Lucky Dan goes on a sabbatical
Why now? "Because sports stinks down here right now,'' Le Batard says. Le Batard, 39, called his work/life balance lopsided. "Too much of my identity was tied into my work. I have been working too much, too long. I want more time with family and girlfriend.''
Le Batard says he allowed his ESPN contract to expire April 1, but plans to keep his radio show on 790 The Ticket because it's "3 1/2 hours of laughter a day.'' While on leave, he plans on traveling to China and Spain and hanging out in Miami with his parents, brother and girlfriend of a year. He may even look into writing a book.
While many dream of sabbaticals, few can pull it off financially. LeBatard says 20 years of being single, with low expenses, allowed him to sock away enough to live comfortably for a year.
He plans to return to The Miami Herald in a year, "refreshed and invigorated.'' The paper has guaranteed him his job when he returns and he hopes to write an occasional column, much like previous sabbatical taker Miami humor writer Dave Barry.
Sports editor Jorge Rojas says Dan's sabbatical is good for the paper, too. (It saves money on his salary for a year. ) Rojas is envious. He wishes he could afford to take a year off -- and have his job guaranteed when he returns. As Rojas points out, "most of us can't do that for a year." Fess up, are you envious, too?