That was a great Game Seven. I hated the way it ended more than you did, unless you bet on or play for the Tribe. But what a game, what a playoff run, and what an epic World Series. That shit was riveting, and I’m almost as grateful as I am sad.

I hate Twitter. I’m on it; I’ve been on it since before I wrote The Whore of Akron, and I’ve got another book coming out late in February, so it makes no sense to walk away now. But I’ve made enough mistakes on Twitter to last me the rest of my days, and last night I fucked up again.

I’m talking about Chief Wahoo. I should NEVER have raised the subject after a Game Seven loss. If only a tiny percentage, a sliver, of my die-hard brethren are pained by being told that Red Sambo is like the Confederate flag, I could’ve waited for their feelings, their seething emotions, their hurt and anger, to calm a bit after such a brutal L.

That was insensitive of me. I’m so sorry.

Oh, wait: These are the same people — the ones to whom Wahoo seems so crucial — who love to say FUCK YOUR FEELINGS to the people they dismiss as social-justice-warriors and pussies. In fact, whenever I check the timeline of some asshole coming at me about the Chief with what reads like rage or personal contempt, I find a Donald Trump fan. And whenever I read the word “pussification,” I know I’m dealing with a small-fingered cretin.

(I stopped checking. I just block. I like to block on Twitter. Sometimes I’ll block someone who follows me just because they’re giving Grossi grief. I love Grossi. Hall of Famer. Seriously: If you blame Tony Grossi for anything about the Cleveland Browns, you’re in your teens or stupid.)

Anyhow, Wahoo. The Cleveland Indians have a heritage to be proud of when it comes to sports and race. Larry Doby, Satchel Paige, Bill Veeck, Frank Robinson — if the Dolans and Mark Shapiro cared about anything but making another few bucks off the 90s Tribe, they could’ve built a Doby statue before Thome’s, dumped the name and the cartoon, and embraced that heritage just by recognizing the reality, which has been clear for many years, that Chief Wahoo is, plain and simple, a relic of genocide.

My feelings, your feelings, and all the polls in the world can’t change that fact, and there is no argument you can make that doesn’t track precisely with those made to justify the South’s beloved Stars and Bars. You’re free to fly yours from the deck of your double-wide or tape it to your bait-shop window, and you’ll be free to paint your face and wear your headdress to the Jake after Wahoo hits the road. Or, to quote Shapiro, don’t come. Because if Chief Wahoo is the reason you’re a fan, you’re no kind of fan at all.

Good Luck

I don’t come here often. Hardly ever. Writing here pays zilch, and I’m averse to spelunking my own butthole for free. But it seems like the right place to say a few words about leaving Esquire magazine.

I’m leaving Esquire magazine. I’m old, and I’m working on a sequel to The Whore of Akron, and there’s other stuff I want to do, too. If you get to a certain age — I’ll be 64 if I make it to August —  the math starts doing itself. (I think I’ve written that exact phrase before, in Esquire — strong evidence that the magazine could use a break from me.) It was time to go, and so the May issue, a split run with either Bill Murray or George Clooney on the cover, is my last as a Writer at Large.

For those playing inside baseball, the May issue is also David Granger’s last as Esquire‘s editor in chief.  I started writing for Granger in 1992, at GQ, and joined him at Esquire in 1997, when he was hired to run it. I’ve had a dream job for almost 25 years. A ridiculously great job. I mean, seriously: My last Esquire Q&A was a four-hour lunch with Granger and Bill Murray at an Albanian steakhouse in the city. I got paid for that.

A word about Bill Murray: I can’t help connect you with Bill Murray. I don’t have his secret number. I don’t think he e-mails. I’ve known Bill since 1998, and he’s something like what I’d imagine an angel to be. He…appears. I bring this up because whenever Esquire does anything with him, I get sincere, impassioned,  detailed asks from folks who need to get in touch with him. I’ve gotten a few already this time around, and I can’t help. If it’s any consolation, Jon Favreau wanted to put him in the first Iron Man, and he couldn’t reach Bill, either, and had to settle for Jeff Bridges.

A word about luck: Timing is god. I was almost 40 years old when I met Granger. I was selling columns to an alternative weekly in Philly for $40 each, I was selling my sperm and white blood cells, too. And working on a novel, of course. I’m a firm believer in hard work, facing fear and failure, and enduring apparently endless self-doubt and -loathing — all of that stuff seems inseparable from writing as a process. But I’m not stupid or silly enough to think that my magazine-writing career is a tribute to any of that, much less to any innate gifts and talents. The longer I stuck around, and the tougher the print business got for thousands and thousands of talented, hard-working writers, the more plainly I saw how fucking lucky I have been.

That’s the trick. That’s the secret. Keep swinging hard. You might get lucky and hit something.