As some of you know (and many of you don’t know) I recently applied for a job at MLB that they were calling the “MLB Dream Job”. Obviously I didn’t get it – as I was competing with approximately 10,000 other people and hardly possess an “encyclopedic knowledge” of the game. (I knew I was a long shot but just had to apply.) The job was to consist of residing in NYC and spending a great deal of time in a setup that was conducive to being able to watch every single game throughout the baseball season. (For those of you who are mathematically challenged – that’s 2,430 games in all.) Using social media such as facebook and twitter, as well as their own website for the MLB Fan Cave, the Dream Jobbers would then talk about everything baseball. They would be expected to attend media events, press conferences and other baseball related things, plus have the opportunity to entertain various players and celebrities as they stopped by the “Fan Cave” and write about what they were seeing and experiencing.
Having not gotten the job – I was still excited to see how it all turned out! I was eager to know more about the guys who had beaten me out for the job I was almost slightly qualified for, and to see exactly what fun stuff they get to experience. MLB hired two guys – Mike O’Hare, aka Mikey Oh, and as his wingman Ryan Wagner. Both guys seem to be a good fit for the Fan Cave in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village and held their own while being quizzed extensively about baseball by the MLB Network’s staff. Their resumes are extensive and their video submissions make mine look like I recruited my 5-year-old niece to direct it. Mostly though, I was looking forward to having a one-stop-shopping blog that could keep me up to speed with everything baseball, as well as being entertained by their witty style and interesting stories.
So far I have been disappointed. The blogs have been about a variety of things, some of which only slightly relate to baseball, and many not at all. Writing about Joe Maddon being ejected from a game is great if the blog talks about the conflict that caused the ejection, or managers who are commonly hot heads and get ejected, or whether or not you agree with ejections – presenting various arguments for and against it, or how a team’s manager being ejected affects the rest of their game… But instead the blog was nothing more than a mere mention of him being thrown out with a description of how sharp he looked as he argued with the umps. It did state that his cool and trendy attitude is a good fit for the young Ray’s, but I would have liked an elaboration on how and why his style works so well with his players.
Maybe I have misunderstood the concept. According to the “About” tab on the MLB Fan Cave’s page – Mikey Oh and Ryan Wagner are supposed to blog about their day-to-day experiences in the fan cave and about…pop culture? Really?? Because that doesn’t exactly make sense to me. Let’s put 2 guys in front of 15 screens and make them watch every single baseball game that is played in the 2011 season, up to 15 games a day, and have them talk about Snookie retiring from Pro Wrestling and Harry Potter’s graduation from Hogwarts. I mean obviously that requires “encyclopedic knowledge” of the game of baseball and obviously you can’t write about those things having not seen every baseball game to date. . .is anyone else confused?
Listen – I know that these guys are as new to this job as this job is to – well – existence. And I’ve enjoyed some of the blogs on things like stadium foods and tweeting your beer vendor. But it seems like there should be a larger focus on baseball and less on pop culture. I, personally, would prefer to read about player analysis, team analysis, even division analysis; who’s hot and who’s not, bloopers and big plays, fantasy impact on the rise and fall. . .I want to read about what is currently going on in baseball! Is that so much to ask from a couple of guys who are living the dream and being paid to do nothing but watch the games and hang out with the players?! Because honestly, from what I’ve read – I’m over-qualified for that job.
First of all – let me apologize. Here I am starting a blog, telling everyone I know to read it, subscribe to it and tell all your friends all about it….and then I stop posting! Aghhh – what a pain-in-the-ass am I?
Well, first off – writing a blog is not exactly difficult, but it’s not exactly easy either. I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately learning how to use all the gadgets and menus and widgets and blogrolls…and spent very little time writing. Also – I work a full-time job that often takes up far more than 40 hours a week, and it’s a little hard to keep up with all of baseball and write about it. But I promise I will try my best do a better job moving forward. So, with that said….
What a start it has been to the 2011 season! This year seems to have everything off base (pardon the pun). So far we’ve seen a bottom rung team start off 6-0 (BAL) and a top pick for the WS start off 0-6 (BOS). We’ve seen the reigning WS Champs struggle to play .500 ball (SF). Pujols can’t hit – except into double plays, and a random rookie from PIT has had a hit in each of his first 10 games! (Pujols is batting .229 and is on pace to hit just over a dozen homers this year. Jose Tabata, PIT, didn’t get a hit in his 11th game but did still get on base.) Jeter is struggling. Hanley sucks. Cliff Lee’s ERA is reaching for 8.00!! Now wrap your head around this: Some sources list the #1 overall player in the game so far this year as – Dan Haren, LAA! And right behind him is Jared Weaver, LAA at #2!! With somewhere around a dozen games behind us, things sure aren’t looking as many would have expected. The thing to remember here is that baseball is a marathon, not a sprint.
While many teams are playing uncharacteristically good or bad, the season is young and a lot can change before the pennant race…or as quick as a single 3 game series. Chances are both the Red Sox and the Giants will get into their grove and be contenders down the stretch. The Orioles will likely lose more games than they are right now and slip into a more familiar spot near the bottom of the standings. Pujols will start hitting the ball into orbit and Tabata will go 0-for. Cliff Lee’s ERA will plummet, Hanley will improve and Jeter will, well, age. As far as those 2 angel’s pitchers? Well I doubt they’ll remain in the top 2 spots in all of baseball. What is interesting though, is that a lot of teams and players can surprise you. How a team looks on paper can vary drastically from how they play on the field. It will be interesting to see how these oddities normalize themselves and which teams and players will shock the baseball world with above-their-potential abilities.
What I find entertaining is how quickly the fans will turn on a guy (or an entire team) who’s slumping for a mere handful of games. I’ve heard numerous people already talking about Pujols, saying things like the bastard should have signed when he had a good deal in front of him…the way he sucks right now he’ll be lucky to get $20 million for 7 years…let the Cubs have him! Seriously people?? He’s off to a slow start and yes I’m frustrated about it. But give the man a break – he’s put in 11
solid, awesome, amazing,freakishly phenomenal seasons, and you want to toss him aside over a rough couple of weeks?? I know — the at-bats are piling up and the man just doesn’t seem to have it, but the offense around him looks to have finally kicked in. Lets see if that can spark him and give him a few more games before we castrate him and curse him to the Cubs of all teams!
Other interesting tidbits in baseball thus far – Bud Selig completed 1,000 consecutive days riding a bike. No – seriously. Now that’s no Cal Ripkin, but is worth noting (or so I read). This week celebrated the 134th anniversary of the catcher’s mask. Where would our backstops be without that?! On a more serious note – a Giants fan, Bryan Stow, decided to attend the team’s season opener in LA against the Dodgers and was beaten to a pulp in the parking lot outside the game by several Dodgers fans. He remains in critical condition as teams, fans and others raise money and support for the victim and his family. Seriously people – I love baseball and I love a good rivalry – but to resort to violence just because someone likes another team more than yours? Are you 14 years old? WTF?