MLB Fan Cave Interviews


Hello again Dodger nation.  Most of you are probably familiar with MLB Fan Cave.  For those of you that are not, it is an opportunity for an average MLB fan to live the life we all dream of with behind the scenes access to not only MLB stars but to stars from all walks of life.  It is the way that MLB creates a more common community between the stars and the average fan and Dodger nation has a chance to be a part of it.  But we need your support.  This year we have two finalists out of the 52, and I have recently had the opportunity to interview both great fans.

The first fan I interviewed is Jeremy Dorn.  Jeremy is a former Lasorda’s Lair writer and a northern california native who is showing his Dodger love up in enemy territory.  The second interview is with Thomas Aaron Roberts, the striking gentleman in the picture with Tommy Lasorda.  There are two interviews here, so be sure to read all the way thru both and cast your vote!  Plus, if you don’t read all the way to the bottom, you’ll miss out on a hilarious Kirk Gibson story!

LL: As a bay area native you’ve managed to stay true to your Dodger roots.  You must be hated by the local Giant fans.  Can you share some of the challenges you’ve faced with the Dodger nation?

JD: Actually, the most common reaction I get is just confusion. No matter how many times I explain, people up here don’t seem to understand the concept of sticking with one team through thick and thin, no matter the location. It’s actually really fun to go to Dodgers-Giants games up here, especially when we win. I went to two games of a series that we swept at AT&T last season and I could just sit there smirking — that got the message across. The toughest challenge is definitely just coping with the last three years. Before 2010, the Giants hadn’t won the World Series in my lifetime so I always had a shield. Now, friendly smack talk is easily rebuffed by my friends with that trophy on their fan mantle. I’m planning on the Dodgers redeeming me and our fan base this year though!

LL: Why do you deserve to be chosen?

JD: Everyone in this contest is a passionate baseball fan. But not everyone has the unique story lines that come with my campaign. Not only am I living in enemy territory, but I have been dating a girl for almost a year that I met in the Top 50 last season (fellow finalist this year too, Kelsey Shea Weinrich). We were literally brought together by the Fan Cave and want to really push that crazy angle this year. We think it would be Fan Cave production gold! Obviously I love baseball and the Dodgers, but I’m also a really creative thinker with a long lost of ideas ready to put in motion if I make it to the Cave. Lastly, I have extensive writing experience that I think gives me a leg up on the rest of the finalists. I’ve been sports writing as a student, blogger, freelancer, Featured Columnist and more for almost a decade in total.

LL: What are your top Dodger memories?

JD: In person, it was actually at AT&T Park when I was about 10 years old. They had just built the park and the Dodgers came to town for the first-ever home series there. Not only was I at the third game of the sweep we handed them (welcome to the new stadium, right?), but I hid my Dodgers gear under a jacket and convinced Giants closer Robb Nen to give me his bullpen warm up ball. I came out of that game with a thieved ball and a sweep! My favorite Dodger moment in general was definitely the back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers against the Padres, closely followed by Steve Finley’s division-winning walk-off slam against the Giants in 2004.

LL: What are you looking forward to most in the 2013 season?

JD: Redemption. This Dodgers team has been bashed for months for spending so much money, which is understandable, but people forget they only had about five weeks as a team together. They really started to click in the last 10 days or so, but it was too little too late. If that streak at the end of 2012 becomes the norm in 2013, the rest of the NL is in for a long season. I know “great on paper” doesn’t always translate, but I really think the Dodgers will prove to be the favorites in the NL West rather quickly this year.

LL: If forced to choose, is the Dodger MVP in 2013 Kershaw, Kemp or one of the new arrivals?

JD: It’s really hard to choose between Kershaw and Kemp, but I think I’ll settle on the latter this year. Kershaw is always great, but we know the pitching staff will keep us in games. Even with the firepower in the lineup, I think Kemp is the key. We have seen what he does when healthy, so if he stays on the field he will be our MVP. The combination of offense, defense and speed has the potential to win us more games than Kershaw’s golden left arm in my opinion.

LL: Favorite all time Dodger(s)?

JD:  I will always worship Jackie Robinson, and as a former pitcher I’ve loved Sandy Koufax my whole life. My favorite player growing up was Mike Piazza, though. And I met one of my Dodger heroes, Tommy Lasorda, a few weeks ago.

LL: You showcased some of your prophetic abilities last year when you chose the Nationals to win the east in February.  Do you have any prophecies you can share for 2013?

JD: I am still so proud of that pick! I actually discussed this next one last year but leaned away from it last minute (good thing, because it would have burned me!). But I really, really like the Kansas City Royals this year and have picked them on my official Bleacher Report predictions to snag an AL Wild Card spot in 2013. I’ve also got the Pirates finally getting over .500, and the Mariners – though I think they are still one season away – starting to make big, Baltimore Orioles-esque moves in the AL West as long as King Felix isn’t hurt!

CLOSING THOUGHTS: I’ve been overwhelmed by the support this year for my campaign. Last year was a whirlwind in the Top 50, but this year I took a more meticulous approach and utilized what I leaned in last year’s contest to run a better overall campaign. But I couldn’t have made it this far without the help of my friends, family, #DodgerFam on Twitter, and the guys at r/Dodgers on Reddit. It’s been an amazing two weeks and I can’t thank everyone, including yourself, for all the help in promoting my story! I hope I can represent you all in the Fan Cave this season and do Dodger Nation proud.

Here’s my voting link:

The “Fan Cave Couple” video:

My Twitter: @Jamblinman

My Bleacher Report profile:

October 2, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A fan dances between innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers play against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The next interview is with Thomas Aaron Roberts, who like yours truly is located in the heart of Angel country and staying true to his own blue roots.

LL: As an Orange County local, I understand the Angel fever that goes around – at least when they’re winning.   I can’t imagine walking around town in full Dodger regalia has scored you many points, although any man with a Dodger cape has to be taken seriously.  How have you managed to stay true?

TAR: Well I won’t lie, it’s been tough. Especially when you live with your girlfriend who is a die-hard Angel fan and drags you to Angel games. I’ve been able to keep my sanity by always staying true to the Blue and having a good-natured attitude towards the whole thing. Sure I get some nasty comments and jabs every now and then but I’m a pretty easy guy to get along with, so I laugh it off and politely point out that the Angels want to be the Dodgers so bad that they’ve included our city in their name. Yes the Angels started in Los Angeles and yes they played their first few seasons at Dodger stadium but I don’t see the Giants referring to themselves as the New York Giants of San Francisco or the Braves having The Milwaukee Braves of Atlanta on their programs. I also tell anyone who wants to chime in on my colors that I need two hands to count the World Series rings that the Dodgers have while I only need a single toe to count the Angels rings. In all honesty though, it’s a rare occurrence that I ever get anyone getting serious about my wearing Dodger Blue in a sea of Angel Red. Everyone out here is pretty cool and there are a lot more Blue believers in Orange County than you’d think.

LL: Why do you deserve to be chosen?

TAR: I breathe Baseball and live the Dodgers. I know everything about them. From the histories and traditions to the players and the stats to the ingredients in a Dodger Dog. I am the ultimate fan when it comes to the Boys in Blue and I’d like nothing more than to be Los Angeles’ representative in the 2013 MLB Fan Cave. I will represent the Dodgers with integrity, intelligence, wit, personality, humor and a strong knowledge of how to sew a Dodger Cape. I will do everything in my power to be the best Cave Dweller New York has ever seen and sit on the edge of the Fan Cave couch as the Dodgers enter the World Series. I bleed blue and will show that by faithfully interacting with other Dodger faithful through social media.

LL: What are your top Dodger memories?

TAR: My top Dodger memories are always walk-off hits. I love them. I love them even more when I get to see them personally. I’ve been fortunate enough to be at Dodger stadium for a Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Adrian Gonzalez and Dioner Navarro Walk-off. They’re electric and the fans go absolutely crazy.

LL: What are you looking forward to most in the 2013 season?

TAR: Just seeing if all the moves and the money pays off. I don’t think there has ever been a more anticipated season for the Dodgers than the 2013 season. That means loads of pressure and I’m really looking forward to the Dodgers stepping up and performing like the All-Stars they are. I want to see if Kershaw can become the undisputed best pitcher in baseball, if Kemp can reach the level of his 2011 season again, if Ethier will finally mature into the ball player I know he’s capable of, if Crawford can come back healthy and mash, if Greinke can meet expectations, if Adrian Gonzalez can be a top 3 first baseman, if Hanley can get out of his head and play ball, if Ryu can successfully transition to the Major Leagues and if Donnie Baseball can lead this team to October.  It’s going to be an incredibly exciting season and one in which I am ecstatic to witness.

LL: If forced to choose, is the Dodger MVP in 2013 Kershaw, Kemp or one of the new arrivals?

TAR: Kershaw is the Dodgers MVP hands down. The guy is in my and many other people’s opinion, the best pitcher in the game. He’s absolutely lights out and deserved to win a second Cy Young last year. Don’t get me wrong, Matt Kemp is without a doubt one of the best players in Baseball but Kershaw is dominant on the mound.

LL: Favorite all time Dodger(s)?

TAR: My favorite Dodgers of all-time are Sandy Koufax and Kirk Gibson. Koufax for obvious reason and Gibson because he played the game the way it’s meant to be played. Tough, gritty ball with a focus aimed at winning. Currently, my favorite is AJ Ellis because I love his story and how hard he works. I root for the guys that are under the radar and Ellis absolutely blew away expectations last year. Plus he’s hilarious and best friends with Clayton Kershaw.

LL: You have met multiple Dodger greats.  Has one meet-and-greet stood out above the rest?

TAR: Of all the Dodger greats I’ve met, Kirk Gibson is the one that really sticks out but not for the reasons you’d think. I met him in the hallways underneath Chase field when I was touring the ballpark. Now keep in mind that this is one of my heroes. I even have his ’88 World Series Jersey that I wear to games. Well I was blown away when I saw him and thought, “I have to go meet him.” So I approached him and he was…not very thrilled to be approached. He wasn’t rude or mean to me in any way, he just sort of blew me off. I did manage to snap a picture of him and my friend who was with me at the time but you could tell that he wasn’t very happy about doing it so I didn’t dare ask him for a picture with me.

LL: Closing thoughts?

I’d just like to thank everyone for the support and encouragement I’ve been shown this past week and a half. It’s been an incredible time and I’m having an absolute blast campaigning! I’d also like to thank one of the best Dodger blogs on the Internet, Lasorda’s Lair for interviewing and endorsing me! Please continue to vote for me here

And please come be my friend.

Instagram: @BertsBall