I’m a horrible blogger

Well, I haven’t posted for a long while and that’s my fault. The last few months have been busy but I am now a college graduate and I’ve just been a little lazy. So, this post is just me promising some posts soon. I have some fun ideas to fill the time between now and Spring Training and Opening Day.

For now I will make a comment on recent Orioles departures. I love Nick Markakis and I will miss him but I can’t help blame the Orioles front office. They made an offer that he turned down in exchange for another with the Braves, however this long-time Oriole left and the O’s received nothing in return. The Orioles failed to give Kakes a qualifying offer, as they did to one time O Nelson Cruz, so that Markakis’ departure would result in a draft pick for the Orioles. Of course maybe DD thought Kakes wouldn’t depart and thought the QO wasn’t needed but hindsight is always 20/20.

I still feel that this Orioles team is fantastic and can win the AL East again but that’s not without a lot of hard work. I love this team and I’m counting the days until Opening Day.

A little update

So baseball season is over and I’m running out of things to say.

I’ve considered switching over my layout so I don’t feel guilty about writing about football with an MLB blog set-up but I love baseball the most so I’ll stick with this for now.

I’m in my final semester of college and coming up on some stressful times so my posts will be scarce for the next few weeks. I’ll try to comment on post-season awards and such but I can’t make any promises.

I want to thank all my readers for being so awesome and helping me get on to MLB’s top 50 fan blogs my first month of existence, and hopefully for my second as well.

Thanks again and I hope to find time to write, and something to write about, soon.

For One Day, We Were All Cardinals Fans

For one day, we were all Cardinals fans.

That may sound strange but it is the best way I could put it. On Sunday, October 26, Oscar Taveras, a top Cardinals prospect, was killed along with his girlfriend in an automobile accident. For the next 24 hours, everyone in the baseball community was showing their support for the Cardinals organization as well as offering their thoughts and prayers for friends and families and to everyone grieving this loss.

It wasn’t just that this one guy had the potential to be a big star in the Major Leagues but also his age. At only 22 years old, a life was ended. I’m only 21 and that fact alone freaked me out. We never know when our last day will be.

Just like after the Virginia Tech Massacre, we came together to support one another, putting aside petty differences like what team we cheer for. Baseball is a team sport and the league, and its fans stand together and support the Cardinals organization and their fans as the process what had happened and the future without this great prospect.

Time will heal all wounds and hope that come opening day the Cardinals can honor Taveras and play on like he would want them to.

Season Wrap Up/ Free Agent Talk

I never wanted to see this season end. I loved every second of watching this team play and I cannot wait until Opening Day 2015, so I can see them again.

The way it ended most definitely hurt, but for most of my life I expected the losses, it only hurts because I have a team to expect wins from.

In 2012, my heart broke into a million pieces at the end of the ALDS, I didn’t know how handle that defeat, especially to the Yankees. I didn’t remember the Orioles reaching the playoffs, I was only 3, and so losing was all I knew.

In 2013, it hurt when we didn’t make the playoffs but not nearly as much as 2012. We had put together 2 consecutive winning seasons and the outlook for the future was very bright.

Now, its 2014 and “experts” are predicting the Orioles to finish with a below .500 record and back in the AL East’s basement. There were moments in the season that the team made this look like a possibility. That was until the all-star break. The team was looking at a tough stretch of West Coast games and it felt like fans didn’t think they could do it. But they did, they just kept winning. And to help make matters better, the Blue Jays and Yankees were losing. And by the time August rolled around, I felt pretty confident that this team was not only making the playoffs but will win the division.

The magic was strong this season. The Orioles went 14-6 in extra inning games, not as magical as 2012 but the magic was there. Not to mention, the clutch hits, the big innings and the walk off celebrations; pure magic.

I loved every minute of this season, and the loss at the end didn’t hurt nearly as much as 2012, because I still have so much hope for this team. The things they achieved even without Wieters, Machado and Davis surpassed expectations. Now in 2015, with all three of those players back in the line-up I only except more and better things from this team.

They have the talent, the commitment, and the heart to win it all and I will be cheering for them the entire way. I will be counting the days until the 2015 season starts but until then here are some early off-season thoughts.

JJ Hardy was signed to an extension and like Adam Jones and Buck Showalter he is signed through 2018. But there are other’s that were key parts, or had a decent sized role in this season who are free agents this offseason.

First, Nick Markakis. A guy who was a first round draft pick by the Orioles, albeit as a pitcher, he has been with the team since day one and I’d like to see it stay that way. There is talk that the option in his contract may not be picked up but I have a feeling Nick wants to stay in Baltimore as much we want him to and a deal will be made.

Next, Nelson Cruz. Many considered him a bargain signing last off-season but it was probably one of the smartest moves made by Dan Duquette so far in his time with the Orioles. Negotiations began before the season concluded and Cruz has been vocal about wanting to stay an Oriole so I have a strong feeling that although the league’s leader in home runs for 2014 will get plenty of offers, he will continue to play in orange and black for years to come.

Delmon Young. Young, or Delmonster as redditors referred to him, was not an everyday player for the Orioles but he definitely had an impact. While I’d like to see him come back he’d only continue to be a bench player with the occasional start and I feel his performance this past season will lead to better offers and possibly a starting job on teams that are in need of a DH or possibly an outfielder.

Now both Andrew Miller and Kelly Johnson are true free agents this off-season. While they both had a role in the second half of the season, Miller has made comments of wanted to return to Boston and Johnson could possibly resign but he’s a “floater” and will probably receive a handful of offers.

I can’t wait for the season to start again, and I hope that I can be apart of the organization. I graduate in December and my goal is to work for a Major League team and I will do what I can to be there, may that be trying to get into the MLB Fan Cave or even as a ball girl; I will achieve my dream one day, but for now I’m just a fan giving her POV.

Life as a female sports fan

Yeah, I could talk about the post season, but I’ll do that later. Yeah, I could talk about the Bears and their lack of defense but I’ll save that for later in the season. This time I want to just talk about my life as a female sports fan.

For most of my life, people have placed stereotypes on girls like me who love sports. Some think that I only like sports to impress guys; others assume I must be a lesbian, and even still people assume I watch sports to just look at the cute guys. None of these are true, well I do like looking at the cute guys but that’s not the only reason I watch.

Baseball is by far my favorite sport, I love everything about it but I also enjoy football, basketball, and almost all other sports, either watching, playing or both. But no matter what sport I’m talking about I always receive shock when talking to a guy.

They are surprised that I know so much, or that I’m able to understand the game so well. It’s almost never just a conversation about sports, well unless I’m talking to my dad or brother.

I’ve grown used to the response I receive for being a female sports fan, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I often get pushed into the friend zone by guys, and I can’t talk sports with the majority of my female friends because they don’t care or don’t understand what I’m talking about. It’s rough but I’m not going to pretend that I don’t love sports or don’t understand them, just to get people to like me.

Sometimes I enjoy the shock I see on someone’s face because I broke a stereotype in their mind, but at times the guy can be condescending about my knowledge of sports and that really bothers me.

At times, being a sports fan has brought me positives. It makes me stand out, and when I’m at a baseball game the shock I receive doesn’t lead to condescension but rather insightful conversation.

Sports make everyday worth living. I love watching and playing and I wouldn’t dare change who I am and what I love for anyone. I always joke that in a relationship, a deal breaker is if the guy doesn’t like baseball but truth, my love for the game is so strong that the relationship probably wouldn’t last anyway if the guy dislikes the love of my life.

Hopefully as time passes, being a female sports fan doesn’t come with those wrongful stereotypes or with shock because I just love sports and I want to be able to share that with the world without the condescension.

Just a quick update

So I just wanted to make this post to keep any followers updated. I am in my final semester of college so I am very busy and right now I have very little time to dedicate to an entire blog post every week. I am going to try to make little posts like this on weeks I can’t write anything extensive but I can’t make any promises simply because school comes first. I hope that this doesn’t discourage anyone from following my blog.

As a quick sports note. I cannot be any happier about my Orioles than I am right now. Sunday I walked around campus following the game with the biggest smile on my face, hoping everyone saw my Orioles gear and me. I will be wearing something Orioles related everyday this week and will be watching every game with the enthusiasm of being there – even though I’m in Illinois.

A bone to pick with Retirement Tours

These last three seasons, MLB has been plagued by a phenomenon known as the “Retirement Tour.”

2012 saw Chipper Jones.

2013 saw Mariano Rivera.

Now 2014 is suffering through Derek Jeter.

I can also mention to a lesser extent Paul Konerko but that is a retirement tour I don’t have as big an issue with and I’ll get to that later.

What all of these men have in common is the strong possibility of becoming Hall of Famers, however of course most of the media is presenting them as “sure things.” I can’t argue that, for the most part all of these men played the game to the best of their abilities and surpassed the expectations bestowed upon them. But do we really need to spend an entire season saying “goodbye?”

There have been “retirement tours” of sorts in the past as such with Cal Ripken, who announced his retirement mid-season, but nothing as extravagant as these past three seasons have been. And they have only grown with each season.

Chipper Jones was the first. I thought it was cute and a nice idea to honor a guy who played the game the right way and was likely a first-ballot hall of famer.

Then Mariano Tour followed. This is where is really started to get out of hand. The presents started to become more elaborate and creative. Also, it started to feel like it was mandatory. Then at the all-star game, he was given this over the top introduction and the game ended with Mariano winning an undeserved All-Star MVP award – it felt like he won simply because he was retiring.

Now it has come to Jeter. This tour has been the worst of the worst. Push aside the fact that I don’t like the Yankees and this tour is still unbearable. Some of the presents have been cute and all but it feels like it’s a requirement for all teams to give this one player, who never played for their team, as much attention as possible.

I mentioned Paul Konerko earlier, and what many people don’t realize is that he is also retiring this season. He has had a retirement tour of sorts, but one that is much more subtle and more respectable too. The teams showering him with gifts are much fewer and not as much a mandatory process as it feels with Jeter. For example, in Tampa Bay, the Rays presented Jeter with a kayak painted with the Yankee pinstripes and his iconic number 2, however for Konerko, the Rays showed a video. While Konerko does not have as much name recognition as Jeter, nor is he consider a lock for the HoF as Jeter is, but he is a franchise player who means a lot to the White Sox.

In my opinion, the tour that Konerko has had makes much more sense. The teams that are honoring him are mostly divisional rivals that faced him very regularly. For the other teams in the league, the idea that the Rays had and executed – the video – seems fitting.

But also this Jeter love fest has gone beyond just having opposing teams honor him in his last game played on their field. The Yankees are treating him like a dying man, putting a patch in his honor on all the Yankee uniforms and hats, an honor generally bestowed upon those who have passed. In addition, Gatorade altered their logo for the Yankees clubhouse, using Jeter’s number 2.

This is all just too much. It was cute with Chipper, it started to lose its cute with Mariano, and with Jeter it has become outright unbearable. The season-long goodbyes are just too much. The player is not dying, just retiring. I understand honoring players like the ones I mentioned but there is no need to worship the player like he’s the Pope.

17 years in the making

This week I was jealous of my mom, very jealous.

Going to school in Illinois makes it hard to go to Orioles’ games when I’m at school, you know 800 miles away. I was very lucky to able to attend 5 games at Camden Yards this summer as well as two games in Chicago (Thanks again, Mom), but this week despite how much I really wanted to (and still do) I couldn’t go to Oriole Park at Camden Yards and watch my Orioles clinch the AL East.

My mom told me on Monday that she bought tickets to the Tuesday and Wednesday games, pretty much guaranteeing that she would see the Orioles not only clinch a playoff spot but also become the American League East Champions. For the first time in my memory the Orioles are AL East champions, and last time that happened I was only 3.

When I picked my university, the orioles were still living in the cellar of the AL East. Not many things have me regretting my choice in school, but the Orioles in the last 3 seasons have, especially around this time of year. Illinois is not ideal for an Orioles fan but it didn’t keep me from loving the team, just from watching them.

Watching the game Tuesday night on my laptop was one of the greatest things I’ve experienced, even if I wasn’t there in person like my mom was. I also loved experiencing the events that unfolded with my fellow redditors on /r/Orioles. Knowing that the excitement and happiness that brought me to tears was shared by so many others just made it even better.

Today—Wednesday— I was decked out in Orioles gear seen here and wish I could have worn more. I wanted everyone on campus to know the Orioles are my team and that I am proud of them.

Even with my jealousy of my mom being in attendance, this smile has not left my face. I love this team with all my heart and I can’t wait to cheer them on in October.

A Word on the Ray Rice Incident

I want to address this not because it’s a hot button issue but because I almost feel like I have a unique opinion. And what I am talking about is Ray Rice and the elevator incident.

I use the word incident because I don’t know how else to describe it. What he did was horrendous and there is no excuse. However it would be this way regardless of whose face he punched. People act that because of who he is, and who he punched that there should be a difference in how it should be treated, either more harshly or not; it should not make a difference.

Domestic violence is an issue that should not exist but there is evil in this world. But with this issue, what people seem to ignore is that while woman may make up the majority of victims of domestic violence it is not impossible to see a woman as the perpetrator.

Now hypothetically, what if Janay Rice—and I use Rice because she did marry him a few weeks after the incident—was the one who knocked out Ray. What would the story be? That Ray Rice is weak? Or that he isn’t a real man? But why? Why does the story change if the woman is the one throwing the punch? It shouldn’t. If the video had shown Janay dragging Ray out of that elevator, the issue of domestic violence might not even been mentioned because the media would focus on the fact that Ray Rice was knocked out but not why.

The other side is, what if Ray Rice had done this to his brother? It’s still domestic violence, but it would be Ray hitting another man. Would that make the punishment any different? Most likely it would.

I am not excusing what Ray Rice did in any way. I feel that he should be more harshly punished than he was but not because of who he is but rather because the punishment he received was not one a regular person in that situation would have received. But rather than discuss what he did I rather discuss the media bias and stigma that exists with this type of story.

One last comment I want to make is on what happened after the incident. Not only did Janay stay with Rice but also married him and actually apologized for him. Yet this seemed to only be a secondary story. I would have liked to see more investigative reporting into why that happened.

Everyone has his or her own opinion on this incident. This is just part of mine.

My Love

            This first post is going to be pretty simple, there will be no predictions, or news or anything groundbreaking; just me and my love for baseball and the Orioles. So be aware I may ramble.

            I’ve been a fan of baseball my entire life. I’ve always loved the game and defended it to my core to those who thought otherwise. I live by the quote from Bill Veeck “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball,” and nearly everyday the necklace I wear around my neck is that of a baseball glove. I can watch a game no matter how long it runs, even though I will occasionally yawn but not because I’m bored. I love the game of baseball with all my heart and I don’t know what I would do without it. However the love for my team wasn’t so simple.

            I have always loved my Orioles, however there was a time that when people would ask, I said I was a Cubs fan. To many that actually seems worse but to me I was trying to be like my big brother. Both him and my dad are cubs fans, both born in Chicago but my dad actually raised there. Also, for years like 2003 and 2008 there was hope for the Cubs, just the curse got in the way. I still like the Cubs and probably always will, even if my dad is giving up hope, but the Orioles hold my heart.

            Born and raised in Maryland with an Orioles fan for a mother, the Orioles were the team for me. For other sports, Chicago may have a hold on me but with baseball, my true love, the Orioles are number one. In recent years, this love has just grown exponentially because I have been able to experience true joy and happiness of having a great team both on and off the field to cheer for. These past three years have not only solidified my love of the Orioles, which I know will continue regardless of future success, but it also helped me realize what I wanted to do with my life post graduation: work for a Major League club.

            I am a public relations major so when I graduate, which is in December—OMG SO CLOSE—sorry about the freak-out, but when I do graduate I want to work in the PR field hopefully for a team but I have hope that one day I work in a GM’s office. I love learning about baseball and I hold on to the belief that just because I am a girl doesn’t mean I couldn’t help run a team.

            Now back to the Orioles. Like I said earlier, these last few years have reaffirmed my love for the game and the team and one of the reasons why is because of the Orioles fan base. In 2012, I started being active on twitter during the games, following writers and other fans and tweeting often about the game. Then a few months ago I joined Reddit and discovered the Orioles subreddit page and fell in love with that community. I love being able to talk baseball while watching the game and when nothing is on, but now that I am back at school, I don’t have many people to talk to and Reddit has taken that place. I am a regular visitor to the threads for each game and it’s fun and has become my new “addiction” so to say. Now as the Orioles head towards playing in October, I can’t wait to participate in the threads for festivus games.

            I honestly believe that the Orioles have the best fans in baseball and that is from first hand experience with the amazing people that call themselves fans of that baseball team in Baltimore. We probably have a few bad seeds, but what fan base doesn’t, and the majority of those donning orange and black know what it means to be a real fan and also how to welcome others into the fan base.