Mood Music - True by Spandau Ballet
The Pinstripe Alley Staff; a mystery wrapped in an enigma cooked in a pizza topped with pepperoni. Have you ever thought to yourselves, "Hey it might be nice to get to know the writers of Pinstripe Alley a little better." If you have, then this is the thread for you. If you have not, then I sincerely apologize for wasting your time here on the internet. Today we bring another new feature to the website: naked chocolate pudding pillow fights. Actually we bring you the new weekly Staff Q&A Sunday thread. There will be no naked chocolate pudding pillow fights. Not yet anyway.
Since I am the resident "I like to get to know people better" writer on Pinstripe Alley, I will be your MC for these weekly staff knowledge threads. The writers will be asked a series of questions so you can get to know us more. Some questions will be serious while others will be silly. In addition to the questions I come up with, we are also hoping for some fan participation as well. If you, our loyal readers, can think of any questions you would like to ask us, be it serious or silly, please feel free. Each week we will pick the best questions asked and answer them to the best of our ability. These threads are meant to be informative as well as fun. On behalf of the staff, we hope you enjoy them as much as you enjoy our articles and other such writing and what not.
Staff Q&A after the jump
1. Tell us a little about yourself and your personality. What do you do now? What are your goals and ambitions in life?
I'm tiny-sized and I laugh a lot. I'm learning to be a lawyer. My goal is to increase awareness about the hardships of lefties being forced to live in a righty's world.
By trade, I'm a teacher, and I'd have given Steve Goldman a giant 'F' in red pen for his nonsensical teacher rant (I kid, Steve). I've been married for a little over a year, and am thankful I to have a wife that puts up and supports my daily nonsense and baseball obsession. I have a lot of goals and ambitions. The problem I encounter is selecting one and really honing in on making it happen (partly because I'm over ambitious, and part scatterbrained). Right now, it's saving money to buy a new house.
I graduated from Gettysburg College in May with a major in History and a minor in Math. If you ask me what living in Virginia was like, you receive -1,863 Internet points. I've been on the job hunt since then, looking particularly at jobs in higher education fundraising and alumni relations. Funemployment.
I've wanted to be a writer my entire life. I can recall being six or seven years old and being asked by adults, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" and I would answer "Writer." The usual answer was, "Oh, you'll grow out of that." As I got older, the answer became, "That's nice, but you'll never make any money." At times, I believed those answers and tried other things. I thought about law school. I went to graduate school to get an advanced degree in history. In the end, though, the longer I wasn't telling stories or making an argument in some form, the worse I felt. It took a long time, but in the end I've been one of the lucky ones who has gotten to make a living with his pen.
As for my personality, that's a hard thing for me to describe without sounding egotistical. Who, if asked, wouldn't claim they were all-around wonderful? A: Probably someone who is as self-critical as I am, but never mind; I will try to make the best of it: I am inquisitive, skeptical, and loyal--I don't burn bridges easily. I'm the kind of person who prefers a few close friends to having a million acquaintances, a quality that makes me a misanthrope in this highly-connected era. I'm far too thin-skinned to make my living in public, but I somehow have ended up doing that anyway.
My goal is to keep writing. I'm working on a novel now, and I very much want to see that finished and published in the near future. It's not my first, but perhaps this time will be the charm.
I have just started a career as an engineer. When I'm not starting a career as an engineer, I steal bicycles from orphaned children and distribute off-brand cigarettes. I want to go to space.
I took a personality test in a college class one time. It came back saying something about me being a high introvert or something to that effect. I'm terrible at taking tests, but that seems pretty accurate. It's not that I dislike being around people, it's that I dislike being around large groups of people I don't know; mainly because I can scientifically prove 73.8% of any large group of people are complete morons. I like being social, but given the choice of having a drink at home or wandering to the bar with Kyle, Tucker, Todd and their bro hordes, more often than not I'm choosing my own company.
That might be why I decided to get into journalism. I'm a journalist by the way, I work in television news. There I pretty much have to interact and be civil with people who usually have no intentions of offering the same courtesy, or be forced to live on the streets with an expensive piece of paper taped to an alley wall. It's good practice in keeping the imp of the perverse locked away for a few extra minutes when you see people walking their children around on a leash in public. For all the crazies, conspiracy theorists, racists and just flat out terrible people I have to speak with, I occasionally get someone who actually has something interesting or useful to say, and that's pretty cool. It doesn't take away scaled up perception, but it helps a little.
As far as goals, the only one I can really think of is to stay out of prison until I die, or at least until I reach such a point where prison becomes a viable option.
What can I say about myself? For one, I really love to talk about myself. My personality is a very, very open one. I'm very carefree and optimistic and I love talking to people and getting to know them better. I've always been very curious and I love to make people smile and laugh to the best of my ability. At one point I tried stand-up comedy and I absolutely loved doing it. It's just too big of a gamble to risk continuously doing it. One day I hope to do it again.
Currently I work for MLB.com, a job that I absolutely love. I get paid to watch sports, especially the sport I love the most. As much as I love my job, I do need to get a better one since it does not pay me enough or provide any sort of benefits besides the joy of watching sports. I have a few goals in life. The two most important ones are continuing to grow in the field of sports media post production and to open a Food Truck in the city.
2. How did you get into the Yankees and baseball in the first place? How did you find Pinstripe Alley? What is your favorite thing about the Yankees or baseball to write about?
My dad took me to Yankee minor league games when I was younger. I found PSA through Yahoo during 2009. My favorite thing to write about is the minor leagues. No one is surprised about that.
A few years ago, Brandon asked me to answer a few questions for the site after reading my weekly piece on Yahoo. I stumbled back here earlier in the year when he approached me about writing for the site, which was something I just couldn't pass up.
I've been a Yankees fan all my life, something I share with both my brother and father. Whenever we're able to get together, we usually drive my mother out of the living room and watch games together.
My favorite thing to write about is prospects; reporting about them and trying to figure out how they'll project to the majors. I love watching video of players, and examining different parts of their game. The best part about being able to write about minor league players is getting exposure to every team's farm system. It has really brought me much more in tune with the game.
My dad was a big fan of the Yankees so my family's always supported them and the game. Unfortunately, as a kid, I wasn't really interested in it and pretty much missed most of the dynasty years. You could probably blame Pokemon and the Legend of Zelda for that. I don't actually recall paying attention to a Yankees game until someone had it on around Memorial Day Weekend of 2001. I was hooked. I've been around Yankee fan sites for awhile (I frequented the "161st and River" forums for a few years), but I found Pinstripe Alley when I finally clicked on it after noticing it for awhile in the sidebar of Yahoo! Sports game recaps. I was a lurker for awhile, then became a member in March 2010. Since I'm the site's historian, it's probably not surprising that I enjoy the history the most and I love writing about all the random shenanigans the team's gotten into over the years. It would be hard to do the "This Day in Yankees History" feature every day if I didn't enjoy it.
My history with the Yankees goes back generations. My mother's side of the family has roots in the Bronx going back to before the Babe Ruth days, and they stayed there right through Joe DiMaggio to Mickey Mantle. I'm sure my first game was in the pre-renovation old Stadium, but the first I remember is circa 1977, Yankees against the Angels, in the rebuilt ballpark. As such, I've followed the Yankees all my life, but for me my formative experiences were really the worst of the George Steinbrenner years, when it was just free agent after free agent with no plan, all youth traded away, and the team always a bit short or worse. The Yankees won absolutely nothing from the time I was seven years old until I was 25 (there were two fruitless postseason appearances in 1980 and 1981, but nothing for almost 15 years after that). As such, my relationship to the team is a little more adversarial than is probably typical than those who came of age with the team in the mid- to late-1990s.
I've described my introduction to baseball in detail in the introduction to my book Forging Genius, but during that long lull I got into baseball in an adult way in part because of a tabletop game that I used to play (and lose) to a cousin. Needing to figure out how to beat him led me to Bill James, and Bill's writing opened up my imagination to the game in a way that it had never been before. And at exactly that moment, Don Mattingly came along. The rest is history.
My favorite thing to write about in the game is any story that is revealing of character or thinking. I love that baseball promotes personality as much as athletics. Casey Stengel is obviously a favorite, but I've written about hundreds of others over the years, trying to connect their adventures, both happy and sad, with the present day. I also like puncturing sacred cows, and while I don't mind a homer, I don't like a homer who is blindly loyal. To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, "Saying 'my team, right or wrong,' is like saying, 'my mother, drunk or sober.'" The best exercise of your loyalty is one that utilizes your brain.
Unlike most of you, I found Pinstripe Alley when I was looking shit up about baseball on the internet. My favorite posts are probably the comics, but analysis is fun when the topic is interesting.
Don Mattingly. I don't remember what exactly it was about his game that made me a fan, but it was definitely Mattingly. When I saw him on 'The Simpsons' that was basically the end for any other team. Eventually, the name became the uniform and that's the story.
There isn't anything in particular that I like writing about more than other stuff. If it's interesting, I'll write about it. If it isn't interesting, I probably won't write about it if given the choice. I write about the minor leagues more often than other stuff because it's usually more interesting, so I guess that flies in the face of that first thing I said. I like minor league baseball.
Both my parents and my brother are Yankees fans, so I was pretty much born and raised into it. I'll never forget my first time going to a Yankees game at the old stadium. I fell in love with the team and the sport instantly. Donnie Baseball had a lot to do with it. As for Pinstripe Alley, I found it because my best friend kept telling me about Amazin' Avenue and how awesome of Mets blog it was. So I decided to check out the Yankees SBNation site and here I am. My favorite thing to write about are the fans, the experiences of watching baseball, and the business aspect behind the game.
3. What is your favorite meal of all time? Any particular reason?
A toss up between eating my weight in pepperoni pizza or in Philly rolls from a sushi place.
Peter Luger's Steakhouse. It's the greatest steakhouse on the planet. Period.
Thick cut grilled bacon. Porterhouse for (insert your group size, multiply by 2) cooked rare. Dessert with fresh schlaag. Those who have been there will understand. If you haven't, don't ask questions, just make a reservation and go ASAP.
Lobster or Shrimp Carbonara come to mind. Delicious.
I could live on pizza and pasta, but for obvious health reasons I don't. In fact, I've sworn off almost everything fun. What remains to me is sushi. Nothing pleases me more than a heap o' toasted eel over some rice.
Hamburgers, the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.
Spaghetti and Meatballs via my family recipe meat sauce which combines meatballs, italian sausage, and spare ribs. I want to base my future Food Truck on this recipe. This meal is so good that if my doctor told me I'd die if I continued to eat it, I'd tell him that I'm dying early then!
4. What was the last song stuck in your head or what song is currently stuck in your head?
Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
David Bowie- Heroes
Seeing him live during the Reality Tour was one of the best experiences of my life. I'd love for him to tour one last time so I could see him again. Absolutely my favorite artist, hands down.
This is probably going to be fairly typical of this summer, but "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye has been floating around in my head pretty consistently since mid-May or so. I've also had "Love is Blindness" by Jack White in my head since I saw it in the trailer for "The Great Gatsby," which is a must-see.
The song currently stuck in my head is "Radio Nowhere" by Bruce Springsteen, which is a bit odd because I'm only a casual Springsteen fan. My taste in music runs to the 60s classics and 80s new wave and alternative, so I'm more likely to have the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" in my head ("I have made... big decision"), Elvis Costello ("Is it all in that pretty little head of yours?") or Robyn Hitchcock ("I often dream of trains 'til it gets light...").
Holy Thunderforce by Rhapsody
Last song was 'Take Me Home Tonight' by Eddie Money. Current song is 'Take Me Home Tonight' by Eddie Money. It's all about the video. I just want to know why he's so angry at the air and the random ladder on stage. It's a problem.
Currently it's One Last Time by The Megas. It's a rock cover of the opening song to the classic video game Mega Man 3. Before that it was This Must Be The Place by Talking Heads.