Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, September 03, 2011

and now for something completely different

i guess this a blog

it started when i was the sports editor at west life
i needed a place to preserve my columns
at the time the paper didnt put much on the internet
i was allowed only one story a week to put on the website
thought it would be selfish if that was my column
so i put a link on the website and used here to archive my columns

when i was fired from there
i pouted for a while then started writing here
mostly about sports
i got linked on bunch of sites
but never did anything to promote it
or make money from it
didnt even bother to proofread or edit myself

it took over three years but i got full time job
this went silent the first few months
but when i started writing columns
this site went back
to being my column archive

i generally assumed no one ever visited
stumbled into finding out today
i actually get a lot of hits
even with nothing new in over a month

people from around the world stumble here somehow


guessing it is mostly by accident
and older columns hijacked by some site for traffic

some jerk stole my red right 88 moniker last year
i asked him nicely just to be the red right 88 chronicles
or something slightly different since i had been using it for years
something he could have learned with one
google search

his response was to buy the website rights
and be a dick
if he used his real name it would be more understandable
but he uses a name he stole from roman history
and he sucks
and it drive me nuts someone might think his crap was mine
dude said it was obvious i was corporate and he was a real fan
me corporate
how funny is that
he said people would not mistake his work for mine
i told him why would you want to use a name
that is already known
dont you want your own voice

sure enough months later
terry pluto
who i have met and interviewed
and occasionally cross paths with
wrote me a thank you email
for review that shithead wrote

i still put my morning journal columns here
even though they were archived at the papers site
earlier this year i thought i was back in the groove
and doing good work
no one noticed
except the good people of winnipeg

the first week of july
a stringer read his schedule wrong
went instead to where i was working
he showed up two minutes before first pitch
i had been there for an hour
trying to get a new company issued laptop to work
but it was a cheap piece of crap and wouldnt
of course i knew that it was going to happen
and went early plus brought my own computer

but i was a little behind getting a blog up and the lineups written out
the stringer acted like the unprofessional he is
he acted like a real jerk
started bad mouthing the company
i had to show him the schedule on my computer
and he still didnt believe me
hurt and embarrassed
and outweighing by double
he decided to be a bully
basically verbally assaulted and made a scene

i told him he was unprofessional and to go to his actual assignment
i didnt back down and got right in his face
he used improper language
i did not

i walked out called my boss
he asked me to not share this and he would take care of it
said we needed the stringer since we were shorthanded

a few days later he called me to say i was suspended
someone told his boss's boss
and it was out of his hands
lost a days pay and my beat

no one talked to me about what happened
and no one talked to anyone who was present in the press box
a witness on his own even emailed the paper
to vouch i did nothing wrong

i guess their silence when i returned to work
was supposed to be the apology

i emailed those who made the decision
saying i would accept the suspension but i believed i did nothing wrong
and that i was humiliated by what happened


if you want to suspend me
talk to me
there was nothing in the handbook
that gave them the right to do it

my vacation was already scheduled in ten days
i took it
came back and told them
i would only stay if i got a raise

in 2003 with no experience
i made $450 a week at a weekly paper as a reporter
when i left west life in 2006 i was making $510 a week

my starting salary in 2009 at the morning journal was $440
in my time there
i took on many extra duties
i made more flip videos than anyone in the company not just the paper
being short staffed we had to work harder and do more

no raise ever
working for less then you are worth sucks
but you can do it
but constantly being treated with disrespect is a lot harder
working under or beside people
whose character is against everything you believe in
is even harder

i wanted and believed i deserved a bigger raise
but would have settled for quarter an hour
that would have been two dollars a day
or ten dollars a week

august is our busiest month
three guys were going on vacation
i was going to be asked to carry the load
getting the paper out
doing previews

what i really wanted was an apology
but i was willing to settle for 10 bucks a week
a bargain rather than bringing in someone new

the editor of the paper refused
so i left

if i couldnt get a 10 dollar a week raise then
i was never going to get a raise

they had spent the last year
overpaying a lazy radio guy to write an insulting column once a week
that provided us no extra readers
everyone in the department could have gotten a $10 a week raise
three times over instead

quitting a job with benefits in this economy
is stupid

i wasnt wrong
but it was stupid

yet i have not regretted it for a second
i heard that threats were made about me leaving
how i would never work anywhere again in the industry

guess i am ok with that

others can judge my work
i am pretty confident i worked hard and did more than was expected
but i am sure no really cares

i couldnt stay and just put in the motions
like others seem capable of doing
i cant work for and along side people i think are shitty human beings
it would have killed me on the inside
(not that everyone was shitty but all it takes is more than one)

i doubt anyone will ever hire me to work at a paper ever again
not sure i want to become a sports blogger
i mean who really cares what i think about jim thome
or the browns

thought i would write a novel
but i have been struggling

rather than going to work some min wage job
so i can pretend to be productive member of society
i am packing up my car and heading west

going to see all the things
i havent seen before

i know my limitations as a writer
i am not a wordsmith
i hate punctuation
grammar rules

but my biggest strength
has always been
i know my voice

i can connect
find that
dude it is like you read my mind and said better it then i would

my dream job would be to be a columnist
for the plain dealer

i maybe not so humbly think i am what they are missing
a cleveland writer with a cleveland voice
sports or metro

unfortunately i didnt go to journalism school
i didnt have the patience to pay to my dues
the foresight to kiss the right asses
basically i was lazy and didnt self promote
lots of people could have done what bill simmons did
to become the sports guy
but he did it
he put in the work
work i didnt

there is no one to blame for being not being a columnist
at the plain dealer but me

should have wanted it back in high school
and worked my ass off until i got it
i didnt

i dont know what i am going to do for a job when i come home
i am not sure i am coming home

i dont know what is going to happen
a complete blank slate

starting a new blog
will add the link here
when it is up
and i am on the road

the plan is to write two posts a day
one to go live each night or when i find an internet connection
another one to show up a year later
with some thoughts i may not want to be read just yet

if you stumbled here thanks
if you read this far

email me if you want
i used to be good at writing letters