Episode 75 with Marcos Bretón, Veteran Sportswriter, Insightful, Strong-Willed, and Honest Sacramento Bee Columnist, and McClatchy Company’s California Opinion Editor.


Notes and Links Referenced on Episode 75 with Marcos Bretón


          On Episode 75, Pete and The McClatchy Company’s new California Opinion Editor, Marcos Bretón, talk about his upbringing in Northern California, ideas of representation in media, formative reading, his singular writing style and opinions, his covering of Major League Baseball-including his Hall of Fame voting philosophy- and Caribbean baseball cultures, and much more. 

Marcos Bretón’s Sacramento Bee writer page says that he is “Connecting the dots on issues, people and news in the Sacramento region.” He is a journalist and columnist who was awarded the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for “Fields of Pain,” a series of stories about the exploitation of migrant farmworkers in California.

He is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience covering California. The son of Mexican immigrants, Bretón is married and is the father of two daughters. Breton has worked at The Bee since 1989; first as a news reporter, then as a sports columnist, and then as a news columnist. He was recently named The McClatchy Company’s new California Opinion Editor.


Marcos Bretón's Sacramento Bee Page


Marcos Bretón’s Article: “I am Mexican American with no hyphen and no apologies – and am haunted by a history of hate”


Marcos Breton’s July 7, 2021 article- “A leader we haven’t appreciated enough: ‘I had the audacity to be a Black woman with a voice.’ ”


Buy Away Games: The Life and Times of a Latin Baseball Player

At about 2:50, Marcos talks about bilingualism and his relationship with language as a child


At about 4:25, Marcos talks about his other Mexican-Americans’ experiences in his childhood and beyond


At about 7:30, Marcos talks about the images (or lack thereof) that were used to portray immigrants as he grew up and saw a “hijacked” narrative


At about 9:45, Marcos reflects on learning the “Reader’s Digest version” of our history and the need to “embrace the complexity of the story,” including the current need to redress past wrongs in the local and national media narratives and identify and teach current history without “looking away”


At about 15:35, Marcos discusses his thoughts on the term “pocho” in connection to the great book of the same name by Villarreal, and Marcos discusses the idea of “ni de aquí, ni de alla” 


At about 20:30, Pete asks Marcos if he felt represented in what he read growing up, and how reading Richard Rodriguez


At about 22:50, Marcos lists John Steinbeck and local journalists like Ron Fimrite and Sports Illustrated, with its longform writers like Steve Wolff, who gave/give him “chills at will” 


At about 27:30, Marcos explains his philosophy on “reading less of what other people were writing” in developing his own voice; he relates it to Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory


At about 30:10, Marcos pinpoints a combination of his childhood, his well-read and opinionated parents, and his reading as making him want to be an opinión writer


At about 32:05, Marcos describes more subtle “Eureka moments” in becoming the writer he wanted to be, and how he ended up in Sacramento to stay


At about 34:05, Marcos discusses his personal circumstances and political circumstances that led to the award-winning and personally-satisfying series done with Genaro Molina and Mike Wagner-he was awarded the Guillermo Martinez-Marquez Award by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists for the “Fields of Pain” series


At about 38:30, Marcos talks about his differing views of interacting with readers online and in real life and some of his provocative takes over the years


At about 42:40, Marcos talks about his book Away Games that started with a series for The Sacramento Bee and was written with José Luis Villegas and focused on Miguel Tejada


At about 45:30, Marcos talks about the culture and milieu of baseball in the Caribbean, as evidenced through his research for his book


At around 51:00, Marcos responds to Pete’s question about ignorance versus malice in dealing with players from Latin America as the generations have gone on


At about 53:25, Marcos talks about the ways in which Latin American baseball players have changed the culture of baseball 


At about 53:55, Marcos details the process of voting for The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame and how he plans his own voting


At about 55:50, Marcos and Pete discuss the merits of performance versus character when it comes to who gets into The MLB Hall of Fame, especially regarding players like Barry Bonds from the “Steroid Era”


At about 1:00:30, Pete asks Marcos how he balances objectivity and subjectivity in his writing


At about 1:04:40, Marcos discusses his visceral reaction and heartfelt column written after the racist El Paso shootings


At about 1:10:45, Marcos describes a recent article on Yvonne Walker, local SEIU head


At about 1:11:20, Marcos talks about future projects, as he now is focused on California stories for McClatchy


You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Stitcher, Spotify, and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch other episodes on YouTube-watch and subscribe to The Chills at Will Podcast Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

I’m excited to share my next episode with Mirin Fader on Aug 31. Mirin has written for The Bleacher Report and The Ringer, and is The New York Times-bestselling author of 2021’s, Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an NBA MVP.

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App