Profile in Oakland Magazine

Apparently I’m some sort of international regional man of mystery, so it was only a matter of time before I was profiled in some periodical, somewhere. Such is the case in the November edition of Oakland Magazine, where Steven Tavares (of East Bay Citizen) figured out a way to devote 750 words to me. There are also quotes from detractors, though not from me directly. Tavares asked me for an interview a few weeks ago and I declined, simply because I’d rather not draw further attention to myself. It’s about the ballpark and the process, not me. Still, if you want to read it you can find a copy at various retail locations, or if you go to the magazine’s website you can check out the digital edition. Here’s a tease:

Lede from the profile

Lede from the profile

My favorite tidbit goes like this:

“…some of Muncada’s detractors responded to photos he tweeted from his seat at the Coliseum by attempting to triangulate his location at the ballpark.”

These same detractors then suggest that I got those tickets some sort of payola (or that I’m actually Lew Wolff?), when in reality I used the At The Ballpark app to upgrade from my usual Value Deck seats to either Field Level or MVP, often for as little as $10-12.

Whether you believe I’m rational or evil incarnate, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read. I know I did.

32 thoughts on “Profile in Oakland Magazine

  1. I am guessing that he didn’t call Dr. Death a “Sacramento cosplayer” because it wasn’t part of his narrative…

    Infrastructure- minutiae
    Financing plan- minutiae
    Conjecture about Lew Wolff buying someone who does a better job covering the important parts of building a stadium- germane

    And people wonder why journalism is dying?

    • To be fair, journalism is dying in part because we can read this blog for free. ML produces far and away the best content available on this topic, pro bono, and that’s threatening to the very rare remaining print journalists who have jobs. But too many print journalists in all content areas respond to that fear by discrediting online journalism altogether. The far more appropriate response would be what you suggest Jeff, trying to outwork the great bloggers out there, or at least following their trail. In this instance, that would require them (even the columnists) to bone up on all the finer details that ML has had to over the years.

  2. Wow, it is great to know that I am one of Lew’s henchmen as well. 2 times I have sat in the front row MVP seats. If Lew had been at those games I could have spoke to him and probably not even shouted. Odd that it takes so little to be in the back pocket of an evil overlord.

    And I said this before, but I once did an internet search (I swear I wasnt being a stalker, I just wanted to see if my hunch was right). I went with the limited info I had and was able to find Marine Layer’s name IRL and picture of his real face faster than I was able to find the same for Dr Death. So having a face painted costumed non resident demanding accountability for ML is the height of comedy.

  3. What an odd article. It really does seem to be nothing more than a slam piece against you ML. Doesn’t address anything you do, only contains quotes by two people who are obviously angry with you (one of whom misrepresents himself as an Oaklander all the time, Dr. Death) and none by folks who find what you do to be even handed and informative. I mean they basically do everything BUT call you Lew Wolff’s shill in it.

  4. Man, that was a shit article. It addressed nothing about the content of this site. Not to mention that there were several statements that could certainly be considered factually incorrect. Not that I expect much from niche print media, but still…

  5. Congratulations. I look forward to reading the article.

  6. Tavares, gave ML every opportunity to talk about the site and to promote it. I get it and that’s cool, but as a generalist it would have been nice if he would have said something of an insightful nature about the blog.

    • Agreed. Everything on here is publicly available. It would not have been difficult for him to do a little reading and make some actually useful commentary.

  7. They tried to triangulate ML’s location? Dr Death wants to know if ML would feel comfortable at a Raider tailgate? Because there’s a need for an uncomfortable confrontation? What is this? High School?

    My favorite Dr. Death quote came from one of blog talk radio shows where he said ML was “no longer welcome in Oakland.”

    It takes serious discussion about funding and finances to build stadiums. That discussion happens here and I for one am grateful. My personal preference has always been for the A’s to build at the Coliseum but this article is exactly why I would never align myself with SOS, LGO and any build in Oakland group. In fact if Dr. Death represents the majority of Oakland sports fans I really wouldn’t care if Oakland lost all three teams.

    • Like I said in a previous thread, I think it’s telling that there is an Oakland-only crowd, but no San Jose-Only crowd. Except for the fringe extremists, everyone just falls on one side of the same coin. That is to say that the coin represents “build in the Bay Area”, heads or tails represents “I’d prefer it in Oakland if given the choice”, and the other side is “I’d prefer San Jose given the choice”. But then there are the Oakland-only folks who are basically saying, “Flip this coin where both sides are the same thing (in Oakland city limits). If you don’t want to flip, then you can just leave.”

      Absolutism like that is no way to represent and advocate for a preference.

      • @ SMG
        I’m so with you as long as when that coin lands, there is a new baseball only stadium in the Bay Area, for the A’s.

      • @ SMG
        Ok, so it’s really looking like the Raiders (Mark Davis), won’t be able to make this happen. I hate to say it from a Raiders fan perspective, but good then Wolff can build at the coliseum site.
        If the Raiders can somehow make it work in Oakland (don’t see it), good perhaps that will be, what it takes for Wolff to get San Jose, can we just get a new ballpark, for the A’s in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  8. In all honesty, it’s hard for me to be objective about this article. I met ML through this blog and he has become a personal friend. For a period of time, I worked very hard to support him and contribute to the site. I haven’t had time for a long while, but in that time I learned how seriously he takes this and how much leg work he does to get things right. He is the very definition of a citizen journalist, and to my mind… he sets the standard.

    With him I was able to meet people at the top of organizations working to keep the A’s in Oakland, move them to San Jose, etc. and hold intelligent conversations with those people about their various plans and ideas. Real journalistic work.

    An example: It was through ML that I was able to be the first to report on the 980 Ballpark idea… Something that was on the front page of the Contra Costa Times shortly thereafter… We freaking scooped the Bay Area News Group through hard work! And in that process I got to see him work as an News Editor. Actually reviewing documents that we got from sources, insisting on multiple sources, etc.

    Over the years he, and I to a lessor degree, have done tons of research on sites. He’s been right a lot. We have covered the business of baseball and the business of the Oakland A’s (anyone remember the “What the A’s Should Do From a Marketing Perspective” stuff published on Christmas Eve a few years ago?) and it has been done objectively and it has been prescient.

    I shake my head at the crap that many in the professional media throw out into the “spin cycle” on behalf of many of these people that I have spoken with on the topic. There was a time when I would read articles in many of the local newspapers and knew EXACTLY where the talking points that were disguised as news articles were coming from. Because those same people had sent me the same information hoping for a puff piece that they could link all over the place. But not on ML’s watch.

    When I read someone referring to the work he does as “minutiae” I want to scream. Especially someone that masquerades as a journalist but is cheer leading for a particular outcome. Something ML has NEVER DONE even in our private conversations. Especially when that “minutiae” is critically important to finding a solution.

    So, the attack on his character by claiming he is somehow on Lew Wolff’s payroll is unforgivable in my book. It’s factually inaccurate. I guess no one recalls that he once wrote a piece titled “STFU” directed at Wolff? Well I do.

    I won’t just sit by quietly while a hack writes even 1 unjustified word about my friend. Especially not someone who writes as if he is working for TMZ. A TMZ about local small city governments.

    I don’t care who he asked to talk to. It’s obvious, the folks that comprise the target market for this article. It is the worst kind of bird cage liner “journalism.”


  9. I really wasn’t going to mention this, but I had nothing going on in my life, so I thought I would turn on Dr. Death’s radio show last week. The reason I follow people like him, and oaklandballpark is so I can really see what others think. I never really understood how he could be so uninformed, or take what Quan feeds him. However in his show, he said this.
    “I don’t have time to read EIR reports, or do research. I go to council meetings and talk to people. That’s where you get good information.”

    That’s what he said, and that’s all you need to know. Instead of doing research to be informed, he calls Quan, which is about the dumbest thing ever. Why do you think he believes a shovel is about to hit the ground next year? About the only thing funnier than his comments are his theory that his support of Quan matters.

  10. Quan says they’re “making progress” with the Raiders while Mark Davis is out conducting market research in San Antonio and talking to LA, too. I’d take what she says with a grain of salt.

    • Not just talking to LA. He’s now got the NFL considering relocation this month. Sure sounds like a guy who is all in on Oakland doesn’t it? I’m amazed guys like Dr. Death continue to get suckered in by Davis, his late father and the city’s inept leadership.

      • Not sure why he can’t just go to Levi’s if he really wants to stay in the Bay Area. So Raiders can’t get a new stadium in Oakland. Big deal. The 49ers couldn’t get one in Frisco, either. Put them both in Santa Clara. No, he wants his own stadium – somewhere – so he can put up a statue of Al.

  11. Long time reader, possible first time poster.

    (A) I had to do a lot to read that article, but I am glad I did
    (B) as a native oakkander who now lives in New England I get to watch and read about the struggle from afar. I have never met Dr. death, but he reminds me of Zachary Running Wolf. Someone who wants to be important and doesn’t do a whole lot to deserve said prominence. I also have never met Marine Layer, but there is a reason I read this blog. It’s a good read.

  12. I didn’t read the article, but these criticisms of ML are from people that are afraid of some of the outcomes that may lead to one or both teams leaving. They don’t want to hear all sides. From the get go ML has layed out the issue’s involved from all angles, much more in depth than any newspaper has. Most of us,I am sure, are appreciative of all the background work and research that must go into a great deal of the analysis. It’s funny, I just thought all these years that if anything, ML may of liked the possibility of a move to San Jose, because he lived there and could go to games more easily. I never thought of any thing sinister. I myself have gone back and forth from preferring Oakland than San Jose, back to Oakland 4 or 5 times in the last 8 or so years.

  13. Looks like Oakland Magazine’s decided (at least for me) to 404 the article. Perhaps it didn’t meet Elmano’s standard of vitriol.

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