Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lazy Sunday With Mr. Glass Half Empty

With the DiaBride’s Pack in the NFC Championship, things are bright and sunny at the Reservation and the time has come for a brief, albeit long overdue, Lazy Sunday to address what has been happening in the Sports Department at “Ohio’s Largest”:

While I generally try to avoid including Mr. Sunshine (Bill Livingston) in Lazy Sunday, I would be remiss if I didn’t provide a link to this, which perhaps best represents proof that Livy has officially gone off the deep end in terms of negativism. In the past, Livingston at least attempted to sound rational in his arguments of negativity (even if he was unsuccessful, you could at least see some effort), but today’s piece shows that Livingston has foregone any rational thought in his blatant attempts to continually see the glass as half-empty. The article states that, despite OSU going to the BCS Championship twice in 2 years, the Cavs going to the Finals, the Browns just missing the playoffs, and the Tribe being one game away from the World Series, he’s seen this all before in the 70s, and the future of the current sports teams will simply show history repeating itself as ALL of these teams are destined to never take the next step or steps to give the city a championship. So says this soothsayer that we are all supposed to believe, based on his “experience” as an observer of sports for many, many years.

The whole article comes off as so disjointed and dripping with “trust me on this, I’ve seen it all before” that you can’t help but wonder who in town killed Livy’s cat. His bitterness has always prevented him from actually having people enjoy his columns, but now he seems to be embracing these ridiculously negative views, perhaps because he feels that the paper needs a balance from their new columnist, the generally optimistic but always superb Terry Pluto.

There has to be some jealousy in the Sports Department as Pluto, since coming north from the ABJ, has been featured on the Front Page, numerous PD advertisements, and on free standing newspaper stands around town. In fact, the other day, a telemarketer called me to “upgrade” my PD service from the weekends only to the whole week. Their main selling point…“you know we got Terry Pluto back, right?” I can’t imagine that it all sits very well with Livingston, who likely regarded himself as the tenured columnist at the PD, suddenly thrust into covering mainly OSU. Which, regardless of how big of a fan of OSU you are, you have to admit is not nearly as popular in Cleveland as the pro sports teams are. Livingston, not surprisingly in his new assignment, immediately found an ax to grind with Jim Tressel.

One can only hope that Livingston is simply greasing his way out of the PD Sports Department with all of this blatant and irrational negativity and heavy-handedness. For about 4 years, I’ve avoided reading his columns, but since Pluto’s arrival they’ve been like a car wreck – so awful that you simply can’t look away.

However, today’s piece by Livy is the last straw…I’m simply going back to looking away.

Of course, on the other side of the ledger (and back to Indians’ talk), Terry Pluto takes a quick look at how Garko, Victor, and Shoppach figure to lend stability to 1B and C for 2008. While it is not often said (as the easier, and probably more interesting, thing to discuss is what’s wrong), the Indians are very solid at 4 to 5 positions (C, 1B, CF, DH, and SS…depending upon Peralta’s defense) with hope that 2 positions will be fortified by youngsters (2B, RF) and that veterans can hold down the fort at 2 positions (LF, 3B) or that youngsters can step as they did in 2008.

While it certainly makes for more interesting discussion and debate to talk about LF, 3B, and C.C.’s contract situation (which I should have something on this week), shouldn’t there be a point that we simply express some thanks that the roster isn’t a complete work in progress and that the Indians aren’t going to Spring Training with a roster full of question marks? Sure there are some areas that we’d all like to see upgraded, but the Indians are bringing back essentially the same team that was a good performance by either C.C. or Carmona away from a World Series, with more promise at 2B, RF, and the bullpen with a full season for the talented youngsters that emerged last year.

Maybe I’m being overly optimistic in light of Livingston trying to put a dark cloud over my Sunday…but the sky isn’t falling for the Tribe and things are looking pretty good these days.

Also on the topic of good writing, if you missed Tony Lastoria’s amazingly in-depth Top 50 (yes…50) prospects with write-ups for everyone, here is the link to his site. However, be warned, don’t click until you have about an hour or two to properly digest all of the information.

Finally, as you may have guessed, the 2007 Retrospective has been put on the backburner as (while it is fun to walk down memory lane) it is EXTREMELY time-consuming and I think more people to look forward than look back…especially with Spring Training merely a month away.


Baltimoran said...

thought you were exaggerating until i read it...what was the purpose of that article, to make Cleveland fans stop watching sports? He failed to mention that we have the best player in the NBA, young solid O line, and arguable one of the best GM's in baseball...i couldn't be happier about the current state of affairs.

Favre was amazing yesterday, would love to see him beat the pats in a few weeks

Cy Slapnicka said...

what bothers me more about livingston is his awful writing. i can deal with his negativity, as i'm glad to see he's such a miserable person. i hope the pinnacle of his day is when wakes up angry and gets more negative from there. he doesn't deserved to be employed for his negative viewpoint and the PD are fools for doing any of us could be the PD's wet blanket for far less than they pay him.

what gets me is the fact that he cannot write a coherent column. he gets paid to write, and does that terribly. half the time it is difficult to even understand what he is trying to say. i don't expect every sportswriter to be spewing sunshine, but i do expect them to be able to write.