Wednesday, February 06, 2013

MLB FanCave Contestant Interview with Tom Roberts

As many of you already know, the MLB FanCave is back for a second season.  Currently, there are 52 Baseball fan contestants remaining, and out of that number there are 3 verified Dodger fans vying for a chance to immerse themselves into the game.  They will eventually whittle it down to a final 9 with the help of fans like you.  Go here to see them all.  Voting ends next week.

Since I am fanatically pro-Dodger, I thought it would be interesting to hear directly from those folks who want to represent us.  Thankfully, the contestants had the same thing in mind.  So, starting today til Friday, I will put up information about all 3 Dodger fans, and share some words they were kind enough to pass along.

First up is Huntington Beach native and super-Dodger-fan-man Thomas Aaron Roberts.  See his FanCave voting here.
Twitter: @BertsBall
Hashtag: #CapeInTheCave
Facebook: BertsBall
Blog:  BertsBall

Above are his particulars, and below is my informal email interview provided in full.  I asked the same question to all three contestants; with exception of the last one (which was meant to be a little fun).

Why should this Dodger fan trust you to represent the Dodger faithful at MLB's FanCave?  What would you say are your Dodger fan bona fides?
I would love to have the support of Dodger fans everywhere. I'm a True Blue believer when it comes to the Dodgers and truly feel that there isn't a bigger fan of the Boys in Blue than me. I know the players, the stats, the traditions and the history. But most of all, I know the game itself. Every March, I drive to Arizona to watch 4 Dodger Spring Training games and get a taste of the upcoming season. I write for two blogs about the Dodgers and also have my own blog chronicling my thoughts on the Dodgers. I bleed blue and will represent the Dodgers with passion, knowledge, personality, respect and excitement. I've had dinner with Tommy Lasorda, met Steve Garvey at the Hall of Fame, been blown off by Kirk Gibson, retweeted by Jerry Hairston Jr., written articles about Vin Scully, and drank beer with Jerry Sands (former Dodger top prospect) Baseball is my heart and the Dodgers are my blood.
Please relay your greatest Dodger memory.
My greatest Dodger memory is actually a collection of them that sort of form a single memory. I don't remember winning the '88 World Series (I was 3 at the time) but I do remember being in the stands for walk-offs by Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and Dioner Navaro. Walk-offs are always my favorite. They're incredible to experience live, especially if it's a walk-off home run. They send chills down your spine and make you cheer louder than ever. I also remember being in the stands in 1995 when the Dodgers had to forfeit because fans kept throwing give-away baseballs onto the field. But that's a bad memory! Ha Ha!
Give me a rundown on the good, the bad and the ugly with the Dodger lineup/roster.
Oh man! Where to start? Well with all the off-season craziness, the Dodgers are looking better than I've ever remembered. Our 1-6 batters are, in my opinion, the most threatening in the league. There are some "ifs" in there, though. If Crawford can attain his level of play from 3 years ago and Matt Kemp can kick Beast Mode into overdrive, then the Dodgers are the for sure favorites for the NL West. Now there's been some talk of whether to hit Mark Ellis first or second but for the purpose of this let's say he's batting in the 2 hole. You then have Crawford leading off, Ellis backing him up, Kemp hitting 3rd and Gonzo batting cleanup. Now that's a scary 1st inning for any team. But it doesn't stop there. Hanley is 5th and protected by Ethier swinging 6th. It gets a little dicey after that. Cruz and AJ Ellis are variables. Luis Cruz was wonderful for us last year but he's still unproven and questions remain whether he'll be able to maintain his average. AJ Ellis hitting 8th is always good because of his high on-base percentage which means you rarely lead off an inning with the pitcher hitting but AJ Ellis faltered after the All-Star break last year so it's still a mystery if he'll be able to put up the same kind of numbers as 2012. 
Our pitching staff is lights out. Kershaw (who is interchangeable with Verlader for the best hurler in the league) is followed by Cy-Young winner and strikeout artist, Greinke. Then you get Beckett who is transitioning from the very tough AL East to the much friendlier NL West. If Billinglsey can come back at full strength, then that's one hell of a #4 starter. You then have your choice of Ted Lilly, Chris Capuano or Aaron Harang to fill in the #5 spot. All three pitchers had an ERA of under 4 in 2012. The big question mark is Hyun-Jin Ryu and where he'll fit in or if he'll even be able to transition to Major League Baseball, having only played in Korea. 
Our Bullpen is pretty stacked as well but I still am a little weary with Brandon League as the closer. Thankfully, we have Kenley Jansen to step in if League blows one to many saves. Our bench is solid but could use a few more big bats and our Farm isn't pretty good. The big X factor is injuries. If the guys on the 25-man roster can stay healthy, then we're sitting pretty. 

Here is an extra question for you.  Will you promise to wear the Dodger cape in cave, if you were to make it, as often as possible (meaning, all of the time)?
ABSOLUTELY! Not only am I a Baseball fanatic, I'm also a huge Comic Book Nerd. The Cape is an integral part of my video, campaign, and me. Wearing a cape is right up my alley!
You have to watch his video to see what I mean.  This guy sports a Dodger cape like a masked hero, and I am sure he could battle the likes of the pumpkin-faced evildoers from up north.  Go here to vote for Thomas Aaron Roberts.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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