Posts Tagged ‘Cardinals’

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.

How I Became the World’s Biggest Cardinals Fan Overnight

October 19, 2012

It’s not what you think. Nobody actually convinced me to join the Cardinal-colored dark side. I’m not a front-runner, fair weather fan, nor did I only title this blog to score points with my girlfriend, who sees the world through red, white and navy blue lenses.

But the second Sergio Romo struck out Scott Rolen looking in Game 5 of the NLDS to send the Giants to the next round, I knew it would be a toss-up between the Cardinals and Nationals for my undying fandom this week.

When the Cards pulled another rabbit out of their hats in the 9th inning of Game 5 of their series to advance, it was confirmed: Jeremy Dorn, the most devoted Dodgers fan in the world, was briefly going to trade alliegences. That’s what you do in a rivalry; you root for your team until your lungs bleed, and when they are eliminated, you do the same for any team playing against your rival. Only when your rival’s season end, does the fan settle down, relaxed and waiting for another shot next year.

See, in case you didn’t learn anything in school, the Giants and Dodgers are the sports world’s greatest rivalry. Ever. It’s not even close. Sure, the Red Sox and Yankees get the most publicity and Duke versus North Carolina is an annual battle of the beasts…but no rivalry in a professional American sport comes close to matching the clout of Dodgers/Giants.

The two teams first met in 1883, and have since played  over 2,300 games directly against each other. The Giants have a slight edge, about 20 more wins total against the Dodgers. Both teams have won 21 National League pennants and six World Series titles.

And I don’t even need to go into the on-field, off-field and cross-team hatred and violence that has sprung out of this rivalry.

I’m not condoning any violence that has taken place, whether a fight between fans, a bat to the head during a game, or flinging insults at each other through the media. But that is how this rivalry works. And that is how, as a fan of one team involved, we are wired to think.

We want our team to win more than anything. If our team is eliminated, we want the rival team to fail more than anything. The cliched saying “My two favorite teams are the Dodgers and whoever is playing the Giants” is absolutely true.

Hell, even some players think that way. This season, Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong admitted that he was raised through the Giants system hating the Dodgers and would like nothing better than to beat them. The two franchise’s greatest and most celebrated individual players (Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays) refused to sign with the rival team later in their careers. Robinson elected for retirement, Mays accepted a trade to the Mets.

Ask a Giants fan – they took great happiness in helping to knock the Dodgers out of Wild Card contention in the last series of the season. Even though they had clinched the division days before that. 

Ask a Dodgers fan – we are ALL rooting for the Cardinals to kick the Giants in the teeth and send them home. It’s not about winning or losing for us anymore, because it can’t be. It’s about causing as much failure-inflicted misery upon the team and its fans as we can possibly fathom.

Don’t cry foul – it works both ways. Giants fans love the Giants. Dodgers fans love the Dodgers. We despise each other’s teams (though not necessarily each other as fans – a good percentage of my close friends are Giants fans), and root for our team’s success and the other’s ultimate failure.

I tell people that even if the Dodgers miss the playoffs, it’s a good season if we beat the Giants. This season, that clearly didn’t happen. The Giants are three wins away from going to the World Series. The Dodgers are three strokes away from breaking par at Pebble Beach.

But if the Cardinals win tonight, the Giants will join the Dodgers on the golf course, and all was for naught. It means both of us failed. That the Giants are not better than us. And that is a small consolation for Dodgers fans who agonized over a roller coaster season that ended in pure disappointment.

I love the Dodgers. Therefore I hate the Giants. If the Cardinals are playing the Giants, I root for the Cardinals to destroy them, so I can live vicariously through that victory.

The Cardinals are one win away from knocking the Giants out. One good game. It could happen tonight. And as the rivalry goes, that potential win would craft an evil smile along the faces of an entire legion of Dodger fans.

That’s baseball, that’s life, and that is this rivalry.

And THAT is why I became the world’s biggest Cardinals fan overnight.

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.

 

Opening Day Predictions

April 4, 2012

Okay, okay. I know the A’s and Mariners played in Japan and the defending-champion Cardinals already defeated the Marlins at the new stadium earlier tonight. But a big slate of games is finally set for tomorrow, and I couldn’t be more excited. 

We’ve got seven games lined up for tomorrow, capped off with reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and my Dodger squaring off against the Padres in San Diego. Without further adieu, here are my predictions for tomorrow’s games:

Boston Red Sox at Detroit Tigers: This is the first of the great pitching matchups we’ll see over the first weekend of play, but it might just be the best one. Jon Lester will take the hill against last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner, Justin Verlander. Normally, I’d expect a pitcher’s duel, but Lester is a notorious slow starter, so look for a big game from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and the Tigers to take the home opener 5-2. (Side note: Jose Valverde will get his 51st straight save, creeping slowly towards the record of 84)

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets: I like this pitching matchup for a number of different reasons. First of all, I really enjoy watching Tommy Hanson pitch. If he’s healthy for Atlanta this year, it’s going to be huge for their playoff aspirations. But the real story here is Johan Santana’s return to the hill after a multitude of injuries have crippled the former Cy Young winner. I’m going to take my first upset, but don’t expect the Mets’ winning streak to last long. Give me the Mets 3-2.

Philadelphia Phillies at Pittsburgh Pirates: Another former ace takes the hill on Opening Day, hoping to rebound. Erik Bedard won’t have as much success as Johan does in New York, although I do expect an above average season out of the lefty in 2012. Roy Halladay is going to be too much for the young Pirates offense, and the Phils take it on the road 5-0.

Washington Nationals at Chicago Cubs: Raise your hand if you’re as excited to see Stephen Strasburg on the mound tomorrow as I am! He takes on the re-tooled Cubs and Ryan Dempster at Wrigley. And I’m sorry Cubbie fans, but the curse will continue, starting with an ugly loss at the hands of the Nats. I’m going to enjoy watching Strasburg go 8 innings with 10 strikeouts in a 7-1 win.

Toronto Blue Jays at Cleveland Indians: This might be the most underrated pitching matchup of the day. If you like young, up-and-coming stars on the bump, this is the game for you. Ricky Romero is my dark horse candidate for A.L. Cy Young this year, and Justin Masterson for Cleveland isn’t far behind. I think this is going to be the best pitching duel of the day. Toronto takes it 1-0 on a late solo homer by Jose Bautista.

Miami Marlins at Cincinnati Reds: One of the Marlins’ big free agent acquisitions is opening this series, and Mark Buerhle can certainly be trusted to give a quality outing. Johnny Cueto gets the ball for Cincy and two very strong offenses will have their respective hands full. Give me the wily veteran for the new-look Marlins’ first win in a 4-3 game.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres: You know this is the one I’ve been waiting to talk about. You’ve gotta like the young lefty Kershaw to start defending his Cy Young title with a pretty dominant win at Petco Park. I think the Dodgers put up a five spot on Edinson Volquez early and chase him from the game. I want to give the Padres a pity run to sound unbiased, but they just aren’t a good enough team to score against Kershaw. Final score: 6-0 Dodgers.

That’s all folks! Call in sick tomorrow, ditch school, and watch MLB Network all day to see my picks put into motion. Happy baseball! Peace.

Season Ticket’s Itinerary is UP!

April 2, 2012

Check it out! After hours (literally) of dealing with the hell that can be Google Maps, and endless searches of MLB teams’ schedules, I’ve got a final itinerary laid out for Season Ticket! 

Feel free to check out the website and the YouTube channel, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

We’ve pushed the start date back to April 27th, so as to allow for more planning time. BUT it works out perfectly. We’ll be starting in St. Louis, where last season ended! Seems fitting, right? I have always been a sucker for poetry…

So, I’m pretty excited because we’ll see my Dodgers five times, including in San Francisco against the Giants. We get the Battle of the Bay (A’s vs. Giants), the Freeway Series (Dodgers vs. Angels) and potentially TWO chances to see the Red Sox and Yankees battle it out.

Plus, Kelsey’s Cardinals are on the slate thrice, including a game AT Wrigley Field against the arch rival Cubs. We’ve made room for hitting the All-Star Game in Kansas City, and the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown!

And the journey will end in Miami, where we’ll run the clubs and bars all night long with our newfound celebrity! Okay, truth be told, we’ll probably be passed out on the beach all day and in a hotel room by 9 p.m. at night…that’s how we roll. 

Five solid months of driving. Nearly 15,000 miles. More than thirty games and 223 hours of driving. Tons of preparation, attention to detail, writing, reporting, uploading, crappy radio rap, etc. 

And it will be worth every second. Check out the links above, but for now, here’s the schedule in it’s fullest form (give us a shout if we’re going to be in your town when you are there!):

Game 1 – 4/27/12 – St. Louis, MO: Milwaukee Brewers @ St. Louis Cardinals

Game 2 – 5/3/12 – Kansas City, MO: New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals

Game 3 – 5/11/12 – Arlington, TX: Los Angeles Angels @ Texas Rangers

Game 4 – 5/18/12 – Houston, TX: Texas Rangers @ Houston Astros

Game 5 – 5/23/12 – Phoenix, AZ: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Game 6 – 6/1/12 – San Diego, CA: Arizona Diamondbacks @ San Diego Padres

Game 7 – 6/3/12 – Anaheim, CA: Texas Rangers @ Los Angeles Angels

Game 8 – 6/11/12 – Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles Angels @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Game 9 – 6/22/12 – Oakland, CA: San Francisco Giants @ Oakland A’s

Game 10 – 6/25/12 – San Francisco, CA: Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants

Game 11 – 6/28/12 – Seattle, WA: Boston Red Sox @ Seattle Mariners

Game 12 – 7/1/12 – Denver, CO: San Diego Padres @ Colorado Rockies

All-Star Game – 7/10/12 – Kansas City, MO: National League vs. American League

Game 13 – 7/13/12 – Minneapolis, MN: Oakland Athletics @ Minnesota Twins

Game 14 – 7/16/12 – Milwaukee, WI: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers

Game 15 – 7/19/12 – Detroit, MI: Los Angeles Angels @ Detroit Tigers

Game 16 – 7/23/12 – Chicago, IL: Minnesota Twins @ Chicago White Sox

Game 17 – 7/27/12 – Chicago, IL: St. Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs

Game 18 – 7/29/12 – Toronto, ON, Canada: Detroit Tigers @ Toronto Blue Jays

Game 19 – 8/5/12 – Cincinnati, OH: Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cincinnati Reds

Game 20 – 8/9/12 – Cleveland, OH: Boston Red Sox @ Cleveland Indians

Game 21 – 8/13/12 – Pittsburgh, PA: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Pittsburgh Pirates

Cooperstown – 8/15/12 – Cooperstown, NY: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Game 22 – 8/18/12 – Bronx, NY: Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees

Game 23 – 8/21/12 – Boston, MA: Los Angeles Angels @ Boston Red Sox

Game 24 – 8/24/12 – Queens, NY: Houston Astros @ New York Mets

Game 25 – 8/26/12 – Philadelphia, PA: Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies

Potential Bonus Game – 9/11/12 – Boston, MA: New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox

Game 26 – 9/13/12 – Baltimore, MD: Tampa Bay Rays @ Baltimore Orioles

Game 27 – 9/18/12 – Washington D.C.: Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals

Game 28 – 9/20/12 – Tampa Bay, FL: Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays

Game 29 – 9/25/12 – Atlanta, GA: Miami Marlins @ Atlanta Braves

Game 30 – 9/30/12 – Miami, FL: Philadelphia Phillies @ Miami Marlins

Keep pimping the video out to The Ellen Show! We just need a little more confirmed sponsorship to set the trip to “official!” Until tomorrow (okay, later today…close ENOUGH to be counted as Sunday!)…

Deciding the Best MLB Rivalry

March 24, 2012

Hey. I’ve only got a minute. My buddy just got home from Africa and we’re watching Klay Thompson dominate for the Warriors and drinking beer. But I thought, let’s decide which of the three big rivalries in baseball is THE biggest.

I’m biased, but…when has that stopped me before?

So we know the three biggest rivalries are Giants/Dodgers, Yankees/Red Sox and Cubs/Cardinals. If you disagree, you’re absolutely insane. Anyway, here’s my order:

3. Cardinals vs. Cubs: This one has a sweet inter-division flair to it. The Cubs suck. The Cardinals are okay. Can you tell I don’t know anything about this rivalry? It doesn’t mean the actual battles between the two aren’t legendary. My Cardinals-fan girlfriend won’t even acknowledge that Cubs fans exist. Maybe she should be writing this blog…

2. Yankees vs. Red Sox: Oh, yeah. I did it. Of course this is one of the most historic rivalries in sports history. Babe Ruth, Bucky F*cking Dent, Curt Schilling…the list goes on and on. If you doubt this being an amazing rivalry, look no further than 2004. I showed up to the regular season game in 2005 at Fenway when Schilling returned from his ankle rehab (and unfortunately gave up the game-winning home run to A-Rod…). And let me tell you. Saying there is no love lost between those two teams is an understatement.

1. Dodgers vs. Giants: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I mean for God’s sake, a Giants player hit a Dodgers player in the head with a bat…IN A GAME! These teams and their fans absolutely hate each other. With a fiery passion. They have both won six World Series, both won 18 pennants and have an almost exactly even record against one another. The newest aspect of this rivalry is Clayton Kershaw vs. Tim Lincecum, the two aces. All I’m gonna say as a humble Dodger fan, is that Kershaw (cough – the Cy Young winner last year – cough) went 4-0 against Lincecum in 2011. No biggie.

Well, there you have it. Comment below and let me know what you think. Until tomorrow!


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