The San Quentin Giants, Inflation & Donnie J.

If you’re wondering why we’ve been pounding the table, warning of the evils of inflation over the past 24 months, I received a text from an old college baseball buddy this weekend, which encapsulates the fiery coals and burning sulfur of inflation now raining down on the least fortunate.

Inflation is way too high given extremely easy financial and monetary conditions.  There will be blood. – GMM, June 2021

Donnie J. (DJ)

First, let me tell you the backstory and an interesting baseball adventure I had with my buddy.  Let’s call him Donnie J (DJ).

DJ lived only for baseball and barely attended the necessary classes to remain eligible. He never graduated and continued to play semi-pro after I graduated and was off to grad school.

Every MLB Draft Day, DJ would anxiously sit by the phone waiting for “the call” from a major league baseball club. I think he still checks his phone to see if “the call” came every year on every draft day, even decades later.

After DJ finished playing ball he banged around, partied a lot, had some odd jobs, and finally settled in as a bartender. If the guy only applied the confidence he had on the baseball diamond to developing a career, the following text would not exist.

I’m alive. Been working a lot, including from 9pm last night until 3 this morning.  They raised my rent 190 dollars starting next month. I’m afraid it’s the beginning of the end. Not only for me , but for a lot of people. Thank God I’ve kept up a Adonis type body , that I can still make a living on Hollywood Blvd  I’ll call you later tonight.  – Donnie J.

He still has his sense of humor even in the most desperate of times.  If you’re offended by his joke, you’re part of the problem that is ripping our culture apart.

The Great Adventure:  Going To Prison

The adventure happened one spring Saturday during my sophomore year. Our college team had been invited inside San Quentin (SQ) Prison in Marin County, California, to square off against the SQ Giants.

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That day, only ballplayers were allowed out of their cells because a lockdown was in place, the result of a riot in the yard a few days earlier.

The correctional officers gave a tour of the gymnasium before leading us out to the ballfield. The gym had a professional boxing ring, which DJ and I immediately jumped in and started sparring.  Our teammates said it was the best boxing match since the Ali-Frazier fights.

We then proceeded to the baseball field, where we crushed the SQ Giants. We both had good days at the plate.

DJ hit behind me in the cleanup position (fourth to bat). He took advantage of the short right-field porch and knocked two home runs over the prison wall.


My takeaway memory was not that I had several hits and RBIs, but the SQ pitcher beaned me square in the head with a 90 mph fastball. I went down, and immediately, every SQ Giant, both starters and benchwarmers, ran to my aid with words of comfort,

“You OKAY, man? Should we call for a doctor?”

Laying in the batter’s box, my stereotype that all prisoners were sociopathic murderous thugs quickly melted away.  Years later when President Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison, his words personally rang so true when he stated,

 “These are young people who made mistakes that aren’t that different than the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made.”  – President Obama,  July 2015

Me too.   What distinguishes many convicts, Obama said, is a lack of support and second chances.

I was okay, picked myself up, and gave thanks to the baseball gods for batting helmets.

Tennis Pro Doing Time For Extortion

I played third base that game and had long chats with the SQ Giants’ third base coach. He had been a tennis teaching pro at some plush country club and was doing time for extortion, and I didn’t press him for details.

He ran down the Giants lineup of what every player was doing time for — centerfielder and shortstop in for Murder One!  It surprised the hell out of me because those two guys were the first to rush to my aid and showed the most grace as I was laid out in the batter’s box.

Therefore, I tell you, [their] many sins have been forgiven—as [their] great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” – Gospel of Luke

That was not my last time playing ball in a petitionary, and no, I can assure you it wasn’t in pinstripes.

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Bad Monetary Policy Destroys Lives

The Fed now has to contend with very sticky housing inflation, which makes up over 40 percent of the CPI and is grossly under and mismeasured.   See our post,  CPI Inflation’s Big Problem: Housing.

Making Inflation Is Fun, Profitable For Many, But Never Sustainable

Creating inflation is fun, and many have benefited from the irresponsible monetary policy that has driven asset price inflation, which usually proceeds to a burst of goods and services inflation, a monetary reversal, and mucho pain for the least fortunate.

Much like drinking too much Sambuca, it tastes great at the time but too much drink produces a long and nasty hangover, and many won’t make it through this inflationary period, as DJ’s text cries out.

Nor will many Democrats.

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1 Response to The San Quentin Giants, Inflation & Donnie J.

  1. Pingback: Gimme Shelter…Inflation Receding? | Global Macro Monitor

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