The Oakland Tribune spanked the hapless Oakland Unified School District this week for the fourth time in two months. If you missed it, don’t worry, the whupass didn’t appear on the pages of the newspaper, or even in its online edition. It took place on a diamond in East Oakland’s Allendale Park. That’s right — Trib reporters, photographers, and editors have been trouncing high-ranking school district officials for months in coed softball. And on Monday night, in a semifinal playoff game, the Trib‘s “Newshounds” stormed from behind to post another 11-10 win over the OUSD “
Bushwhackers” “Bookworms,” whose roster includes state Administrator Kimberly Statham and district CEO Javetta Robinson. Hours later, the Newshounds were crowned champion of the Oakland Parks and Recreation business league.
“They jumped out to a huge lead on us, 9-2, but then we came back,” said Newshounds captain and Trib reporter Paul Rosynsky. It was the fourth time during the season that the Trib defeated Oakland’s educators, who appeared to be on an upswing late in the year, but then still ended up winless and in last place at 0-9. So how did a bottom-dwelling public agency make the playoffs? Was there some kind of quid pro quo going on? Maybe favorable coverage in exchange for a shot at the title? No. It turns out there’s a simple and innocent explanation, Rosynsky said. There were only four teams in the league, and each was guaranteed a spot in the postseason.
Though the Trib came out on top this year, Oakland schools may be able to turn it around in 2007. ( That sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it?) All the district needs to do is convince its top high school athletes, or their coaches, or some all-star alums to pick up a few bats and take it to those damn scribes for once and for all. We hear that former OUSD player and sure-fire Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson needs a job and is just aching to play.