Without jinxing us, I just want to say, 13-6. ?Nuff said.
Many of your comments have asked my feelings on Fantasy Baseball. I have thought about giving it a try for some time but have been hesitant. My hesitation comes from a fear that if I draft my own team, my purist love for the game and my team will take on different motivation.
I?m not particularly concerned with baseball?s game of numbers. I only check the box score if I couldn?t watch the game (which means rarely). In my experience, the dance of baseball is much more compelling. So to begin a fantasy baseball obsession (let?s face it, I?m a passionate girl and would most likely become obsessed) and care more about a player?s individual numbers than a night at the yard or watching a game merely for the love of the game is something that scares me a little bit.
That?s not to say I haven?t imagined my dream team in my head. I?m only saying that I?m not so interested in altering my perspective of the game?s simple beauty. Baseball is enough for me. I guess I am a traditionalist.
There was an interesting lawsuit about a year ago between a small St. Louis company that operates fantasy sports leagues and MLB. MLB made the case that this company should not be permitted to use a player’s name, likeness and stats for their own profit without a license. The St. Louis company countered with the notion that players are public figures, and therefore their stats are public domain.
Even though the court ruled in favor of the fantasy league company, I find this to be an interesting debate. On the one hand, an athlete is indeed a public figure, a celebrity; hence their stats can be used for anything right? After all, are these fantasy sports companies doing anything different than what the tabloids do with celebrities in their magazines? The tabloids sell to advertisers and consumers by using photos and running stories without consent, and make millions of dollars a year off celebrities’ public images. The celebrities are not compensated for this. It just comes with the territory and we accept it as a part of show business. Isn?t it virtually the same concept? On the other hand, athletes are paid for use of their likeness and name for commercial endorsements. If these fantasy sports companies are making millions (needless to say, it?s a billion-dollar industry) off of athletes’ names and stats, shouldn?t they have to monetarily compensate the athletes and be forced to get the license MLB is seeking?
I don?t have the answer. I think we are in an interesting time due to the modern world and the Internet.
I also think there may be a bigger social issue at hand with fantasy sports that may reflect the current trend in a consumer demand for bigger, better and interactive.
Baseball, to me, is about family. Baseball, to me, is about the community. It?s an escape. It?s about a hot summer day and an afternoon game. It?s about listening to the pregame report because you can?t wait for the game to begin. It?s about listening to the postgame report because you don?t want the game to be over. It?s about knowing how your home field grass is cut. It?s about Valdez stealing home to tie up the game in the bottom of the ninth. It?s about feeling like you’re part of the celebration after Russell Martin?s walk-off grand slam. Baseball is already a flight of the imagination. To me, the baseball experience couldn?t be bigger or better and Saturday?s win proved that. It?s perfect . . . just the way it is.
P.S. Maybe Tracy should have positioned Bay in the bullpen Saturday instead of stacking the infield.
Every game I attend, I see these two teenage girls wearing Ethier jerseys. They stand at the foot of the dugout before the first pitch religiously. When Ethier comes to the field, he is always so gracious with them. He chats with them and they swoon. (Update: Thanks to Jon SooHoo of the Dodgers for finding them all this weekend to take the photo above!) It?s a really sweet moment that I look forward to seeing every game upon my arrival.
The other night while I was there watching Ethier make these girls’ day, it got me thinking ?- has free agency affected the female baseball fan? What happens to these girls when it?s Ethier?s time to sign his big contract, Boras is his agent (god forbid) and he goes to another team (god forbid)?
Go with me on this.
In my business, and especially the T.V. side of my business, networks specifically do their best to target the most loyal demographic with their programming. What is the most loyal demographic? The 18-34 year old woman is notably the most loyal fan. Not only are women the most loyal fans, but also they are statistically proven to be the largest consumers. The networks love this because it means they get more money for their airtime. Advertisers paying for
the airtime love this because it means the shows that cater to this demographic (Grey?s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, etc.), have a loyal following that will absorb what they are selling and be loyal consumers to their product.
The way the baseball business is run nowadays, with players coming and going, I wonder how this affects the female baseball fan — the teenager who is a fan because of the player she worships. Or the teenager who grows up watching Lo Duca in blue for six years. How does the way baseball business is run affect the loyal female fan or the potential female fan? And do you think baseball would have more female fans if there were more franchise players signed to longer contracts?
It?s just a theory . . . what do you think?
I look forward to reading your thoughts on this.
Be sure to watch the Bottom Line live studio show on MLB.com at 3:25 p.m. ET on Monday, because I will be talking more baseball then!
While most of your comments have been so supportive of me (thank you for embracing me), I would be remiss if I didn’t say the negative comments have stood out (kind of like a Giants fan at a Dodger game). In particular, I am referring to the comments about my love life (you know who you are).
This will be the first and only time I am going to address this subject so let’s get it out of the way.
First of all, if I were actually attached to every pitcher the press has attached me to, I would be in a hospital or mental ward somewhere — in a straightjacket (that I would of course desperately try to make stylish).
Secondly, even if all the rumors about my MLB love life were true (which they’re not) ?- we should really examine the double standard that is in full effect here. I know for a fact, that there are many MLB players (plural) or athletes in general for that matter who have dated many Screen Actors Guild members. I won’t name names (cough Derek Jeter cough). And yet, these guys are considered cool and we give them props for getting their high profile starlets. On the other hand, women who have dated more than one guy in any profession are easy targets for ridicule. I am speaking personally of course, but I am sure any woman that reads this entry can relate to this double standard and how it may pertain to their lives relative to their own experience.
And I ask you this -? what girl in her right mind wouldn’t want to date a ball player (especially a girl who loves baseball)? They are heroes in the utmost iconic sense. Our heroes. Big, strong men that can save the day; that are sometimes the underdogs we cheer on and have faith in no matter what. We believe in their ability to make our dreams come true on the field. Why wouldn’t I believe that the same might be true off the field?
My social life doesn’t consist of going to clubs like some of my peers. You won’t find me at Hyde or whatever club some of my contemporaries find fashionable at the moment for their social butterfly lifestyles. My social life consists of going to games and through that, I have met a few really great men.
We are all looking for our ?Happily Ever After.? I am still looking for mine. Along my journey, I have been blessed to cross paths with some of my heroes. These experiences have taught me many things not only about the game I love, but also about the game of love.
I have no regrets.
So to all you lazy bloggers and sports journalists who chose to look for the easy target -? I am here for you. Just trying to find my way with a 0-2 count. And even though I know it?s coming, and it?s nowhere near the zone, I will probably swing at that low and away third pitch. But at least I went down swinging.
P.S. Juan Pierre?s bat finally woke up in Arizona!
P.P.S. When will Betemit?s bat wake up?
P.P.P.S. I thought Derek Lowe?s comment about power pitchers doing better at Coors Field was interesting.
P.P.P.P.S. I love that Brady Clark can come off the bench and hit like he?s been playing every day. But . . . why was Lieberthal batting cleanup? Is that some Moneyball thing?
Jeeze. Tough crowd. Yes, I really write this blog. Yes, I am a huge baseball fan. Yes, I?ve read all of your comments that you?ve left for me (ouch). No, this isn?t for publicity. And no, my entries won?t come and go like the other high profile blogs you are referring to (of which I am not aware but shame on them).
I have no way of proving any of this to you except to keep going. You?ll just have to take my word for it. I will hopefully convert the doubters. It will be my mission.
I will now do my best to address some of your comments directly:
- Keith, although Zito and I are still great friends, since I am a Dodger fan, there is no possible way I can help you with this request.
- Christine, all styles (there are many more and the MLB.com Shop will expand) are available for every team but unfortunately, I have no control over what the teams stock to sell in the stadium shops or what MLB.com chooses to sell. My suggestion would be to write MLB.com and express to them that you are disappointed in the selection available for your teams.
- G, I happen to love geeks and I think pocket protectors are hot.
- Bilbo4771, I do think McGwire deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame. And when Bonds hits #754 you absolutely pitch to him.
Anyone that reads this should know the following information about my baseball and me:
- I never leave a game early.
- I love nachos with just cheese and guacamole even though it makes my ankles swell (but I will occasionally partake in a Dodger tofu dog, which if chased by a diet soda gives me the burps for days).
- I cried the first time I saw a fan wearing TOUCH in the stands that wasn?t my mother.
- I grew up watching baseball on my dad?s lap. This is him:
- I participate in the wave whenever possible.
- I am often the one that starts the chant that eventually makes it to your section.
- I have a recurring dream that I am a pitcher but have the yips.
- My favorite present day Dodger is Russell Martin — with Nomar in close second despite his obsessive compulsive batter box habits that make me anxious. Here’s a picture I took of Nomar last year at the All-Star Game:
- My favorite all time player is Roberto Clemente (because of his righteous humanitarian work).
- I hate when the count is 0-2 and the pitcher throws that ball low and away (the batter knows just as well as we do that it?s coming so why not throw it in the zone for the love of God).
- The last time I got star struck was when I saw Ned Colletti at my annual Christmas party for the Mattel Center at UCLA Children?s Hospital. Tommy Lasorda was Santa:
- The Angels billboards all over Los Angeles — and particularly the one of Bartolo Colon on Olympic Blvd (which is on the way to Dodger Stadium I might add) — freaking drive me crazy (am I alone on this?)!!! They should put that billboard on the 15-day DL.
- I am concerned about our outfield defensively and think Gonzo throws like a girl.
- I love baseball because it?s something we all share.
We may disagree. You may think the Cardinals won The World Series while I think the Tigers lost The World Series. You may not like Bonds for cheating while I dislike Bonds for lying about cheating. But baseball is ours and no matter what our differences are, where we come from, what we do for a living, what ethnicity or religion we are, we share a bond. It?s a bond that is cemented by a red-laced ball and the comfort of hearing it land in a glove. All you need is gLove. And for those nine innings, all our differences are irrelevant. In a time when we are so politically divided and as you have confirmed in your comments, tend to disagree, we unite — and all we see is blue.
THERE?S NO SNOW IN BASEBALL!!! Cleveland?s home opener was called due to snow and then even worse, the Indians/Angels series was moved to Milwaukee. The Cleveland Indians Of Milwaukee??? Blasphemy, I tell you. Twins were in Chicago, and the game was postponed because of the cold. The Blue Jays and the Tigers had to postpone because of the wind. The Cubs and Astros were snowed out at Wrigley. Attendance is down. Home runs are down. Hits are down. Will it ever end? So now I am proposing a new rule: Cold-weather cities just shouldn?t host baseball games in April.
That?s it, end of problem. You?re exempt if you play in a dome or have a retractable roof. And do not even think about shortening the season. Schedule cold-weather teams on the road until the weather warms up.
I mean, where is Global Warming when you need it? Can we now admit that the weather is shifting at a dramatic pace? I am fine with most of the other repercussions but when this dramatic shift starts to affect my baseball — it?s time to buy a hybrid.
I am particularly concerned because I didn?t design ski masks for TOUCH, our new MLB women’s apparel line that has just launched at the MLB.com Shop. Next year, I will revisit this as well as maybe designing a compact, girly snow shovel.
Okay. I feel better now.
Honestly, this is what I love about baseball. It?s just like life. The ride. The journey. Every year when the season starts, I think I have a pretty good idea of how the season is going to go. Oh, I think I?m such an expert — I read every magazine, I read MLB.com everyday (OK, maybe four or five times a day), I watch the Spring Training games. And yet despite all the preparation, I realize I simply have no idea what twists or turns the season will take. As much as I try to peer into the future, the future is unpredictable. A ball bounces under a player?s legs, and the Red Sox lose their lead and the World Series. A fan interferes with a ball, and the Cubs lose their lead, and the playoff series. A-Rod finally silences the boo?s and steps up to the plate. That?s baseball. In life, we have our own rhythms, our own ups and downs, our own teammates, and all we can do is hold on and prepare for the challenges along the journey.
I would like to close my first MLB.com blog entry, by paying tribute to the late, great Jackie Robinson. He was clearly a man with amazing ability, but more importantly, a man with remarkable courage. Gandhi once said, ?Be the change you want to see in the world?. I don?t think there is a man who exemplified this sentiment more than Jackie Robinson. And think about this ? the color barrier in baseball was broken only 60 years ago. Look how far we?ve come. Never forget. Never forget.
I would also like to take this opportunity to bring your attention to the great work Jackie?s son, David Robinson is doing to spur social change in Tanzania, continuing his father?s legacy in the noblest of ways. Please take a moment to visit this link.
Until next time . . .