Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Now snob isn't a word I would use to describe myself, but I guess who in their right mind would? Elitist has even worse connotations to me. I certainly don't consider myself better or superior than other people.

Yet I am finding harder and harder to sit in a room and listen to other people talk sports. I read sports forums out of boredom and learned a long time ago not to respond to idiotic responses or takes. Jim Rome has helped ruin sports. People can't discuss sports anymore. Everyone has to have a take and bring it hard. Around the Horn is speeding up the demise. There are idiots out there that think that show is news and Gospel. This attitude has creeped down to local hosts so where guys that seemed normal like Michael Reghi now just scream into mike. I can turn off the TV, the Internet and the radio. But unless I hide in my cave, it is hard to turn off loud people in public.

Thursday my power went out. It was too dark to read so I ventured out into the world. The first bar had a guy who bet a week's pay that in the Cavs first 15 games next season, Z would start more games then Shaq because "We wouldn't do that to Z."

Now that guy was mostly harmless. I could deal with that guy. But the crowd in my regular bar wasn't the regular crowd. I could take only so many Michael Jackson jokes* and talk of the Big Walleye coming off the bench.

*With my Internet out, I got a text that said "Mike Jackson died." Instantly I was crushed thinking that the former Indians relief pitcher died. I really liked that guy so I wrote back, "The relief pitcher?" And was promptly called an idiot and told that it was Michael Jackson who died. And my next thought was the Browns receiver? Seriously it never occurred to me to consider the singer.

So I moved to another bar. I sat in the middle. To my right where two older gentlemen watching the final innings of the Tribe game. To my left and down a couple of seats were four younger guys who obviously couldn't hold their liquor. They were also watching the game but also were talking about the draft.

Now the sound was off but so was the jukebox. There was no hiding from their conversation. Or to be more accurate - a series of shrieking yells.

I will spare you the details. But after a half hour of nonsense and whining. The Indians lost the game. And the reason the Indians lost the game was clearly Eric Wedge's fault. See after the Pirates stole third, Wedge had to walk the batter. HE HAD TO LOADED THE BASES FOR THE FORCE.

This one guy started screaming that Wedge had to be fired on the spot. Everyone knows you walk the hitter to load the bases with one out so you can get a force.

I should have stayed out of it. I had nothing to gain. But he was so loud and he was saying this after the fact. He didn't say it right when the steal happened. And his buddies were just slurping it up. And did I mention he was so loud. In a bar with just seven guys and a bartender. It should not be that loud.

So I said, "Sir do you know what the count was?"
And he said, "What?"
"Do you know what the count was?"
And his friend said it was "1-2"
"You wanted to intentionally walk a guy you were ahead in the count of."
"No I wanted to walk him before the first pitch?"
"When their were runners on just second and first."
"No they stole third?"
"In the middle of the at bat."

Now my logic wasn't completely sound. And I don't even know it was 1-2 or 1-1. But I spoke calmly and it was enough to shut up them for a little while. And the old guy sitting next me nodded thanks and we started discussing sports. It was calm. It was friendly. It was nice. We talked about how Shaq would fit in. We talked about how the kid from Italy was really from Compton. We talked about Minnesota drafting every point guard they could find.

Meanwhile the guys on the other end were rallying. They were screaming about how the Cavs had to draft one of the Pitt guys. Notice they didn't say which one. They had no clues what their names were. But Jay Bilas or someone said they were good so they had to be the pick. The older guy asked me who I wanted and I told him, "Honestly I think Danny Ferry has researched this more than me. I will trust him."

And when the pick was announced as Christian Eyenga from the Congo, the guys at the other end of the bar, just like all the callers on the radio and all the posters on the Internet went nuts. Ferry is an idiot. Ferry should be fired. Every Cleveland GM and Coach sucks.

Seriously. Ferry trades for Shaq in the morning without giving up anything useful and now he is an idiot who needs to be fired. What because you have heard of these other guys they must be better? It is like the NFL draft and the fans wanting Rey Maualuga. Not only did the Browns trade down time after time but every other team passed on him too. And who took him the Bengals which would be the one team these same fans would claim are dumber than the Browns.

Whoever the Cavs took at 30 wasn't getting major minutes this season. And whatever minutes he got would be gone in the playoffs. Just look at our two rookie posts from this past season. Eyenga may never play but I like the risk. Why waste a pick on the bench when the plan is to sign veteran help to boost the bench. Ferry now has several guys stashed in Europe and if one of them turns into a player, it will look genius. Ferry was with the Spurs and no one has been better at getting foreign players. I will trust him.

I hear people talk about slots. How you can't take a 60 rated guy in the 30th spot. Why not? You know your needs. Why take the 30th ranked guy by ESPN when you have found a guy you like and think will work. If it doesn't work you will get fired but you are going to get fired some day anyway. You might as well trust your gut instead of the crowd. Plus if these draft experts were that smart, they would be GMs and not draft experts.

Tonight the Indians traded Mark DeRosa. The uninformed saw we got a relief pitcher with a high ERA. Oh the naughty words they sprayed over the web. F Dolan. F Shapiro. F Wedge. F Cleveland.

I know this town loves guys that are traded. In April, they were going nuts about sending three pitching prospects for a guy (DeRosa) who can't hit or field. Now they are moaning about trading one of our only good hitters who can play anywhere in the field. All these people who wrote off the Indians last week are now complaining we are waving the white flag.

Um Shapiro just turned around a guy, who is a free agent after the season and was had for minor prospects, for a live arm that at the start of season was the Cards third rated prospect and possible closer in waiting plus another player to be named later that Shapiro said was a significant part of the deal.

Does the trade make the last place Indians worse right now? Yes but it makes great sense for the future. And you may not have heard but there will be a next year.

Not everything Ferry or Shapiro have done has worked. You can question a lot of their moves. But you can't argue that they don't work their asses off. Ferry blew up his team two years ago and it made the Cavs real contenders. He saw it wasn't working and tried something else. Shaq may not work but Ferry is doing what ever he can. It is harder to believe in Shapiro. But I have agreed with most of his moves. They haven't worked. I don't know why Sizemore hasn't become a super star. I don't know why Peralta forgets how to hit sometimes. I don't know why every relief pitcher he signs starting walking everyone and every veteran bat he signs stops hitting. It is getting harder to blame that all on bad luck. But Shapiro has made some great trades. I trust him on trades.

I don't know why I bothered to write all this. Why I continue to post. But it has to be healthier than going to a bar where people don't know you and screaming YOU SUCK at the TV.