Cleveland. Beckett is scheduled to start the game for Boston.

"It's an incredible coincidence. Honestly," said Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio.

Taylor Swift was supposed to be the Game 5 vocalist, but when she couldn't attend, DiBiasio said a country music booker recommended the up-and-coming Peck. She is from Coshocton and her single "I Don't" is a hit.

"She's from Ohio. Her entire family are Indians fans. We did not know anything about her connections to Beckett. The next day, we find out the rest of the story," said DiBiasio of Peck. "How are we supposed to know who Josh Beckett dates?"

With a victory tonight, the Indians would close out the Red Sox and clinch their first spot in the World Series since 1997.