Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Surviving the Long Distance Baseball Relationship: Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

March 4, 2013

Kelsey on the first official day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave's Facebook page]

Kelsey on the first day of stardom in the WBC Fan Cave with Miss America and three other Dwellers! [Photo courtesy of MLB Fan Cave’s Facebook page]


If you haven’t heard yet, Kelsey was selected to represent Team USA in the World Baseball Classic version of the MLB Fan Cave and has been in New York City for about a week now! She’s absolutely killing it in the Fan Cave and USA could not ask for a more passionate fan.

But what does this mean for our relationship? Cue daunting music here! Just kidding — remember that Kelsey is a Cardinals fan from St. Louis and we’ve spent plenty of time thousands of miles apart.

Living on opposite coasts isn’t fun, because my cheesy baseball pickup lines (“Hey baby, wanna lay down a squeeze?”) don’t work as well through a computer screen. But if anyone knows how to do it, it’s Kelsey and I. Here are a few pro tips from the first-ever MLB Fan Cave couple on how to survive this type of long-distance, baseball-loving drudgery:

Tip #1 – You Can Sleep When You’re Dead

Jeremy: I have a full-time job, but in times like these, sleep is overrated. The World Baseball Classic’s schedule doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a normal R.E.M. cycle, with many of the games starting at absurd hours like 2:30 in the morning. But Kelsey’s job is to stay up and watch every inning of every game, and I’ve been doing my best to keep up. So far, I’ve only missed a few innings of the opening round. I get to chat with my girl and watch a premier international baseball tournament? Count me in.

Kelsey: I’m actually luckier than Jeremy. I get to sleep during the day while he goes to work. But he’s absolutely right! As long as you’re functioning well enough in your job, take that time to connect. It’s important to continue your relationship and find your new rhythm — it will probably be different from the one you have when you’re both at home.

Tip #2 – Surprise Each Other

Kelsey: A good surprise is a special way to remind your partner that you think of them. It shows you’re going out of your way…This could be a package, an unexpected call, even a silly poem. Jeremy and I have been known to have fun with song parodies through text message.

Jeremy: How convenient! It is, after all, Kelsey’s birthday on Friday. She knows there is something coming, but has no idea what is in it. All I can promise is that it’s a little more well-thought-out than a texted song parody. Though a performance of “Don’t Go Chasing Curveballs” might suffice for another occasion.

Tip #3 – A Little Social Media Goes a Long Way

Jeremy: Snail mail takes days, and stamps are annoying to find. Plus, who wants to write a long diatribe with a boring old paper and pen when you can crop it all down to 140 characters and a few hashtags? When Kelsey is doing such a social media-heavy job, she’s bound to be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tout more than most humans are in a lifetime. A favorite here and a retweet there reminds her that I’m paying attention, even from 3,000 miles away!

Kelsey: Gold stars are like virtual kisses and hugs! And this works both ways. Live-tweeting a game can make it feel as if you’re hanging out together. Just make sure to supplement it with personalized text and other forms of communication to make sure your partner knows they’re special.

Tip #4 – Watch Something Together

Kelsey: Baseball games, movies, TV shows…YouTube videos, even. All can be things you share together, even from miles and miles away. It may be tricky to find the time, but hopping on the phone or on Skype and watching something can make it feel as if you’re both in the same place.

Jeremy: Isn’t social media technology awesome? Believe it or not, one of the first memories I have our relationship is watching Inglorious Basterds together on Skype. Meaning, we synced our starting times and each watched in our respective homes as we chatted. It’s not exactly the same, but as good as it gets for replacing regular movie night.

Tip #5 – Keep the Connection Any Way You Can

Jeremy: Not THAT connection. The one that got you together in the first place! America’s pastime. For example, in my daily perusing of baseball news, I saw an article that piqued my interest. It was about Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina giving unprecedented amounts of praise to a minor league pitcher he caught in Spring Training. The content meant a whole lot more to Kelsey, and she told me as much after I sent the story to her. Baseball is our glue, so we keep applying more, no matter what.

Kelsey: Luckily, baseball is one of the sports that has most embraced social media and the online world. It’s easy to share baseball-related content from far away. This will remind you of some of the things you have in common and keep you talking about daily life apart from work and sleep.

To see more pro tips from the first-ever Fan Cave couple, visit our last two blogs. First, one from Valentine’s Day. And how to survive rival fandom.

Valentine’s Day for Baseball Lovers – Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

February 16, 2013

Cardinals are red,

Dodgers are blue,

When you both love baseball on VDay,

What do you do?  ❤

It’s Valentine’s Day, you and your significant other are huge baseball fans, and you have no idea how to celebrate. Sure, it might be the offseason…Going to a game is your go-to gift strategy, but never fear! The First Fan Cave Couple has some ideas for you!

Here are some V-Day gifts for baseball lovers from Kelsey and I:

1. Kelsey – Classic Valentines: MLB Style

You know those valentines you had to buy every one of your classmates as a kid? Why not send a whole box to your significant other? Better yet…why not buy the MLB pack (it exists!), and write a fun note on every single one. Or sign them from your favorite All-Stars. To go the extra mile, decorate the box in which you put them and voilà!

Cost: $

2. Jeremy – Fancy Feast: Not the Cat Food

No, not the cat food…unless you actually hate your partner. If he or she really loves baseball, then all they want for dinner on V-Day is a pile of cheap hot dogs, nachos and beer. Create a whole smorgasbord of ballpark favorites. Fast, easy and delicious! Show off those cooking skills!

Cost: $$

3. Kelsey – Two Words: “Spring Training”

Baseball may not be in your hometown, but if you’re lucky enough to have the moolah, you can head on down to Arizona or Florida to your favorite team’s camp. Spring Training is definitely an experience every baseball fan should have. The proximity to the players and to the game is unparalleled, and it definitely tides you over till Opening Day. Now, if you and your partner’s teams happen to be in separate states like our Cardinals and Dodgers…then things might get complicated. Flip a coin?

Cost: $$$

4. Jeremy – Chocolates: A là Bambino

Girls. Love. Chocolate. Well, so do guys. But ignore the cliché stares from the other men checking out at the grocery store and come home with some delicious chocolate for your girl. If you’re as lucky as me, your girlfriend will also root for a team that wears red, so the box color adds a nice touch. And there are plenty of baseball-themed options. Try those little baseball chocolates that come in goodie bags at birthday parties, or some appropriately named “Baby Ruths.” Grab a bouquet of flowers and you’re set!

Cost: $

5. Kelsey – Always a Favorite: Baseball Movie Marathon

You may not have the means to travel to baseball, but you can bring baseball to yourself on the big screen! You could even set up a projector outside to feel more like a part of the film. There are so many classic baseball movies…A League of Their Own and The Sandlot are two of my favorites. But I might suggest Moneyball. After all, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

Cost: $

6. Jeremy – The Ultimate: A Baseball “Fan Love” Package

It’s not as dirty as it sounds. I totally made this up, and I wish I had actually thought of it before today so Kelsey could get one, herself. A glove, a baseball-loving teddy bear, and a new hat of her favorite team on top says it all. I don’t care if your girlfriend can throw the ball a mile or couldn’t catch a beach ball if it was handed to her – this gift would still rock. Boom. Done. Home run.

Cost: $$

Valentines

For more fun couples tips, blog posts, and videos, make sure Kelsey and I get into the MLB Fan Cave! We have tons of ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you on a national stage.

Watch our video explaining how we got together.

Follow us on Twitter @kelseyshea11 and @jamblinman.

And like our Facebook pages: KelseyJeremy.

How to Survive Rival Fandom in a Relationship – Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

February 11, 2013

Kels + Jer pic 2

For baseball fans, dating is tough. You have to find someone who loves the game as much as you and maybe even roots for the same team. My girlfriend and I found the former, but the latter? That’s where it gets tricky.

While both Kelsey and I never thought we would find ourselves snuggling up to a die-hard fan of another MLB team, the world works in mysterious ways. The MLB Fan Cave and our love of the game brought us together, and now we have to live with the fact that we will never see eye to eye when it comes to the number one team in the National League.

Cardinals or Dodgers? It’s a huge debate between us. So how do we survive the rival fandom in our relationship? Here are some of our tips for those of you also dating rival fans, straight from the mouths of the first ever Fan Cave couple:

1. Know that your fan allegiances will never change.

Kelsey: You know when people say, “Don’t try to change your partner?” That goes for their MLB team, as well. Think about your own childhood and what made you a fan of your team…There’s no way you could adopt another and neither can your boyfriend or girlfriend. Accept their fandom as just one of those flaws you grow to know and love.

Jeremy: If I can’t be changed by almost a quarter-century of San Francisco living, no lady friend of mine will be able to turn me. Asking your other to switch their fandom is grounds for immediate DFA in the baseball world. As Kelsey said, accept that “flaw,” learn to love it, and move on. Otherwise, you’ll become a free agent sooner than you think.

2. Support each other when only one team is involved.

Kelsey: If your team isn’t playing and theirs is, throw them some love! Jeremy and I have a count of how many times I’ve made him wear a Cardinals shirt and how many times he’s made me wear a Dodgers shirt. We don’t always like it, but there’s no real harm done. Now, if the Cardinals were playing, that’s a different story. I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Dodgers shirt, and he knows that!

Jeremy: This point should come with a disclaimer. If I were, God forbid, a Cubs fan, everything changes. If Kelsey was, God forbid, a Giants fan, toss this rule out. If you are in a relationship like that, I would recommend counseling. Otherwise, Kelsey is right – value your relationship enough to pat the other on the back, and even root for their team to do well if it doesn’t directly affect your team’s standing.

3. Appreciate the fact that your significant other loves something as much as you do.

Kelsey: What really matters in all of this is the fact that you both love your sport. It’s important in every relationship to have something in common and to have passion. If you’re dating a die-hard fan of any team, you know you’re getting both of those things.

Jeremy: And look on the bright side: Your boyfriend or girlfriend knows what it’s like to watch their team fail, too. Even if they are a Yankees fan. So they will be right there to catch you when you fall.

4. Keep it fun and playful.

Kelsey: There should always be teasing! Of course, you can’t just let them get away with a free pass for loving another team. Give each other crap and know that it’s all in good fun, but don’t ever take it too far.

Jeremy: Tease all you want, but be cautious. I learned the hard way not to jokingly break “news” to Kelsey that Yadier Molina had been traded. That death glare is seared in my mind forever. So have at it! Just be civil, and don’t pick on the other team’s best players.

5. We’ve said it before – If it comes down to it, watch in separate rooms.

Kelsey: There are some times when it just gets too intense. When you love someone, and you love a team, and they clash…it’s just better to not go there. The 2012 NL Wild Card race saw the Cardinals and Dodgers in a tight race, and Jeremy and I agreed to: A) Watch the games in separate rooms, B) Not talk about it. This way we couldn’t upset one another no matter the outcome.

Jeremy: If you’ve already moved into a cubicle-sized studio…We can’t help you. That was a mistake from the get-go. But yes, if possible, watch the intense games in separate rooms. I promise you, the tension will mount to levels you’ve never experienced at a sporting event before. With all those emotions flying around, I prefer to crack a cold beer and lock myself in my room to watch the Dodgers whoop the Cardinals. It saves a lot of awkward glances.

For more fun couples tips, blog posts, and videos, make sure Kelsey and I get into the MLB Fan Cave! We have tons of ideas and we can’t wait to share them with you on a national stage.

Watch our video explaining how we got together.

VOTE for us both at mlbfancave.com as many times as you want!

Follow us on Twitter @kelseyshea11 and @jamblinman.

And like our Facebook pages: Kelsey, Jeremy.

Reasons Sports Fans Love Christmas

December 25, 2012

Dodger jersey

Every good sports fan loves getting an autograph at a game, or a rookie card of their favorite player, or an authentic jersey. There’s just something about owning a small piece of merchandise that represents your team t

Why am I telling you this? Is it really worthy of a blog post? No, probably not. But I’m borderline giddy at some of the gifts I received this Christmas, so go ahead and indulge me, huh? In no particular order:hat brings a childish sense of glee to a sports fan.

Clayton Kershaw Jersey

Brownie points for the girlfriend! With my James Loney jersey rendered useless when the current Tampa Bay Ray was sent to Boston last season, I was down to zero relevant Dodger jerseys. Absolutely unacceptable. And with the influx of money through the new ownership, Kershaw should be a Dodger for life. Win!

Autographed Kershaw Photo

What are better than brownie points? Chocolate cake points? Because along with that jersey came an authentic, autographed picture of Kershaw delivering a pitch (undoubtedly a strike…) from his left arm. Sports fans LOVE getting autographs – even if it’s one in 100, it feels like one in a million.

Book of Dodger History and Photos

When you truly love a sports team, knowing everything about them becomes priority. I consider myself an expert on the Dodgers already, but this will only make me more knowledgeable. And the old-school, black and white pictures will give me even more respect for my team’s history.

Dodgers and 49ers Ornaments

A nice blue Dodger cap and a 49er football that lights up a snowman’s face when turned on? Yes, please! Ornaments are a Christmas tradition, and no matter how juvenile or otherwise-useless they may be.

Ballpark Calendar

With the exception of May 2013, every month in the ballpark calendar my sister got me absolutely rules (AT&T Park represents that horrid month). It even has old-school Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don’t usually use calendars, but this one will be run ragged.

Kirk Gibson Bobblehead and Bobblearm

Okay, so I got this one myself. I couldn’t help it! I’ve been wanting the greatest bobblehead in bobblehead-related history since it came out in the middle of this summer. Now, I finally own the 1988 World Series Game 1 bobblehead of Kirk Gibson, rounding the bases with his bobblearm fist-pumping away. Totally, awesomely worth it.

A Passive-Aggressive Letter to Major League Baseball

December 19, 2012

baseball moneyJust for the record, I hate when people write “Dear ________ (i.e. “Homework”), Please stop being so hard! Love, _______” on Facebook. So stop doing that. My version on this blog is awesome and clever, okay? Stop laughing!

Dear Major League Baseball,

First of all, thanks for all the great times. The home runs, the no-hitters, the magical moments, the near-misses, the joy and the agony, the PED’s and — wait. Okay, that’s enough dilly-dallying. I’ve sugar-coated this enough: I’m pissed.

It crosses my mind every so often. Usually when Joe Schmo So-and-So and his .225 average signs a six-year contract for $90 million that ends up equating to about $225,000 per hit each season. I accept it as fact and move on. Then Frank Tank Wanky Wank and his 1.35 WHIP signs for four years and $48 million, roughly $1 million per win each season.

And worst of all, players who actually deserve big money at the given market value, sign contracts worth between $200 million and $250 million dollars. For playing a sport. A child’s game, played by men.

Don’t get me wrong. I love you. I love baseball. Always have, always will. And I’d give at least half a nut to be playing in your league, making that kind of money for a daily routine of catch, batting practice and bullpen sessions.

But when I see articles like this, I get upset.

Josh Hamilton signing

Oh, did I mention I’m a Dodgers fan? I worship the team that spends hundreds of millions of dollars on free agents and negotiating rights and probably unnecessarily fast cars.

That team, and this sport is my passion. I realize this is “how it is.” And I definitely realize that I shouldn’t complain, since my team is riding that gravy train to being the best team in baseball on paper. But after the hypothetical confetti settles on a hypothetical World Series title, I’m going to get pissed again.

I apologize for the bluntness (no I don’t), but why are grown men with nary a financial management skill being handed game checks worth six figures for swinging a piece of wood at a ball of laced hide?

Professional athletes don’t have it as easy as I’m making it out to be, so I digress. It’s a tough job. And they deserve to be well-compensated for doing that job, especially when the ridiculous income would go straight to the slick-haired, three-piece-suited, likely dirty executives that run the league and the media otherwise.

But even a phenom like Mike Trout – and this isn’t a reach, since the market trends up every single year and he’s already the best player in the game at age 21 – is going to be in line for a contract worth over $300 million when he hits free agency.

Do you realize how much money that is? I’ve never had $300,000,000 $3,000,000 $30,000 $3,000 at any given time in my 24 years on this planet.

I get it. I understand the system. I really do. But what in the world does Albert Pujols do with his $27.5 million per year? Make a side cash salad with his dinners? What does Barry Zito do with his nearly $2 million per win? Buy every fedora and scarf in the Northern California region (that explains why I can’t find any good ones…)?

There are people all over the world starving for 1/100,000,000th of that total in a lifetime, let alone in one calendar year. Most third-world countries would beg for school supplies, shoes, and fresh water for their children.

And even in America, thousands upon thousands of hard-working people work two jobs just to afford rent on a crappy apartment in a shitty neighborhood. If they want to watch Mike Trout play baseball, they better find a hotel lobby with the game on. rich a-rod

I don’t mean to get all sappy and dramatic on you, but I’m just making a point. Here it is, in all its glory:

SALARY. CAP.

Yeah, yeah. It would be tough to sell the players on such a thing. The logistics would be hell. But any player who says, “I deserve $_______ million!” is only justified in saying so because there isn’t a cap. They see mediocre players getting gigantic bonuses, and expect to exceed that. They are right. But you are wrong.

Fix it. Now. Please. Even this die-hard Dodgers fan wants there to be a limit to how much his team can spend.

Here is my proposition: Contract length cap – 7 years. Contract amount cap – $12 million per year/$84 million in a contract. You don’t have to do away with contract options, bonuses and incentives, as long as they don’t exceed a total of $100 million and/or 10 years.

Stop crying, Richie Rich executive guy. You’ll still get a hefty paycheck yourself. You can allocate the leftover funds to making the stadiums nicer, safer and more fan-friendly. You can set up more promotions for your adoring fan bases. Allocate more money to minor league players, as a reward for making it that far. Maybe even donate to charities! Set up developmental leagues in inner cities and foreign countries. Spread the gospel that is the greatest sport in the world.

I’m sure the Albert Pujols and Mike Trouts of this world will survive without a fourteenth guest bedroom in their Malibu mansions.

Much love,

Jeremy Dorn

Baseball Conossieur/Broke-Ass Blogger

Don’t Hate the Game, Hate the Player…Wait…

October 11, 2012

So first Mike was like “Oh my god, we’re totally done.”

And then Stephen was like “Oh, HELL no, Mike.”

And then Mike and Davey teamed up and were like “Dude, you…are…DONE.”

And then Stephen was like “Fine. Ass…

And now some other guy is like “WTF MIKE! YOU’RE AN IDIOT. I HATE YOU FOREVER. BURN IN HELL!”

And I’m like “SHUT UPPPPPPP!”

Did you get all that? If not, it’s okay. I purposely made it as cryptic as possible. You have to closely monitor the shut down of Stephen Strasburg to understand all the drama surrounding the decision. It hasn’t stopped. Ever.

This is what broke today.

And I’m here to tell you why it’s absolutely ridiculous of Mr. Anonymous GM to root against the Nationals simply for an executive decision based on the health of the franchise’s long-term future.

You might want to sit down for this. First of all, there is a 100 percent chance that Mr. Anonymous GM has no right to hate because he is not nearly as good at his job as Rizzo.

I can guarantee that because nobody is better than Rizzo. In only three full seasons at the helm, Rizzo has turned a 69-93, last-place team in 2010 to a 98-64, best record in the Major Leagues, NL-East division-winning team this year.

He hired Davey Johnson to oversee the team, one of the best managers in the game and front-runner for Manager of the Year in 2012. It was a perfect hire for the type of team he had built.

Speaking of building teams, he helped draft Strasburg, Bryce Harper, Drew Storen, Danny Espinosa…the list of impact players on the current team goes on and on. He also used some of his best prospects to pull a few trades. No matter the cost, getting Gio Gonzalez (MLB leader in wins, by the way) this off-season was sheer artistry.

Now that I’ve appropriately pimped Rizzo’s resumé, let’s examine two more reasons why Mr. Anonymous GM is trippin’. Fool.

I can understand disagreeing with fellow executives’ decisions. That probably happens on a daily basis. I could throw a rock at the Winter Meetings and hit two or three GM’s who sat at home and laughed their butts off when Ned Colletti of the Dodgers dropped over $200 million on trades at the deadline this year.

But it’s one thing to question a decision and another to actively root against a team simply because of a decision made. Not to mention that it’s a question of health. In this day and age, we see on a weekly basis what bad mechanics or throwing too hard or too often can do to a pitcher’s arm.

Considering the Nats are paying Strasburg a boatload of money and the hopes and dreams of their future rotation rests on his right arm, I believe the boss man has the final say on how he is used. Strasburg is one of the better pitchers in baseball, but the Nationals are built to contend for the next half decade, if not longer. And they need him to stay healthy if they expect to continue down that path.

I get it – I really do. When Strasburg is on the hill, the Nationals have a very good chance to win. When he’s not on it…wait. What’s that? They STILL have a very good chance to win. 

The man who replaced Strasburg in the playoff rotation is Ross Detwiler, who had a good season in his own right. Aside from him, you have your choice of Gonzalez or Jordan Zimmermann, who are Cy Young candidates. That is why the Nationals had the best team ERA in the Majors. They have DEPTH.

And then there’s the lock down bullpen and opportunistic offense. Yes, the Nats lost a key piece by shutting down Strasburg. They also guaranteed that they have their star pitcher for another run at the playoffs in 2013, regardless of how this season turns out. They are also still the team to beat in the playoffs.

Straight from the article itself:

“If we don’t win the World Series, I don’t care who does,” one general manager told USA TODAY Sports, “as long as it’s not those guys.

“They don’t deserve to win it. Not after what they did.”

Said a National League GM: “I hope they go down in flames. I hope it takes another 79 years before they get back to the playoffs. That’s how strongly I feel about it.”

Wait, wait, wait. I’d argue that the Nationals don’t really have a natural rival in the National League. So who is so pissed off that they made the Strasburg decision that the Nats “don’t deserve to win?” Is it because they already won so many games in the regular season? They’ve reached their limit?

Because I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed the resurgence of the Nationals in 2012. It was one of the best stories in baseball and truly remarkable that they made such a large turnaround in just two seasons. They don’t have any players that most would consider to be “thugs” or something similar.

There are no Nyjer Morgan’s (anymore) or Alex Rodriguez’s on the Nationals. No Vicente Padilla’s or Jose Valverde’s. So, I just don’t get it. It’s a likable, impressive team that deserves to win games.

The Nationals deserve to be rooted for. But no matter who you are, don’t hate on a decision that was made to benefit the team long-term by the best GM in baseball. That is like telling the Parent of the Year that his decision to make his son wait until he’s 17 to take a driver’s test is so wrong that you hope he dies and shrivels in the pits of hell (yes, that’s the equivalent feeling to not winning for 79 years…just ask the Cubs).

Stephen Strasburg will not pitch in the playoffs. Mike Rizzo is totally fine with it. You should be too, because it’s the right move. Mr. Anonymous GM is probably watching this game from his couch, eating Ruffles and drinking a martini. So there’s that.

Unfortunately, the doubt will only end if the Nationals win the World Series. Guess they better do that, then.

The Red, The White, The Blue

May 28, 2012

Memorial Day in baseball is one of the most properly done holidays in any sport in the world. I don’t know what other sports do for certain holidays necessarily, but I don’t care. This is an entire day, dedicated to honoring our troops overseas who serve to protect us. And through the vein of America’s Pastime, no less.

During the Cardinals vs. Braves game at Turner Field today, a family (mother, two daughters, two sons, all kids mid-teens or younger) were honored on the field because the husband/father was a veteran.

He recorded a message to play over the Jumbotron. Then, as one would expect…surprise! Daddy’s home. He came out onto the field, back from the war surprisingly early. The kids nearly tackled him and the moment altogether was incredibly touching. The kids were a mixture of laughing and crying, and it was hard to not get a little choked up just watching in my living room.

This is one of the many millions of reasons I love baseball. Is there any better setting for an epic reunion like that?

In the NBA, they’d have to come through tunnels into an enclosed space. In football, there aren’t hardly enough stopping points to make it happen. Soccer? Fughhetabboudit!

The way Memorial Day is handled across stadiums in America during the MLB season is second to none. Major props to the league for doing such a fantastic job.

Remember, people. When you think “America,” word association should lead you to, in order: “Apple pie,” “baseball,” and “freedom.”

Well, you can thank your mom for making a delicious apple pie, and handing you a slice while you watch a military family reunite on a baseball field. And don’t worry about saying to the man in the camo on your TV screen, “Thank you.” For the freedom he and his comrades give us all.

God Bless America. And baseball. And everything it stands for.

 

Beating the Shift

May 27, 2012

I saw Dan Uggla do it today. I saw him do it like it was no big deal. I also saw the opposing pitcher look at his defense in disbelief.

What the hell was the second baseman doing behind the bag, ensuring Uggla didn’t pull the ball for a base hit?

Great freakin’ question! It makes no sense to me and never will. I don’t care what kind of stats you throw in front of me…eventually guys will figure out how to beat it.

But the bigger question is why hasn’t Uggla, David Ortiz and company figured out how to go oppo?

Take a normal at-bat. Wait one split second longer to swing, and voila! It goes to the opposite field.

Seriously though. These are professional hitters. In BP every day they purposely hit it to the other side. It should be almost second nature.

But whether it’s out of greed or inability or something else stupid, they can’t seem to do it.

If Ortiz hit a grounder to the left side or even bunted it hard down the line, one of two things would happen:

1) he would hit 1.000
2) the shifts would stop and he could start pulling the ball again

Sometimes it amazes me that my basic logic is so beyond average human brain functioning. And I’m humble too.

Hey MLB teams…lookin’ for a manager? Call me…maybe?

It was only a matter of time until I referenced that song. If you love me, Call Me Maybe, baseball, or any combination of the three, follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Why I Hate The Wave

May 9, 2012

I hereby dub thee “Wave Wednesday.” And now I hereby hate you, Wednesday.

Everyone knows what the Wave is. The out-of-date, no longer funny fan tradition that occurs no less than 14 times per game in any given baseball game.

Football and basketball are already catching and probably passing baseball in popularity and I assume that’s because their fans don’t do stupid shit like the Wave.

Buy why, Jeremy? Why do you hate the Wave so? Glad you asked:

1. It always fails the first few times. It’s the one fan who is so giddy about the idea of starting a Wave that he starts giggling and foaming at the mouth and yelling “come on everybody!” But even when properly pulled off it sucks…

2. …because it has always sucked. In baseball, hitters are judged heavily on batting average, right? Succeeding three out of every ten at-bats is considered great. Four out of ten is legendary. Well in my lifetime I’ve seen ONE successful Wave. Out of approximately 23,776,189 attempts. That’s a poor average.

3. It shows that you’re not paying attention to the game. Not even a little bit. If you paid $20 for tickets, $30 for beer and God knows for food just to come do the Wave, you are the bad economy, incarnate. You know how I know you’re not watching the baseball game in front of you? Because you’re watching the attempted Wave go around the stadium to see if every section keeps up the excellent choreography of standing up, raising their arms and going “wheeeee!” All those holes in the Wave? They are real fans who are about ready to break your spine if you block their view one more time.

4. It doesn’t pump the players up. Guaranteed. It probably just annoys them as much as it does fans like me. Oh sure, they might play it safe and say it’s great to the media, but they are lying. Imagine trying to do your soulless desk job with all your co-workers doing the Wave around your cubicle? Ten bucks says you punch a hole right through the intern’s chest by round number three. Just cheer and scream and chant and yell at the umps and do anything BUT the Wave. Please. Your team will thank you, secretly.

5. And the absolute worst…it distracts the pitcher. Which means every other half inning, the people behind home plate are randomly all jumping up and looking like doofi (plural of doofus…duh) right when the pitcher is throwing to the plate. It’s like a really awful flash mob, except when dangerous objects are being wielded by the unsuspecting audience of the mob. Let your guy do his thing. Actually now that I think about it…go ahead and distract him so he serves up a fat one for a homer and you all settle down for good.

That’s all for Wave Wednesday. That’s all for me today, so check in tomorrow for more Jam Shots. Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman and please, for the love of baseball…stop participating in the Wave.

Tickets to the Gun Show

April 17, 2012

Yes I have worked out lately, thanks for noticing! I’m also writing this from 30,ooo feet above the ground. But the title has absolutely nothing to do with my body and the plane I’m in is NOT equipped with guns (as far as I know…hmm).

But technology is a beautiful thing ain’t it? I can get Internet access from a cross-country flight and it’s only a tad bit sketchier than my old college house’s connection. “Yumrocket,” we affectionately named that connection. Sigh. Good times. But I digress.

Not only does this miraculous Internet connection from Southwest give me the opportunity to talk smack on Twitter, it allowed me to follow along with tonight’s Dodgers vs. Brewers broadcast. Yes, I know what happened. No, I don’t want to talk about it.

UPDATE: As I get further into this blog, the true colors of the WiFi begin to show. If I have to change the auto-corrected “LPGA” back to “blog” one more time, I’m gonna rage harder than Bobby Valentine at an all-umpire convention. Why would it auto-correct to LPGA anyway? There is absolutely no way I have blogged about Michelle Wie and friends..

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled blog already in progress:

The best part of  watching baseball from a bird’s eye view (see what I did there? *bows*) was seeing replays of two RIDICULOUS outfield throws.

Is there anything sweeter than a perfectly thrown bullet from deep in the outfield to cut down an  unexpecting runner? Methinks not. Check out the arm on Josh Reddick of the Oakland A’s!

And you have all met Mr. Rick Ankiel by now, right? Wowzers…thanks to Kevin Klinck for that link. Surname rhyme for the win!

Well the final descent is about to happen here on lovely flight #505. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman. Tune back daily for more Jam Shots.


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