The glass is half full ... until it freezes and cracks

I was talking to a friend of mine last week about the current state of our pro sports teams. I was feeling pretty upbeat about the Tribe and spring training, the new Browns management, and the Cavs (remember, they’ve been to the Finals the last three years). 

My friend, who I shall call “Jim” – primarily because that’s his real name – was complaining about not one, not two, but all three teams. Just what one needs on a cold winter day, right? 

I started out our conversation espousing my excitement about the Tribe starting spring training in a few weeks. It quickly became clear that Jim did not share my enthusiastic mindset. 

“Hey, we lost the best set-up guy in Bryan Shaw, a decent bat and excellent first baseman in Carlos Santana, and the only guy who hit for us in the playoffs, Jay Bruce.” 

Stunned by the unexpected verbal lambasting, I retorted with a quizzical “So?” and raised my fist as if ready to present an argument that would send Jim reeling. The problem was, there were no bullets in my snappy retort arsenal. I had nothing. Nothing. Apparently, I required a little more time to present my case. 

Jim snorted much like a district attorney who knows he has the defendant on the ropes. 

“Oh and by the way, right after they announced that Jason Kipnis will be the second baseman, we found out they had a deal to send him to the Mets which fell through at the last minute.” 

Hoping that Jim wouldn’t notice that my vocabulary had evidently shriveled to a size along the lines of that of an articulate 6-month-old, I once again fired another witty response of “So?” in his direction. (Since it backfired the first time, I decided raising my fist again would be counterproductive – maybe even hurtful – since Jim is much bigger than me).

“Yeah, well, at least we signed Michael Brantley.” I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back for spitting out a sentence that included a couple of words consisting more than one syllable. 

Jim snorted again, this time with more force, and I realized that snorting was Jim’s weapon of choice. Hey, you go where your comfort level is, right? 

Jim laughed as he said, “Yeah, they gave Brantley – a guy who will probably play 50 games before he gets hurt again – the money they could have used to sign Santana or Bruce. Idiots.” 

Fairly disheartened by the conversation – as well as all of the realities Jim brought up which I had tried to avoid facing all winter – I sat back down and looked glumly at the snow falling outside. 

“But cheer up,” Jim added, “because the Tribe still has the best starting pitching staff in baseball.”   

“Darn right,” I replied. 

It will be a long time before Jim tries to engage in a verbal battle with the master. I'll try not to be so hard on him next time.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 10, Issue 2, Posted 9:17 AM, 01.23.2018