The Cleveland Indians have an off day today as they travel to New York. After arriving in the Big Apple, several members of the team took a tour of HBO studios (which I assume are in NYC), and bumped into Buzz Bissinger, who was roaming the hallways muttering to himself. Several members of the Tribe, being the big-hearted guys they are, guided the obviously confused elder gentleman to a comfortable chair in a lobby. By what can only be divine coincidence, Bob Costas was also sitting in that same lobby.
COSTAS: Hey guys! The way your season is being framed by your home fans is “Hey, whats the problem with having more runs and quicker access to them? What is the trouble with somebody just being able to cross home plate?” They’re right that you don’t need to be the ’27 Yankees to say “The Indians should have pinch hit for Delucci in the 8th,” but those are not the worst of the reasonable criticisms against the Indians’ offense. The reasonable criticisms are against the tone of gratitutious failures to produce runs and meanspirited at bats, those are the reasonable criticisms
TRIBE: Well, of course i realize that any time you… um… its a different thing, its not news to say that people are different in the batter’s box than they are in in the cages, there are many different pitches that we might swing blindly at in on the field that we would not spit at in the cages...
BUZZ: I’m just going to interject because i feel very strongly about this, I really think you’re full of shit. Because I think that your at-bats are dedicated to cruelty, dedicated to athletic dishonesty, to speed. I am over 50. [Thinks to himself: “I’m a man!”] Do you who W.C. Heinz is? Have you ever read him?
TRIBE: Some of us have read The Professional. Those of us who can read English. It was about boxing, though, and we don’t —
BUZZ: Have you read his sports columns, in the newspapers? Tell me who has a better ability to evoke a game and a moment and what it what it means to knock in a key two-out RBI: Heinz, one of the greatest writers ever, or this guy on your lineup, whats his name, Pronk Deep? And it really pisses the shit out of me. “You don’t need to see C.C. Sabathia’s tits to know how he’s pitching,” and this is really fucking clever, in parentheses, “though I hear his tits are amazing.” How can you be proud of this shit?
TRIBE: Its a new season —
BUZZ: You think that’s a new season? Then its a disgusting season.
TRIBE: Well maybe you think so and some other people think so. Who are you to decide what is palatable? Baseball is a meritocracy, players who don’t produce aren’t going to be in the bigs very long. Its hard goddam work to start a late game rally.
COSTAS: Some of the comments from fans following your games are affecting the tone of the season. “Nice strikeout, fuckface,” “What are you swinging at, you fetus-faced windbag,” and “Good luck managing a Dennys, douchebag.”
[Braylon Edwards wanders down hallway.]
BRAYLON: I know this is LeBron’s city, but I will not witness this again.
TRIBE: You can make an argument for our at-bats resembling Matt Leinart and Ben Cheeseburger awkwardly pawing at drunken jailbait being news. No one out there is going to think “I like the Indians, I enjoy the baseball they play, but now that I see them playing like inebriated NFL quarterbacks, I can’t cheer for them anymore.” We think this comparison with frailty and imperfection actually humanizes us. Also, it’s just damn funny seeing Grady play like Willie Mays Hayes in the first half of Major League.
BUZZ: It makes you look human. I may be over 50, but i’m not that stupid. You’re humiliating yourselves —
TRIBE: Oh come on!
BUZZ: “Oh come on” my ass!
COSTAS: A recent internet study concluded only 19% of Cleveland fans are hopeful for a World Series title this year.
BUZZ: Maybe that’s why i’m so angry, that teams like this are the future. They play glib, profane, quick. There are some good games, but they are few and far between. The quality of approaches at the plate are despicable, as a writer who has spent his life trying to perfect the craft, you give me nothing positive to write about. You’re like Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn on Percocet. You’re proud not to be in the lead because scores “get in the way.” We have scores to give us a certain vantage point. I just don’t know where you’re coming from. The future in hands like yours will put us so far behind in the division we can’t recover.
The Indians, at this point very confused as to why this man is so angry at them, are relieved when he suddenly stand up and starts wandering the halls and muttering to himself again.
TRIBE: What the hell?