Getting to know you, getting to know all about you . . .

“Getting to like you, Getting to hope you like me.”  For those who don’t know, those lines are from the song “Getting to Know You” from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical The King and I.  The United Cardinals Bloggers project for August was to interview another UCB blogger.  I was interviewed by Dathan Brooks, who writes for the Cards Conclave.  Christine Coleman of the blog Aaron Miles’ Fastball was selected as my interviewee. Christine and I know each well, as we have hung out together at UCB events and follow each other on Twitter and Facebook.  So it was a challenge to think of some questions that I didn’t already know the answers to, but I was up for that challenge.

Here are the questions I asked Christine, with her answers in bold:

Diane:

Here are my answers! These were great questions.

1. I have noticed that baseball fans seem to inherit their love of baseball (and often their love of specific teams) from family members. Who was the person(s) who influenced you to love baseball?

There actually are multiple family members! My grandpa used to always play catch with me when I was a kid — he had an amazing catcher’s mitt that he took great care of, so it was always special when I got to use that. My dad coached my brother’s teams for several years starting when he my brother was 8, so our summers would be spent at the ballpark. Finally, my uncle Jim is a lifelong Cardinals fan who encouraged me to become one and we’ve talked about the Cardinals mostly via email almost daily since I became a Cards fan in 2000.

2. When was the first game that you ever attended at Busch Stadium?  If you can remember, who was the opposing team that day?

It was a Cubs-Cardinals game in 1983 and, thanks to the magic of Baseball Reference, I can tell you it was June 18! http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLN/SLN198306180.shtml However, I was a Cubs fan at the time, and was very happy with the outcome of that game. I didn’t go back to Busch Stadium for years — the next time was my first game as a Cardinals fan on April 5, 2000, which also a Cubs-Cards game. The two things I remember most are Rick Ankiel pitched in relief, just because he hadn’t pitched since spring training and his first start of the season was still several days off, and he hit a triple.

3. Who is your favorite Cards player this year?  Why?

Chris Carpenter, and he’s been my favorite since 2004. I just love to watch him pitch — his approach and determination and skill. Since last year, it’s been his tenacity as he’s continued to rehab and try to come back. I was at Wrigley Field last September to see his first start — couldn’t imagine not being there. It’s hard not think about what could have been for him in his Cards career overall if he hadn’t been injured so many times.

Who is your all-time favorite Cards player? Why?

Since I’m a relatively recent fan, the one I’ve enjoyed learning the most about is Red Schoendienst. I love his devotion to the team and that he’s still there today, sharing his wisdom, plus that today’s players appreciate learning from him.

4. Do you know how to keep a scorecard? Who taught you to keep score?

Yes, I do. My dad taught me — I would keep the scorebook for my brother’s Little League team that he coached.

5. Were you the founder of Aaron Miles’ Fastball?  If so, when did you first decide to start a Cardinals blog and what made you start a Cardinals blog? If not, how and when did you start writing for the blog?

Yes, I am the founder of Aaron Miles’ Fastball. I started out blogging for Cardinal Diamond Diaries when it began in 2010 through that fall. Around the end of that year, I really missed it and decided I wanted to get back into it again so I started AMF on Jan. 5, 2011.

6. I know the background story for the title of your blog, but for those who don’t, please tell them the origin of the title.

You mean there are people out there unaware of Aaron Miles’ pitching prowess? Ha! During his two different stints with the Cardinals, Aaron was Tony La Russa’s go-to guy when a position player was needed to pitch in blowout games. He pitched five times and I was there for one, on Aug. 3, 2010. It was awesome, as he was the best Cardinals pitcher of the night (they lost to the Astros 18-4). When I was trying to name my new blog, my friend Michael came up with Aaron Miles’ Fastball and designed the banner, and I loved it.

7. My blog only has one contributor (yours truly), but your blog has more than one contributor.  Who decides which person writes what blog post?  Do you have a schedule as to whose turn it is to post a blog post? Do you make assignments as to who writes on what subject?

There is a schedule, as Tara Wellman writes every Wednesday plus other times as needed (such as when breaking news happens). I did have another regular contributor for quite a while, and she too had a specific day to write, and others will write from time to time. There aren’t any assignments, though. Everyone who writes is free to express her or his own opinion!

8. Do you have a long term goal for your blogging?  Where do you see your blog 5 years from now?

I don’t have a long-term goal, although I probably should, and I honestly haven’t thought about where I see AMF five years from now! Great questions, though!

9. Do you write for other blogs besides Aaron Miles’ Fastball?   If so, please provide links to those blogs so the rest of us can enjoy reading them.

I have contributed to other blogs a few times here and there, but nothing regular.

10. What is your favorite Cardinals blog? And why?  (Don’t worry, I won’t be mad if you don’t say it’s my blog. No pressure!)

I do enjoy reading your blog — you just need to write more often! (No pressure!) Really, I don’t have one favorite. I like reading what everyone in the UCB writes, because everyone has different approaches and different perspectives. I always learn something when I read RetroSimba, as Mark Tomasik does a great job of writing not just about Cardinals history but also how what players are doing today connect with Cardinals past.

11. For most of us, writing blogs is a part-time gig.  What do you do for a living?  You can give a general description like the contestants do on Wheel of Fortune if you don’t want to say specifically where you work.

I work at the American Rental Association, which is a trade association for businesses that rent equipment for homeowners, do-it-yourself projects, construction projects and parties/special events. I’m the marketing manager for the association’s annual convention, which is held in February each year and rotates between Orlando, Las Vegas and New Orleans, so every year I work to get as many rental business owners to attend as possible.

12. What would be your dream job in the Cardinals organization or in the baseball world?

I’d love to be the editor of the Cardinals Gameday magazine, and I’d love to own a minor league team.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Christine.  I know I enjoyed reading the answers to my questions.

Okay, I couldn’t resist.  I leave you with a YouTube video of the titular song of this blog post. Thanks for reading!  See you next time!

Diane

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Summertime blues

“Sometimes I wonder what I’m gonna do, ‘Cause there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.”  It’s really hard to be a Cardinals fan these days.  The Cards have lost 5 out of 6 at home, lost 7 in a row, and have lost 13 out of their last 17 games.  The Cards even lost the last 2 games to the Cubs.  Losing to the Cubs?  Yikes!  The Cubs fans are surely gloating.

The most important factor in this collapse is the Yadi Factor. Yadi is seriously missed.  He is so good at handling pitchers, he has no equal in throwing out players trying to steal, and his offense is especially missed.  When Yadi comes off of the DL, Mike Matheny is going to have to make sure that he gets a day off on a regular basis to as to not mess up his knee again.  I love Yadi’s work ethic, but he’s a catcher and not a fielder, so his knees really take a beating.

Another factor is all the GIDPs (ground into double plays).  The offense is dismal.  Home runs are nice, but you can’ t live and die by the long ball.  The Cards have an outfielder that can field but can’t throw.  And the trade deadline came and went without any trades being made.

Either the Cardinals are going to have to remember how to win again or Mo is going to have to make a trade or do something to shake up this team.  Let’s turn this sinking ship around today, boys – my daughter came all the way from Connecticut to see today’s game because it’s her birthday.  You all wouldn’t want to disappoint her, would you?  We are sitting in section 333 if anyone wants to stop by and give her birthday greetings.

Thanks for reading! See you next time!

Diane