Monday, November 3, 2008

A Joe Tait story

When reporting my story on the fall and rise of Cleveland sports radio and television personality Bruce Drennan, I had a bunch of great stories from Joe Tait that didn't make the article. Here's one that got cut out in one of the later edits:

Joe and Bruce used to cover the Indians from 1980 to 1982 on WUAB television. Well, before a game in Chicago, two Tribe players were caught with a marijuana joint. Among them was that day's starter, Lenny Barker. They were just arrested, no one was found guilty or anything. The station called them up and had a meeting about how to handle it on the air.

They all agreed Joe would make a statement. Joe gets on the air and says something to the effect of: We all know what happened, but these guys are innocent until proven guilty. We don't have any more information than you saw on the news. Until something comes out, we're just going to focus on baseball.

Bruce chimes in: OK, Joe! And a good baseball game it will be. I bet Barker comes out smoking tonight!

Joe turned bright red. Bruce had no idea what he just said. Joe tried to hold it in, but he was in hysterics.

If you haven't read the November piece on Drennan, host of Sports Time Ohio's All Bets Are Off, we tell the story of his gambling leading to jailtime, and his rise to the face of the Cleveland sports network STO. Check it out here.

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