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As you have probably figured out by now, I am a huge baseball fan and have been my entire life. I grew up with baseball. The game of baseball will always have a special place in my heart. I met my now fiancé when I was an intern for the Akron Aeros in 2008 and he took video for the team. We always bonded over baseball as we would spend very late nights at Canal Park. Despite being at the stadium 24/7, our first date was at a Cleveland Indians game – Rock N Blast to be exact. We go back every single year for Rock N Blast fireworks. It’s kind of our thing 🙂

IndiansSpendingNeedless to say, I look forward to baseball season every year. This year in particular. I finally saw Indians management / ownership show they care for our team during the offseason. It was great to see them go out and spend some money! (Seriously people, the Dolan’s don’t spend money – ever.) Continue Reading »

Bragging Rights

As some of you know, I’m an only child. I never got to brag about the amazing things that my siblings did.

Since I don’t have siblings I would like to take this opportunity to brag about my little cousin, Andrew Bailey. (When I say “little cousin,” it’s an age reference. That boy has been taller than me for years).

Andrew is going in to his junior year at Cleveland State University (CSU). Did I mention he’s an awesome golfer?

2009 OHSAA Boys State Championship

While attending St. Ignatius High School, he helped lead the golf team to three straight sectional and district titles. The team finished third at the OHSAA State Boys Golf Tournament his junior and senior years. His senior year, let me tell you, the weather downright sucked at States. It was rainy, windy and cold. But, we walked the course with umbrellas and ponchos cheering him on.

He won the 2010 Northern Ohio Junior PGA Championship which qualified him to play in the 35th Junior PGA Championship in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was so excited about his Northern Ohio Junior PGA Championship win that I made him take a picture with his trophy in the backyard. (I hope I didn’t just embarrass him by telling everyone that). I sent the picture, along with a press release, to the local Cleveland Plain Dealer writer and the result an article all about Andrew!

Our family with Andrew at the Junior PGA Championship.

Our family traveled to Fort Wayne for the Junior PGA Championship. What an awesome experience! I could easily see Andrew golfing at courses like that, in tournaments like that, until he can’t swing a club anymore. And by not swinging a club anymore, I mean from old age. If he has anything to do with it he’s going to be swinging a golf club until his arm falls off!

Andrew started on the CSU golf team in fall 2010. Dare I say it, he was a stud. My proof? First team All-Horizon League, Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and co-medalist at the Horizon League Championship. The Horizon League Championship was played over Easter weekend. I remember being huddled around the computer watching live stat updates to see how Andrew was doing. To say we were beyond excited when he won co-medalist is an understatement. The team won the Horizon League Championship and he has a nice big championship ring to show for it! You want more proof that he was a stud that year? He played in 11 events and finished top five in four of them and top ten in eight. And that was just his first year of college!!

He continued his “reign of awesomeness” during his sophomore year. He had seven top 20 finishes and two top ten finishes. He was CSU’s top finisher in five events. He won the Cleveland State Invitational at Canterbury Golf Club. Did I mention that he led the team with a 73.8 scoring average; which is the third lowest scoring average in school history! If that wasn’t enough, he was named first team All-Horizon League and won Horizon League Player of the Year!!

This summer, Andrew qualified for the Sunnehanna Amateur Tournament for Champions. The tournament was started in 1954. Past champions include John Cook, Ben Crenshaw, Scott Verplank, Lucas Glover, Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler. Those who qualified but didn’t win include Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods. To think that Andrew played in the same tournament as those household names is awesome.

My PeRspective

If you couldn’t tell, I’m the proudest cousin around! It’s amazing to see the things my family members can accomplish. CSU officially starts their season on September 2nd at the Turning Stone Tiger Intercollegiate in New York. I want to wish Andrew and the entire CSU team good luck for a healthy and successful season! I couldn’t be more proud of Andrew. He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and he’ll go far. As long as the weather is decent, we’re going to watch him at Canterbury in October. (This should scare him. I tend to make signs and bring them with me to cheer!)

Keep your eyes and ears open, folks. Andrew Bailey will be a household name. You will see him on tour.

I really hope this post doesn’t totally embarrass Andrew too much. What can I say, I like to brag. One last thing, specifically for Andrew: Be the ball. You da man!!

Andrew at OHSAA State Championship and Junior PGA Championship

What’s A Flash?

If you haven’t heard, the Kent State baseball team is on a roll. They have advanced to the Super Regional for the first time in program history! And, they are currently ranked 13 in the nation! How awesome is that?

Despite that being exciting beyond all belief, that isn’t the point of this post.

Check Your Work

Being a graduate of Kent State, I was always taught to check, double check and then triple check my work. You would think, as a journalist, that would be something you would always do.

Not the case for a certain journalist out of Oregon. See, this journalist (I may start calling him an author) was writing an article about the Kent

If the author really visited the website like he claims, this was on the homepage June 3. It says Golden Flashes. His article was posted June 4.

State baseball team facing his Oregon Ducks in the upcoming Super Regional. He wrote an article referring to Kent State as the Golden Eagles on every reference. As a “journalist” wouldn’t you make sure you were referring to the team you were writing about correctly? I would think so.

It took an uproar on Twitter and multiple comments on the article to make the author realize he had messed up, big time. His excuse? Note: Originally I called the Flashes the Eagles. In actuality, their mascot is a golden eagle named Flash, who is prominently featured on the team’s website. “

Now, the author stated he was on the website. Wouldn’t you check the website to make sure you were calling Kent State by the correct name? The University of Miami are the Hurricanes and they have a duck mascot. The Alabama Crimson Tide have an elephant as a mascot. Georgetown Hoyas have a bulldog as a mascot. See where I’m going with this? If you want to see a weird mascot, check out Zippy! (I laugh at my Kent State humor).

The author also turned around the next day and wrote that: “What they’ll find is a team on a 20-game hitting streak thanks to a powerful lineup…” It’s a shame that he didn’t check his facts again. What team in the nation hasn’t had a 20-game hitting streak? That means we’d have to be shut out 20 straight games! Kent has a 20-game win streak – which is the longest in the nation.

Don’t Be Stupid on Twitter

Now, if someone points out your mistakes, you shouldn’t take to Twitter to insult that person. As an author, you should say you made an honest mistake and make the necessary changes. It should be left at that. But oh no, this incident was taken further. You shouldn’t take to Twitter and say: “Kent State fans need to get over it, already. I thought you were the Eagles.”

I also wouldn’t recommend tweeting: “The only joke are you clowns freaking out over the silliest of things …”

Unfortunately, those were actually the authors tweets.

Fighting with fans, the calling of names, and retweeting about re-branding isn’t professional! I was upset that my school was called the wrong name, but I got over it. I didn’t start hate tweeting the author!

My simple tweet to the author letting him know that he WILL know our name once we beat Oregon!

My PeRspective

If you are going to publish an article – CHECK YOUR FACTS!!! I can’t stress that point enough. Why would you want to publish something that is sloppy and poorly written? I wouldn’t want my name associated with something like that.

You always have to remember that anyone can read what you tweet. If you put it out there, it’s out there forever. You should always be professional. If you have in your Twitter profile that you work for Company A, you are going to be associated with Company A. I’m pretty sure Company A would appreciate it if you didn’t attack people on Twitter and represented them well. No?

If there’s there’s three things that you take away from this post they should be:

  1. Always check your work
  2. Don’t be stupid on Twitter
  3. We’re the KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES 🙂

The cuddly and loveable Flash, our mascot.

Let’s be clear, I am in NO WAY a bandwagon Indians fan. I have been an Indians fan since I was born.

At 15 months old in my Cory Snyder outfit.

They didn’t make girls Indians-themed outfits when I was younger so my parents dressed me in boy clothes. (I had a cute Cory Snyder outfit, at right).

The Past

I attended my first Indians game in 1992 when I was five years old. It was at Municipal Stadium. I was a fan from the very beginning. I even got the late, great Dick Jacobs autograph at a game I went to. He was the nicest man. I remember being so excited after meeting him.

The Indians were good back in the day. Everyone went to games. My family and I would “road trip with the Tribe.” We would travel to whatever city the Indians were playing in and be proud to sport our Tribe gear when we walked into the opposing stadium. We went to Pittsburgh, Toronto (numerous times) and Minnesota. It was always so hard to get tickets in Cleveland!

My first road game was in Toronto. I loved going there to watch the Tribe. I met Sandy Alomar in a Japanese steakhouse, took pictures with Omar Vizquel, got Kenny Loften’s autograph and played catch with Steve Karsey from the stands to the dugout. I was living the awesome life of a Tribe fan. Those are memories I look back on that I will cherish forever.

The Present

The Indians are on a roll. <- true statement

It’s great to see the team FINALLY winning. As a city, Cleveland deserves this. As Indians fans, we deserve this.

Being adorable in 1990.

It’s great to see fans start coming thinking about coming to games. (We need more fans. Pack the place EVERY night!) I want people to be passionate about Cleveland Indians baseball. Heck, I still went to multiple games a year even when the team sucked!

I worked for the Akron Aeros, the Indians AA team. It’s awesome to see so many of the guys that played in Akron when I was there up in Cleveland getting their shot in the big leagues. I get so excited when they get called up and are doing well. And yes, Vinnie Pestano was just as awesome in Akron as you think he is. I got to be on the field when Jeanmar Gomez came back from throwing a perfect game on the road. The fans celebrated him and his accomplishment. I also worked for the Aeros when Matt LaPorta made his debut. I got to watch him come out onto the field in his USA Olympic Baseball uniform. I also got to witness the players in the dugout die laughing when they played the Olympic music as his walk-up song for his first at bat that game. 🙂

The Future

As a Tribe fan, it can only get better. (Knock on wood, fingers crossed). I am the proud owner of tickets for 6 games, so far, for this season. (Hey now, I don’t make very much and paying back school sucks). I have invested in the Tribe and I believe in their future. And really, who else can say their team has its own drummer?

With Omar in Toronto in 1999. We later got him to autograph the picture.

I know as fans we can get frustrated with ownership. I’ve been there, I’m still there. But if I don’t think positive, I can’t expect people around me to be positive.

I see promising players in the Indians farm system. Francisco Lindor, of the Lake County Captains, had a career-high five RBIs on May 14. Nick Hagadone has been great pitching in Cleveland. And as much as it annoys me, LeVon Washington tweeting #WASHTIME with every tweet is sometimes amusing. He types in all capital letters, making his tweets seem urgent. It seems like all of the Indians on Twitter follow him. And he lists his location as the “dugout eating gummy worms.” At least he has a sense of humor. (And I totally picture him saying his tweets as Willie Mays Hayes from Major League).

My PeRspective

Call me crazy, but I see a team that could be in contention. (“Melissa, you’re crazy!”). I know it’s still early in the season, but I have hope. I have to start somewhere, so it might as well be with hope.

The giveaways the Indians have are usually nice. The Indians said T-shirt giveaways are one of the most popular they offer. Not for me, I’m too

With Sandy Alomar in Toronto in 1999.

small to wear an extra large T-shirt. It looks more like a dress. I LOVE the bobble heads, it’s so much fun to collect those. The student id nights are a great way to get a younger crowd into the stadium. I’m pretty sure dollar dog night draws fans in. Year after year I think the Indians have one of the greatest fireworks shows around. I’ve gone to Rock N Blast for the past four years and have tickets to go again this year!

I’m excited for a summer full of baseball. I get excited watching Vinnie jog sprint from the bullpen to come in and pitch. He gets me fired up! I laugh when Hafner comes up to the plate with the top buttons of his jersey not hooked, and the Chief peeking out from on his T-shirt. I love hearing “BEER GUY” echo through the stadium and on television. I love watching Pure Rage celebrate after the final out of the game. The sound of John Adam’s drum gets my heart racing.

I want to fill that stadium up every game. I want to hear fans screaming for their favorite players. I want to complain about how crowded the concourse is – because that means the fans have arrived! I want to have a giant 90s-style Indians celebration after each game they win! (Pretty sure I’m reliving Major League or something here). But dang it, I want my Major League moment.

Will you be there this summer to help me have my Major League movie moment with the Indians?

At the 2007 Tribe Pride Watch Party on October 13, 2007 in the stadium. The game was broadcast on the Jumbotron. It was cold. The game went extra innings until about 1:40 a.m. I stayed the entire time. I love my Tribe.

*Disclaimer: Yes, I posted some embarrassing, and some cute, pictures. It’s to prove to anyone that reads this blog that I was in fact an Indians fan from the beginning. No one can question my alliance or fandom any longer. When the Indians win the World Series, I will be proud that I was a fan from the beginning. At that point, the bandwagon will be waaaaaaaay too full.

Basketball season is coming to an end. As a Cavs fan, the season has been over for a long time now. Despite my team not having a chance at the playoffs, I had the privilege of attending the last Cavs home game this season. And I got to enjoy it from floor seats. FREE floor seats.

How did I get free seats you ask? A few weeks back I saw the Cavs (@cavs) tweet out a contest. All I had to do was follow Sugardale Foods (@SugardaleFoods) on Twitter and fill out the entry form. It was as simple as that. If you were selected as the winner, I got two floor seats to an upcoming game and a year supply of Sugardale hot dogs.

The Call

I was at work one day and saw that I had a missed call on my cell phone. I googled the number, and it showed no results for a match. I saw the caller had left a voicemail. It was Sugardale letting me know that I had been selected as the Cleveland Cavaliers “Follow @SugardaleFoods to Win” Sweepstakes winner. Needless to say, I thought it was a joke! I am NOT lucky. The voicemail continued to tell me that I won two floor seats to the Cavaliers vs Washington Wizards fan appreciation night game and a year supply of Sugardale beef franks.

All of my friends, family and co-workers were beyond excited to hear that I won a year supply of hot dogs. All they could think about was how many hot dogs a year supply was. For those of you wondering, it’s 1 lb. of Sugardale beef franks for 52 weeks. In total, I received 52 coupons for free hot dogs. They are even personalized for me!

For weeks now, I’ve gotten countless hot dogs recipes sent to me. Who knew there were so many options for hot dogs?!?

Despite the Cavs playing like a D-League team their last game, I had a great time! Floor seats we’re awesome! We had access to a private bar, hor d’oeuvres, lots of clean bathrooms with no waiting, and nice padded seats. As it turns out, we sat by Browns player Phil Taylor, former Brown Bernie Kosar, Cavaliers great Big Z and Cavs GM Chris Grant. It was a star-studded event 🙂

My PeRspective

Social media is great. It connects so many people and provides many opportunities. It’s crazy to think that all I did was follow @SugardaleFoods on Twitter and I won floor seats and a year supply of hot dogs!

I had such a great time at the game and couldn’t help but tell people about Sugardale. Everyone I work with is now drooling over hot dogs and may have gone out to buy some when talking about winning the sweepstakes with me. It’s a great promotion for Sugardale. And who knows, once I try some of these hot dogs it may make me brand loyal.

The only down side, it was fan appreciate night at the Cavs game and I did not win anything! Maybe I should take that up with Dan Gilbert.

Enjoying our floor seats at the Cavs game!

*Please note, Sugardale Foods and the Cleveland Cavaliers did not ask me to write this post. Neither organization gave me anything monetary. I am responsible for all state and local taxes associated with the sweepstakes.

 

We’re Talking Baseball

As each hour passes, we grow closer and closer to the start of baseball (Indians!) season! For some reason I’m overly excited for the season to start this year.

I’ve decided to try something new this baseball season…..fantasy baseball.

I figured when I tried fantasy football I won the first season so I may as well give fantasy baseball a try. Football was easy. I changed my lineup once a week. All I had to worry about was injuries and those pesky Thursday night game.  I’m not really sure that I fully understand how the world of fantasy baseball works. Do I really have to change my lineup multiple times and not just once a week? Really? I’m not sure it can keep my attention for an entire season. Do you play fantasy baseball?

The Draft

I had my fantasy baseball draft last Saturday. Let me tell you that was sure an experience! I had absolutely NO idea what I was doing. Did I pick players because I recognized their name? Yes, yes I did. I’m a baseball fan but there are way too many players to know who plays what position for what team. I picked guys I had heard of but when it got towards the end of the draft I just started clicking away. I REALLY started clicking away when it came to pitchers. I really have no idea who some of those guys are! And that is how I drafted my fantasy team. What do you think of my team?

I see that fantasy baseball has a lot more rules than fantasy football. (There really weren’t any rules in football). My pitchers have to pitch a certain number of innings throughout the week. I have starters, relievers and pitchers. Huh? I’m lost already. I have a bench, but I’m not sure what to do with those players. I may have a lot of players; I just hope I have the right combination of players – talent and enough for their positions.

My PeRspective

Who really benefits from fantasy baseball you ask? Advertisers. When I log on to Yahoo! there are ads all over the place! Ads on the homepage, ads on the league page and ads on my team page. I’m sure advertisers shell out a large sum in order to be seen in prime spots. There’s everything from credit cards, to pizza, to fitness. It seems these ads may be aimed at men, no?

Who else benefits from fantasy baseball? Baseball teams. I always watched the Indians, and whatever team Casey Blake was on. Now, I may find myself watching other teams. If I was really into fantasy baseball, I could pay for a subscription to a team’s website to live stream a game. I may even go see that team if they are in town. I’m sure the owners wouldn’t mind getting some more money. You may even develop a new favorite player. Teams would be gaining more fans. With that, you may start buying that players jersey and other items. Owners would sure love that, too.

And there’s someone else that benefits, the people. I’m sure this is a way for friends to bond. It’s a friendly, sometimes not so friendly, competition. There’s always bragging rights at stake. And I sure hope that I get those bragging rights 🙂

Enjoying downtown before an Indians game last year.

We’re three weeks into the NBA season. How many games have you watched?

Yeah…….I haven’t really watched many either.

The NBA has kind of lost something for me this year. I can’t exactly put my finger on it. Is it because my team was garbage last season and that made me unmotivated to tune in this season? Yes, it may be. Or it could be the fact that the NBA lockout drug out for soooooooo long and it took away part of the season! Yup, that’s probably it.

I watched the NBA draft. I was so excited when we got the #1 pick! I mean, “What’s not to like?” 🙂

I guess I’m excited for the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers. We’re rebuilding, right? I recognize most of the names on our roster but I’m not too sure about a few. But dang it I’m excited when I watch Kyrie and Tristan play! They are just something else!!

Are people in cities with championship teams pumped that the NBA season is going on?

All-Star Game

What about the NBA All-Star game, anyone excited for that? I feel like the season is shortened so much that the All-Star game seems kind of pointless.

I guess it seems kind of pointless every year to me. I really enjoy watching the dunk contest, but I want to see some good old-fashioned talented dunks! Take away the gimics and take me back to the roots! Nothing compares to a stellar dunk!

Take me back to the high-top fades, the short shorts and the REAL basketball players!

My PeRspective

The Cavs show a lot of promise for the next few seasons as long as they keep adding key players.Maybe if I get to a game this season I will be more excited about the season. I want to get to a game, I want to see Kyrie in person.

But what do you think about the rest of the NBA? Did the lockout just kill the season? I’m just not excited to channel surf and find a game like I normally am. I’d much rather find some college basketball on!

What do you think the NBA has to do to get fans excited again?

Downtown Cleveland