How long is something supposed to last? A requiem for baseball

Jordan and Fernando arrived early and lost their voices during the Reverse Boycott on June 13, 2023.

After an endlessly toxic relationship, Major League Baseball is breaking up with Oakland. I have no intention of staying friends.

I realized it immediately upon walking into the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on Tuesday – practically the second we walked in. This is not a team that is intending to stay.

As one of the few, proud Oakland A’s fans remaining, I was in attendance for the Reverse Boycott game on Tuesday night – I hope you’ve come across some video from that day. It was an incredible cathartic experience that was more of a protest than a baseball game. One of the greatest experiences of my life. But I confess: I left that game convinced the A’s were gone.

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What Money Can’t Buy

A canvas featuring Hornet staff members in 2008
State Hornet Newsroom 2008 on canvas, as seen in the current State Hornet Newsroom in Del Norte Hall. Illustration by Paul Rios. Courtesy of Holly Heyser.

In a world where everything has a price tag, there are still some things money just can’t buy. Like coming home.

The idea that money can’t buy happiness is pretty absurd on its face, and was likely not invented by a poor person. A June survey found that 64 percent of Americans are now living paycheck-to-paycheck. I bet money could buy some happiness for most of them.

“Maybe money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a jetski” comedian Daniel Tosh once said. “And have you ever seen somebody unhappy on a jetski?”

The old cliché doesn’t really mean you can’t purchase happiness; it just means money alone won’t bring you fulfillment.

(But money could bring me to Fiji, and I think I would be pretty fulfilled by a nice long trip there!)

In the era of late-stage capitalism, it’s hard to say “money can’t buy happiness” with a straight face. I don’t think we need to trash the whole idiom, we simply need a little tweak. It’s not that money can’t buy happiness; there are just some things money can’t buy.

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Allegiant Stadium Oct 21

I’ve toyed with the idea of this blog post for a while, but I haven’t found the will to write it. Maybe it’s the brutal subject matter. Maybe it’s the fact that (as my friend Jordan Guinn says) there’s already so much discourse; what can I possibly add?

Well, a blog shouldn’t exist if the person has nothing to say. So I guess I better say something.

More or Less

I was lucky enough to visit the “Death Star” (Allegiant Stadium) in Las Vegas last year with my sister Marie, the person I hold directly responsible for making me a Raider fan (thanks a lot). I greatly enjoyed the game, where the Raiders walloped the Eagles, and despite what you’ve heard, the opposing fan noise isn’t that bad. Is it the Coliseum? Absolutely not and it will never be. But as a former season ticket holder, I promise you, it felt like a Raider game; more or less.

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You’re not going to miss the Coliseum, Raider Nation; you’re going to miss the party

I’ve been putting this off for a while.

Now, as any writer will tell you, this is normal. Writers hate the writing process, and the easiest way to get a reporter to clean their house is to assign a deadline. We procrastinate by nature, and we’ve all convinced ourselves that we write better under the gun. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant: it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t know if pressure actually makes us better, and no writer has ever turned anything in early so we could test it. I guess we’ll never know.

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What does it mean to be a leader? (the second part of Spring Break dispatches)

(Ed. Note – A previous blog was about managing my coed softball team, and it was supposed to be part one. Then a lot of events happened, so it got delayed until now. Here’s part two:)

What makes a good leader?

This is something I have spent many hours thinking about. What makes a good leader? I can tell you exactly the first time this thought crossed my mind. Working at Lowe’s, in college.

Let’s start with a couple of hot takes:

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Running out of gas, filling up on barbecue and overdosing on baseball

(Ed. Note – This is a special guest post by friend-of-the-blog Jordan Guinn. Get more of his acerbic humor on Twitter.)

Twice in the last three years I’ve been fortunate enough to take a week out of my summer to tour baseball parks across the country with Fernando. The trip involves a rental car, lots of energy drinks and many disagreements about whose playlist we should be listening to. 

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Spring Break Dispatches: Part 1 – Putting the Err in Manager

Note: My schools have split spring breaks, but I have enough free time to write a little. I am currently at the JACC Conference in Sacramento until Sunday morning.

Managing people is hard.

For starters, managing is not the same as being a boss. Any jackass can give orders. Delegation is a skill, but It’s also a luxury. Deep down, most of us want to be in charge and believe we should be.

But managing people is a different animal. Handling a diverse group of individuals, like a baseball manager, and leading them to success is hard. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise – not even me. Because if you had met me 10 years ago, I would have said being a manager is a piece of cake. Not anymore.

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‘For the kids, man’; on the challenge of a new semester and why I teach

For me, there is really only one reason to do anything in this world. The same reason Sammy Sosa used when he was caught with a corked bat in an MLB game in 2003.

“For the keeds, man. For the keeds.”

His excuse was that he used a corked (and therefore illegal) bat in batting practice to put on a show for the kids. Now, as someone who loves batting practice and has seen Khris Davis put on a show at the Coliseum, I don’t hate the excuse. Seriously, I saw Khris smash a suite window in batting practice once, about 425 feet from home plate. It was amazing.

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