You may think me somewhat nuts, since baseball season is over, to have images of the grand old game featured for this post. However, you would be mistaken—for at The Baseball Bloggess, baseball season is never over! While reading my post for receiving the Liebster award, she said that the interview was a bit lame because there were no baseball questions. In reply, I told her I would love some baseball questions. Lo and behold, did she come up with some baseball questions. She threw down the gauntlet with over twenty questions! I will attempt to answer them all as best I can—so consider this my baseball interview.
Where does baseball fall on your list of important things in life? Baseball will always be an important part of my life. It was the game I first loved, so I will always follow it. And while its luster has somewhat been tarnished, and it’s prominence has been overshadowed in some respects by the NFL, it will always hold a special place in my heart.
Why are the Orioles your team? How long have you been a fan? Dem O’s are my team because as a wee lad, I was taught by my elders to root for the local teams. So if you are going to be a baseball fan growing up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the O’s are the only way to go. Plus, it helped that when I was younger and forming this opinion, they were winning. I have been a fan all my life-no other team held sway for my affections. None ever will. Though I did love watching the Big Red Machine play when I was a kid.
Best players of all time? (If Willie Mays is not on your list, please explain, with details and footnotes, why not.) Willie Mays, as much as I have heard, is what five tool players are measured by. I wish I had gotten to see him in his prime; he was past that when I was a kid. Other greats (some I only read about and didn’t get to see): Cal Ripken, Ken Griffey Jr. (I can only imagine where he’d be in the record books if he hadn’t suffered so many injuries), Roberto Clemente, Mickey Mantle, (apparently I have a thing for outfielders), Jackie Robinson (because…), Albert Pujols, Greg Maddux.
Is the Designated Hitter Rule really so bad? No, it’s not so bad—it’s just makes the game different from the National League. Notice I didn’t say worse—just different. Baseball needs to choose DH or no DH; it doesn’t matter to me which and make the game uniform.
Did you/do you play? If so, your best position? I played little league baseball and I played in the outfield. I was a big swing/big miss type of hitter. If I hit the ball, it could go a long way. But I never hit the ball with any type of consistency-which helped steer me to concentrate on academics, rather than athletics.
Best game you ever saw was? In person, I saw the Orioles beat the Yankees on Memorial Day a few years back. I was also in attendance last season when David Ortiz was ejected and broke the dugout phone. Loved seeing
Fat Big Papi tossed, but the O’s lost that night. Sadly, I haven’t been to as many games as I would like to attend in person, but I’ve watched plenty on the tube, and not just the Orioles. Unfortunately, since my move, the local cable system here doesn’t carry MLB Network, which I miss greatly, and I’m not allowed to get a satellite dish.
Any brushes with baseball greatness – that is, were you at an iconic game or have you met a player, etc? Does knowing personally and living in the same town for years with former Oriole Harold Baines count? If not, there was the game at Memorial Stadium when I was a kid and we were allowed to wait for the players for autographs. I corralled Tippy Martinez for an autograph, and just my luck, my pen was out of ink. But I could read the impression on the paper!
Do you believe in the Curse of Jeffrey Maier? Absolutely! Listen Maier—I don’t know where you live, but a pox on your house! Two poxes! &#j@!!!f##&()#@1!
If you had to root for either the Yankees or the Red Sox – because you had to, that’s why – which team and why? Oh why do I have to choose? Two smug, arrogant fanbases. Two teams with greater histories than mine. I’ll take the Yankees. That whole New England thing has smugness all over it.
Any baseball memorabilia in your collection? How do you feel about baseball cards? I used to have a ton of baseball cards. I have no idea where they disappeared to.
If you can sit anywhere at a game … behind home plate, along the lines, bleachers, etc … where would you sit and why? I would love to sit behind home plate one time…just for the experience. I’ve been down the right field line most of the times I’ve watched the O’s at OPACY. Great sightlines of everything in the park.
Where do you stand on Pete Rose? Is gambling on baseball so bad? Was he/is he being treated unfairly? Do you put him in your Hall of Fame? I think Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. It isn’t the Hall of Saints for crying out loud. So yes, he goes in my Hall. The gambling thing is disturbing, considering he was doing it while managing and putting money on his team. As far as his treatment, I think he has been punished enough, but he doesn’t always do himself any favors.
For people who think baseball is boring and slow, how do you convince them otherwise? Considering every other major sport is busy a lot of the time, baseball is a stately game, played at its own pace. It’s that slowness that makes baseball great. Think of a great novel—every novel has a beginning, middle and end. Baseball plays out like a great novel every single day and night. There is strategy galore, and there are also moments that will make you jump out of your seat and yell, just like every other sport. Baseball allows you to settle in and enjoy it.
If you could be at one game – any game – in the history of baseball, which game would you be at and why? Game 5 of the 1983 World Series. Even though it was in Philadelphia, I would’ve loved to have been there when my team won the championship. Alternate choices: the last game at Memorial Stadium (goosebumps), Cal’s 2131 (of course).
Any favorite baseball movies or books? Amazingly, no favorite baseball movies or books. I love the game, but I don’t really watch baseball movies or read a lot of books. Though I have read a few books on baseball, none of them would I consider a favorite.
If you could change one rule in the game, which one would you change? One way or another, I would make baseball uniform-either put the DH in both leagues, or make the pitchers hit in both leagues.
Mr. Angelos just gave you a big pile of money, you can choose one free agent from this year’s class to join the O’s in 2016. Who joins the team? Find me a starting pitcher-preferably one that is a considerable upgrade from the collection of 2’s, 3’s and 4’s they have now. Unfortunately, that’s going to cost a ton of money, and I don’t know if Uncle Pete will give me a “sky’s the limit” order to get one. I’d take Zach Greinke if we could get him. If not, I’d go with a Jordan Zimmermann.
This was a whole lot of fun, and thanks to The Baseball Bloggess for a great set of questions. Hope my answers provide some laughs, and some insight into why I love the game of baseball.