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.
“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.
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.
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.
(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.
I don’t remember the first time I realized it, but I’ve
known it for quite a few years. The end of professional baseball in the US is
near. I expect before the end of my lifetime, baseball will become America’s 4th
or 5th favorite sport – if it’s not there already.
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.
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.