Posts Tagged ‘MLB Fan Cave’

The 2013 MLB Fan Cave Results Are In…

March 13, 2013

IMG_0898Before I tell you about the call I received from the MLB Fan Cave today, let me once again thank everyone as much as the interwebs will allow for the unrelenting support from you all over the past couple months. The voting, sharing, reading, tip-giving and every other -ing verb you all took part in has been incredible to say the least.

Whether you are a loving member of my immediate family or fellow baseball fan tweeting from Oklahoma, I really wish I could thank every single one of you in person.

Alas, that is not possible. So please accept this blog as my metaphorical high-five/thank you hug combination. Anyway, down to business:

I regret to inform you (eh, too cliché) On a dark and stormy night (NO.) Bad news bears, people. The MLB Fan Cave discovered that I was ingesting performance-enhancing substances (mostly cookies and beer), over the course of this campaign and promptly disqualified me.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

But the truth is, the powers that be at the Fan Cave have officially chosen their nine representatives for this season (whose names I will NOT reveal no matter how much you bribe me, as I do not want my new friends getting in trouble before they even touch down in New York), and my name is not among them.

I’ll answer your first question right quick — yes, of course I’m disappointed. I was, still am, and always will be very confident in my abilities to rock a contest like this. Just like the other final 29, I thought I was going to get the “good” call this week. I’ve spent countless hours, days, weeks and months on my parents’ couch watching, analyzing, writing about, and loving baseball for as long as I can remember. And I think I do it better than most.

That being said, the talent in this competition was unbelievable. It’s a tough gig to get, especially when you’re squaring off with so many others who possess equal, if not better, blogging, creative, and social media expertise. So I’m proud of the nine who will be advancing (stay tuned to MLBFanCave.com for the announcement about a week from today), and the 20 other finalists who received bad news.

Just like last year, I’ve made some unbreakable friendships through this process and experienced amazing moments with these men and women. We will all stay in touch and continue to bond via Facebook, Twitter, and fantasy sports through our love for baseball.

Now, enough of the sappy stuff. Let’s talk about me.

But, seriously. Let’s talk about me. No matter where I’m watching my Dodgers play this season, the passion won’t subside. You will still be spammed by endless Bleacher Report links (how many of you just blocked me on Facebook?) and be expected to defend me if I come to blows in the bleachers at AT&T Park this summer.

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I have no idea yet if I’ll be re-applying for the Fan Cave in 2014. That’s like asking me if I’ll get back together with __________ (insert name of ex-girlfriend here) two hours after we broke up! It’s too fresh.

Plus, next year marks my 25th birthday, meaning I will have spent the majority of a quarter-century with a baseball for a brain. That’s scary. If it doesn’t work out again, is it time to hang up the jock strap, spit out the Big League Chew, and go travel the world or write a book or skinny dip in piranha-infested waters (I didn’t have a real third one…forgive my modest life goals)? Maybe.

But I’ll tell you this much — I still have more to give to this contest. I know I have a spot in the baseball workin’ world. I have no doubt that I am a living, breathing specimen for the purpose of watching baseball all summer, writing “top-10 nut shot” lists, and filming song parodies about Mike Trout.

And I know I can do better. That’s not necessarily an admission of regret; just an acknowledgement of room for improvement in certain aspects of my performance in Arizona.

If I do re-apply, you’ll know. But let’s just all take a break for one glorious baseball season, huh?

Now back to you lovely people. I honestly could not have gotten this far without your support, and thank you again for everything. My family and friends who cheered, voted and shared all my links. My #DodgerFam on Twitter and r/Dodgers thread on Reddit. Anyone who hosted me on their podcast or wrote about me on a blog. My uber-fan brethren on Three Up, Three Down. All the A-list actors, directors and choreographers who helped film all that ridiculous, goofy content I put together along the way. And again, the rest of the country’s most dedicated fans.IMG_0932

Even though I didn’t make it, I can’t be too upset. Not only are they making a Veronica Mars mov–uh, sorry. What I meant to write is, how else would I have ever met the kindest, cuddliest baseball fan of all time, @SuperFanPete, for example? Or the pro’s pro, @SamDingman? I mean…for god’s sake, I never would have known the happiest, giggliest Yankees fan ever, @Stephelovee, existed!

I love you all. Thanks for helping me along the way and for following along with the journey. I’ll never forget it. Please continue to follow my blogs and all my sports writing. It is what I love to do, and each read or comment or “like” is akin to finding an Easter egg full of candy and puppies. I seriously mean that.

So no matter if I’ve met you in person before, keep chatting me up about the greatest sport in the world (Or anything else. I do also accept the following conversation topics: Russian gymnasts, Vin Diesel quotes, and this commercial.). Heck, let’s go to a game together and revel in the glory ourselves! If I’m lucky, you’ll even buy me a beer!

What? I’m an unpaid intern. Cut me some slack.

Peace, Dodgers, and bunting forever,

Jeremy

Crafting Baseball Pet Names – Pro Tips from the First MLB Fan Cave Couple

March 9, 2013

Jer + Kels pic 3The other day, I sent Kelsey a text message and called her “darling,” which is something I would probably never say in person. It got me thinking about some do’s and do not’s when pet naming your significant other.

When you are a couple of huge baseball fans like Kelsey and I, it goes without saying that first instinct should be to punify (now a word) the names into something MLB-related. So the first MLB Fan Cave couple has compiled some pro tips on how to formulate such names.

I will not reveal if any of the following suggestions have been used in our regular conversation or not (spoiler: some have…liberally), but take a look. Kelsey and I have each come up with two nicknames our gender would like to be called in a romantic baseball relationship, and two that should be avoided like a fastball to Miguel Cabrera.

Read on, friends, family and fellow baseball lovers:

Jeremy (speaking for guys):

Do call me: “Babermetrics”

YOU KNOW WE’RE BASEBALL NERDS. The range factor of our love for you will significantly increase, and the kisses per nine will also be buoyed. And the fact that you’re implying that you like stats as much as we do is a turn on. Get on that!

Don’t call me: “Brian Babean”

A pet name that plays off the real name of a decent GM (for a rival team nonetheless…), who is an old, graying man is the last thing that will make us respond favorably. Even Giants fans don’t like that nickname.

Do call me: “Giancarbeau Stanton”

Not only is “beau” a fancy French word that we all assume means “sexy man beast of mine,” but being associated in any way with Stanton is a massive compliment. We immediately connect his power bombs to our own physical prowess.

Don’t call me: “GiancarBRO Stanton”

Sure, you might be inspired by the Fan Cave Top 30’s fantastic video, but this would not amuse us. “Bro” is not a term you use in any romantic relationship. That’s reserved for our siblings and actual bro’s that we crush beers and watch games with, bro.

Kelsey (speaking for gals):

Do call me: “Main Squeeze Bunt”

Come on…nobody ever stopped liking the phrase “main squeeze.” It’s hard to say without a smile, and we all know bunts can come in handy, too. Just like a good girlfriend!

Don’t call me: “Boo Piniella”

On the other hand, the word “boo” has been overplayed. Not to mention Piniella’s likeness is probably not one a girl would like to adopt. Are you saying we look like old, angry men? That’s immediate grounds for a dirt-kicking, base-throwing tantrum.

Do call me: “Angel in the Outfield”

Okay, it’s really cheesy. And it might remind you of Angel Pagan, the Giants center fielder. But it’s a sweet, simple, and purely baseball-related reference. Being called an angel in almost every context is adorable, but combining it with baseball? Winner.

Don’t call me: “Busch Baby”

It breaks my heart to put something Cardinals-related on my “Don’t” list, but this one doesn’t really stir memories of the majestic ballpark. Instead, you are comparing us ladies to the wide-eyed furry thing that haunts our dreams.

Tweet to us @KelseyShea11 and/or @Jamblinman with your punny baseball pet name suggestions using the hash tag #FanCaveCouple. For more pro tips from the first-ever MLB Fan Cave couple, check out our Valentine’s Day gift-buying guidelines, surviving rival fandom blog, and tips to a long-distance baseball relationship.

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.

The MLB Fan Cave Top 30 Experience: Day Two

February 23, 2013

IMG_0932Technically, I’ve been home for almost two full days. But when the week prior is full of sleep deprivation, stress, lots of travel, and busy schedules, the last thing you’re physically ready to do is write up a blog talking about said list.

I’ve caught up on sleep and am in a reflective mood, so let’s talk day two of the MLB Fan Cave trip to Arizona! If you missed the first part, you can find my recap here.

Day two started with a group bus ride to Surprise, AZ to do a couple video challenges. Little did we know what an amazing surprise we would actually get! When we arrived at the complex (it was a beauty!), we saw Rangers and Royals players taking batting practice in the cages.

Immediately, we were split into two groups to film our video challenges. I held down the fort for the men in my group, joining Royals fan Angalena Scavuzzo, Yankees fan Stephe Rodriguez, A’s fan Vanessa Demske and Blue Jays fan April Whitzman. We each shot individual 15-second promos with Sony Bloggie’s, before collaborating on a 30-second commercial for MLB.com/tickets for our mystery team (the Orioles).

Look for those finished products on MLBFanCave.com very soon! The real craziness began after we finished that challenge. I had heard rumors that George Brett was in Surprise earlier in the week, but figured he had left already. Then, wouldn’t you know it, but the Hall of Famer himself walks up to our group in full Royals gear and shakes everyone’s hand before going back to the scrimmage.

The fact that this 2013 MLB Fan Cave journey has already allowed me to shake hands with and speak to Tommy Lasorda and George Brett is an absolute dream come true. It keeps me grounded as the anticipation swells for the Cave Dwellers to be announced, that even if I don’t make it, nothing will change the experience I’ve had.

After meeting George, we headed down to the field itself and met up with current Royals outfielders Jeff Francoeur and Alex Gordon. The Royals are kind of my fan-crush team of the year (the team I not-so-secretly root for when the Dodgers aren’t involved — I picked them to win an A.L. Wild Card this season!), so it was amazing to interact with two of their most notable hitters.

I can’t tell you what we filmed or many details about the rest of the day in Surprise, because, well…it’s a surprise. That production should be on MLBFanCave.com fairly soon as well. I can tell you that George Brett, Francoeur, and Gordon were three of the coolest dudes I’ve ever met. Gordon was more soft-spoken, but clearly very confident in himself. Francoeur, or “Frenchie,” is an absolute goofball. We had a good time chatting about Bacon Tuesday in Oakland and how the rightfield bleacher creatures at o.Co Coliseum love him more than their own.

I took pictures with both of them, including this gem that spread like wildfire through the Fan Cave social media pages:

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Yes, I can forever claim to be the guy who got photo-boomed (get it?) by a Hall of Famer. I’m honored! After the dream of an afternoon ended, we hopped back on the Fan Cave bus and rode it to the hotel in Phoenix. Many of the contestants were able to relax, take naps, and hit up the hotel happy hour before our last event. But I still had a panel interview on the itinerary, meaning I had to update you all on social media and then get to mentally preparing myself for one of the most important aspects of the week.

The panel interview is like any other job interview — except that everyone there has close ties to the top of the top in Major League Baseball. And there are at lest 10 of them there. And you’re in a chair in the middle of the round, surrounded by them. And you have no idea what they will ask and how they will react to what you answer.

Honestly, I didn’t get very nervous for this part of the process, because I’ve been through so many job interviews in so many industries before. It was a little bit intimidating that one person was firing questions while the rest watched and/or took notes. The anticipation of knowing what was on their notepads was killing me!

Without fully disclosing everything that was said in that room, I can tell you that I was asked a lot about my writing, my girlfriend, and a couple of questions related to personal experiences (i.e. “What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”).

All in all, I came out of the room feeling good, though I was disturbed at the simplicity of the questions they asked me. As I look back today, I was likely just over thinking every last detail, but I still worry that they couldn’t figure out a unique aspect of my story to grab onto, hence the unmemorable interview questions. That could be a killer in the end, but when looking at my body of work as a whole in Arizona, I still consider myself a very strong candidate.

After that interview, the tough part was over. I went back to my room, got dressed up for a night at Lucky Strike downtown, and met everyone in the lobby about 45 minutes later. I must say, we all looked fantastic in our best business-casual comfort clothes.

The party at Lucky Strike was fabulous. We had endless, catered food that was all delicious, an open bar, and a chance to party with our fellow contestants and mingle with the MLB executives again. I had a few really good conversations with people I hadn’t gotten to chat with enough on day one, and strengthened my bonds with a lot of the other finalists.

At the end of the night, a strange mix of relief, fear, and confusion set in as I realized the whirlwind of a trip was officially coming to an end. When we returned to the hotel, I drafted and sent a very brief, but heartfelt email to some of the MLB executives thanking them for the trip and the opportunity I was presented with.

I figured if I waited until the next morning to send the email, I might come across as a suck-up, as they were evidently discussing the finalists that day. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, though — I really just truly appreciated everything I was given and the overwhelming week compelled me to thank everyone as soon as possible. Hopefully they received and appreciated my note! IMG_0938

After a few beers in various finalists’ rooms as we all wound down and discussed travel plans for home (as well as travel plans to visit each other!), I finally crashed around 3 a.m. The trip was done. It was a resounding success, and flying back to San Francisco the next morning left me feeling upset, as I wished only to be back in the hot tub chumming it up with 29 of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

Now we wait for our results, less anxious than we should be. It’s hard to be nervous when you have a family of support around you and an unending Facebook group chain sharing pictures, videos and experiences from the previous few days. No matter what happens, this is a Fan Cave family. It doesn’t matter how many times it has been said, or how cliche it is, because it’s completely true.

The people, the places, the players and the challenges we faced in two short days is unrivaled. Regardless of results, this will be one helluva baseball season, as I share it with a whole new group of obsessive fans. Thank you, MLB Fan Cave!

Oh…and remember when I promised you all the secret parody video? Here it is, in all its glory:

http://mlbfancave.mlb.com/fancave/video.jsp?content_id=25607055&topic_id=19224580&fbid=AJnZFcY9hdV

The MLB Fan Cave Top 30 Experience: Day One

February 20, 2013

IMG_0898Where do I even begin? Needless to say, these past 48 hours in Arizona have been amazing, stressful, hilarious and downright unforgettable. After coming so close to being here last year, this is a special treat for me. I wasn’t sure I’d have the chance to show off my skills in person this season, but here I am, and I’m making the most of my time!

Below, I’ll give you the run down (see what I did there?) of what we’ve been doing on the casting trip thus far. But if you haven’t yet checked out yesterday’s Tumblr photo blog, check it out HERE!

And please follow along with the journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tout for the most up-to-date info. Better yet, like the MLB Fan Cave Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram for the MOST up-to-date info.

I was exhausted when we arrived at the hotel on Monday night, but we all went out to eat at the made-famous-last-year Jerry’s Diner next door. After meeting most of the Top 30, I finished up some work in the hotel room and crashed, because Tuesday was the first big day of the competition.

First thing Tuesday morning, we hopped on the infamous MLB Fan Cave bus and rode (in style) over to Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. They were still rolling out the sod for the upcoming World Baseball Classic games that were going to be held there, but we essentially had the whole place to ourselves! After a quick pep talk from some of the executives who run the Fan Cave, we were off to start the audition process.

I’ve gotten to know a lot of the people who actually make the Cave tick behind the scenes, and everyone has been amazingly supportive and helpful so far. The fact that I’m a Dodgers fan living in San Francisco and the “Fan Cave Couple” story line definitely struck a chord with some of them, and I ended up having a lot of really good talks early in the day.

After that, I was chosen to go down to the D’Backs dugout and do a camera test with MLB Network’s own Greg Amsinger through the Ballpark Cam. They hooked me up to all sorts of wires and ear plugs, handed me a mic, and let Greg fire a round of questions my way. I think it went very well, especially because I was first in line and had to set the precedent for the rest of the group. Greg and I ended up laughing a lot about how Kelsey and I manage to watch games together, my wardrobe choices, and many other baseball-related activities.

We finished that up and went straight to the part of the week I was dreading the most: the elevator pitch. Essentially, they gave us one minute to sell ourselves to the MLB Fan Cave staff and prove that we are someone they want in the Fan Cave. I’d rehearsed my pitch a million times and nailed everything, emerging out of it with a very good, but not perfect feeling about it. When told I “was blessed with Brian Wilson’s beard on my chest” at the end of it, I got a hearty chuckle from the room.

Later in the day, a large group of the Top 30 took part in a lip-synced version of a parody created by the Fan Cave. I won’t reveal which song, because I don’t want to ruin the epic-ness (that just became a word) of it all before it’s released. I can tell you that I found myself with a five-second starring role in the middle, simply by virtue of having my Clayton Kershaw jersey on at the right time.

To finish the first day, we ended up enjoying an amazing spread of food in the Diamond Club above right-center field and took part in a round of trivia. It was another chance to get to know some of the other finalists and executives I hadn’t chatted with yet.

My team (cleverly named “Dr. Fart,” might I add) was in second place with 25 points (two teams had 27) entering the final round, where we wagered 24 of those points. Unfortunately we barely missed on which four teams don’t have mascots (the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs and Angels are mascot-less) and ended up losing the challenge.

Nobody could be down for losing trivia, because we jumped immediately into a couple of hours of karaoke, which started off with a bang when Bryan Mapes, Travis Miller, Ally Williams, Kelsey and myself nailed a rendition of “It’s Gonna Be Me” by N’Sync. Kelsey and I also had to cheese it up a little bit and do a “Summer Nights” duet. It was a ton of fun, even if I failed miserably at singing (but really, what’s new?).

After some last-minute karaoke team bonding and a long chat in the hot tub before bed, day one came to a close and I knocked out a few bits of work before hopping in bed to rest up for today. I still have half a day here before the competition officially ends, and I am looking forward to slaying a panel interview in about an hour, before taking on my fellow contestants in some fancy bowling at Lucky Strike to end the night.

Look for another blog in the next couple days detailing the second half of my Fan Cave journey, and keep it tuned to me on social media for the most current updates. Thanks for reading, and hopefully I’ll come home with some good news this weekend!

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.

MLB Fan Cave: Trying to Avoid a Sophomore Slump

February 2, 2013

profile picIf you haven’t heard, I made the Top 52 of the MLB Fan Cave for the second straight year. Last year, I didn’t make the cut for the Top 30, who moved on to a Spring Training casting trip in Arizona. But I also was unprepared and brand new to Twitter.

This year, I’m ready to take the contest by storm and move beyond the Spring Training trip into New York City as the Dodgers Fan Cave representative. Once we get to the casting trip, I can take things into my own hands and try to make my best impression on the powers that be.

But until then, I need your help! Please visit my voting link here and throw a few votes my way (you can refresh and vote multiple times)! You can follow my Facebook page for all the most up-to-date news on my campaign, and follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman. If you’re so inclined, I have an Instagram account (Jamblinman7), an ongoing Bleacher Report series evaluating all 30 teams, and a YouTube channel with all my most recent videos.

I also need to get my name out to mainstream media, such as newspapers, radio and TV publications. It’s tough to do as a Dodgers fan in San Francisco, but I’m doing my best to get attention locally and in Southern California. Any tips, connections, or other advice is more than welcome. Just shoot me a Facebook message or a tweet!

Please spread the word, share my link with everyone, and vote in your spare time! I live for baseball and think I’d make a great Cave Dweller in New York City this summer. If you help me get to the Fan Cave this season, I’ll do my best to be a good representative for Dodger Nation.

Thank you for the support so far — only 11 more days to vote and get me to the Top 30!

2013 MLB Hall of Fame Vote Headlines

January 13, 2013

Okay, besides the obvious: “HALL OF FAME SUCKS AND SHUTS OUT A MILLION DESERVING CANDIDATES!”

Now that we’ve rushed to conclusions, let’s take a step back. I believe there is a flaw in the voting system for the Hall of Fame. I thought that before this vote took place, and find myself thinking about it more often now that the shutout occurred.

I’m not sure I could ever articulate my suggestions in a fashion that exceeds this fantastic piece by Jeff Passan, so I’ll leave you with that. And this one from Jayson Stark.

Please come back and finish reading my blog before you get carried away with those incredibly well-written works of art. Thanks.

And as much as I’d like to just dive right in and go to town on those dirty rotten voters, we do have to give them a break. Not only are they tasked with an insanely difficult job, but they then have to deal with nuisances like myself immediately after.

To avoid becoming a talking head on this topic and running with the same exact story lines, here are some other things I was processing while sobbing in the shower after seeing nobody reach the 75 percent threshold:

1) The outside influence on and internal struggle of a voter is fascinating.

If you truly think ballots aren’t influenced by voters’ peers in most cases, you’re as blind as a bat. A baseball bat. It happens in all types of social situations, because the desire to fit in is stronger than the desire to do what’s right. I’m not saying that’s why some votes went down as they did, but it certainly played a role. If every ESPN voter except one had openly proclaimed in the office they were voting for Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, steroids be damned, chances are the outcast would also vote for Bonds and Clemens. It’s a social science.

Even more intriguing to me is the struggle all baseball fans face with morality. Yours truly is still undecided whether or not, given a hypothetical Hall of Fame vote, I’d vote for someone who was busted for PED’s. On the one hand, they are legends in their own right and earned their numbers, even if slightly inflated because of a little pill. On the other, their crimes are far more offensive to me than anything Pete Rose did, and he is banned from the game forever.

2) I thought all ballots should be released…then reconsidered.

What would it accomplish? Sure, we want to know who cast a vote for Shawn Green, or which nimrods thought it okay to exclude a surefire in Craig Biggio. But all it would lead to is a collective, big boy temper tantrum that only gets us in a meaningless, heated Twitter argument with each other. There are plenty of voters who shouldn’t be voting, but they have the right to conceal their choices for whatever reason they want…and I’m fine with that. Besides, who’s to say all the hidden ballots weren’t perfectly reasonable?

3) That being said…

…why isn’t Orel Hershiser or Gil Hodges in the Hall of Fame yet? And why did it take voters so long to induct Hank Greenberg? That’s literally all I had for this one. Awkward. Moving on.

4) Kenny Lofton and Bernie Williams gone forever.http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/images/photos/000/973/485/98433807_crop_650x440.jpg?1276726536

My heart breaks just writing those words. Two of my all-time favorite players and idols growing up did not receive the required five percent to stay on the ballot for 2014. Both players had very borderline cases as it was, but now their only hope is to be inducted by the Veteran’s Committee. That’s about as likely as Juan Uribe hitting a curveball, unfortunately. It’s too bad – who’s with me here: Creating a Hall of Fave in which fans get to choose non-Hall of Famers to grace the halls of a hallowed ground dedicated to the most popular players who ever played. This year, Kenny and Bernie would easily be in. Next year, we would welcome Sean Casey with open arms!

5) The PED users all get another shot.

Oh, stop. I’m allowed to group them together like that. Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and Rafael Palmeiro all survived the cut and will be on the ballot in 2014. In my humble opinion, Big Mac, Bonds and The Rocket will eventually hang a plaque in Cooperstown. In my humbler opinion, only Bonds and Clemens have the all-around numbers to be there. In my humblest opinion, those inevitable plaques should have a daftly-carved asterisk in each. The official prediction for me is that both Bonds and Clemens are in by 2018. McGwire? More like 2021.

6) Edgar Martinez and Larry Walker, ladies and gentleman!

This is similar to the Lofton-Williams scenario. Except that Martinez and Walker both have very good cases for Hall of Fame induction. Martinez is the DH. He deserves a spot in Cooperstown, and there’s nothing you can say that will make me budge from that position. As for Walker, is there any better five-year span out of the non-PED users than his .353/30/98/1.172 OPS line from 1997 (his MVP season, in which he also stole 33 bases) to 2002? He’s got the most anonymous Hall of Fame resumes in baseball, and the worst part of it all is Walker might get snubbed completely.

7) Biggio? More like Biggi-NO.

Goodness, that’s a money headline! How I don’t get paid to write those is beyond me. In all seriousness, since we are on the subject of snubs, why is Craig  Biggio not preparing a teary-eyed, soulful speech right now? I understand the aura (both negative and positive) around this year’s class, but the fact that 34 percent of voters found a reason to exclude a 3,000-hit club member who was an All-Star at two different positions and defined the word “grit,” while never raising questions about PED’s in an era where that was considered normal…is, honestly, blasphemous.

8) Is Aaron Sele going to change the course of baseball history?

And isn’t that what any aspiring ball player dreams of doing? I’m sure Sele didn’t expect it to happen this way, but that one, perplexing vote that was cast for him means a couple of things: First, there’s a voter out there who needs serious help right away. And secondly, he could be the trigger for a potential process-changing policy shift. Whether it be a limit to the character-scrubbing clause, or an increase in votes allowed per BBWAA member, or the amendment to require all ballots to go public, Aaron Bleepin’ Sele might go down in history as the man who changed it all. Sort of.

9) Finally, the class of 2014. Ohhhhhhh, the class of 2014. Yikes.

You thought this year’s class was loaded. Scratch Dale Murphy (another deserving candidate…he was on my ballot!) off the 2012 list, and add Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Mike Mussina, Frank Thomas, and Jeff Kent. Good luck. There are three no-doubters in that new group alone for me, so choosing a class of ten Hall of Famers this time next year will be a tall task. Because I value baseball more than my personal health (it’s currently 2:18 a.m., and I have a demanding work day ahead of me starting around 7:30), I’ve taken a shot at cracking this conundrum.

So if you’re so inclined, take a peek at my video revealing the 10 guys I would vote for in next year’s Hall of Fame election:

Thanks for reading, and feel free to subscribe to my YouTube page, or to visit my other blogs at jamblinman2.wordpress.com, or 3u3d.mlblogs.com. Until next time, vote with caution.

Jeremy is an unpaid intern/unpaid sports writer/unpaid blogger combination who does this stuff because he absolutely loves it. Follow him on Twitter @Jamblinman, and LIKE his 2013 MLB Fan Cave campaign page on Facebook!

All Apologies

March 11, 2012

I’m ashamed. The ruling is in…GUILTY! For the first time since starting Jam Shots, I’ve failed to post. Yesterday will be forever empty on the calendar. “Daily relapse of a raging sportsaholic,” huh? Apparently not.

I blame the daylight savings time change. I blame the steroids. I blame the Germans. Hopefully you will all forgive me. I know I’ve let you down immensely. But we can shake hands, move on, and I’ll rock your world from now on. I solemnly swear to never miss a day again.

Okay, the truth is…I was having a good ol’ college Saturday: Drinking with the roommate and the parents (on their tab – oh, the joys of still living at home!). Can’t blame me for that, can you?

Back to my old habit – sports talk.

First, let’s talk podcasts. Later today I am recording episode two of Three Up, Three Down. If you missed it last Monday, you missed six incredibly knowledgeable, smooth-talking baseball fans spewing news and analysis at you. You don’t want to miss it this time. We’ll be talking divisional news, Yu Darvish, and maybe even some predictions for you. Look for it tomorrow at this somewhat famous website (yeah, we’re that good), and while you’re waiting, give us a follow at @3u3d on Twitter.

Also, I’ve been invited to co-host FanvsFan.com’s weekly live national podcast, MLB Inside the Numbers. Friday was my first go at it, and I’m actually listening to it right now. I gotta say…it went well. It was a lot of fun, having guests on air and debating with a couple of guys who really know their baseball. Feel free to check it out HERE and tune in at 6pm Pacific Standard Time next Friday for the next episode.

Although I won’t be there next week. Bad timing. I got a cool Fan Caver to show the Bay Area to. Listen either way.

Speaking of baseball, did anyone see what I saw in Spring Training yesterday? Yeonis Cespedes hitting the ball to Cuba from Arizona? Check this out – he turned on a high and outside pitch and hit it at least 700 feet to left field. No doubt. Okay not really. But if you’re an A’s fan, you’ve gotta love the start. Two for two, a home run and two RBI? Looks like an MVP to me.

One last thing – a little breaking news. According to BleacherReport.com’s push notification on my phone JUST NOW, the San Francisco 49ers are working out Randy Moss. Before Niner fans freak out, think about it. We are in the same situation as the Patriots were. If we don’t like his attitude or work ethic, cut him. But if he’s ready to be part of this team, he will immediately become the best receiver on the field. Helloooooo Super Bowl!

Well, I have to get ready for the aforementioned Three Up, Three Down podcast. Please tune in! You won’t regret it.

Remember to follow the blog, listen to the podcast, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Until tomorrow…


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