While our friend Jamie is taking some well-deserved time off, we’ve asked a few really cool guest bloggers to join us on Better Off Red this week. First up, meet Ben.
Hi Reds fans!
My name is Ben Wietmarschen and I’m one of the nine official MLB Fan Cave Dwellers this year. If you don’t know what the Fan Cave is here’s some info:
-The Cave is located in Greenwich Village in New York City.
-9 people are chosen at the beginning of the season to watch EVERY baseball game (from first pitch to last out) every day, no breaks, and each of us have a particular team that is our favorite.
-While we’re here we are basically professional baseball fans. We make funny/entertaining videos about baseball, we write blog posts about interesting baseball stuff, and we’re on twitter/instagram/vine/etc. constantly talking about and enjoying baseball and interacting with anyone who’s watching the games.
-In addition to being a place where we watch baseball all the time, the Fan Cave is also a very cool event space that hosts concerts and parties and player visits and pretty much anything that the MLB does in NYC that is cool and hip and happenin’.
I specifically am the resident Reds fan in the Fan Cave. If you don’t know anything about me, here’s some info you might find interesting:
-I grew up in North College Hill (son of Mark and Rita Wietmarschen, brother to Andy and Elizabeth) and went to St. Margaret Mary Elementary school, St. Xavier High School, and Kent State University where I ran Track and Cross Country.
-I’ve lived in New York for the last five years trying to be a professional sketch comedian but also working day jobs on various food trucks in Manhattan to “pay the bills”.
-My Skyline chili order is: 4-way beans and 1 cheese coney, no onions, with mustard.
The MLB Fan Cave is actually a really cool thing if you are a big baseball fan but also enjoy things like music, art, comedy, and drinking ice cold beer all the time. You can check out stuff that we do at mlbfancave.com or follow the @mlbfancave twitter or my twitter which is @benwietmarschen. The Fan Cave is basically just a great thing to be aware of if you like watching baseball as part of a community of fun, interesting people. And if you ever find yourself in New York and wanna stop by let me know and you can come check it out.
That’s just a little about who I am and what the Fan Cave is and why I’m writing this blog post. What I really wanna talk about is how excited I am about this Redlegs team that we got on our hands. They’re really great and I think this could be a very special season for all of us.
It’s been a full 23 years since a Cincinnati team of any kind won a championship. It’s been 18 years since the Reds won a postseason series. There are ADULTS, college graduates, people that are married and own houses, that WEREN’T BORN YET when Todd Benzinger caught the last out of the 1990 World Series and everyone went crazy in the Queen City. That’s nuts. It’s also way too long of a time for a city as great as Cincinnati to go without a Championship team. And hey guys FYI: THIS COULD BE THE YEAR WE GET TO DO THAT AGAIN! I don’t wanna count our chickens, but man is it fun to think about.
For all the crazy negative stuff that gets thrown around on twitter and on certain radio shows, I think it’s important that we all recognize how likeable and good at baseball this Reds team is. Here’s some quick thoughts I have off the top of my head on a few of the Reds:
Choo: Has there ever been a more effective offseason acquisition? The lineup’s most glaring hole got filled big time, thank you Reds management.
Cozart: Fantastic set of teeth on this guy.
Votto: Professional baseball robot.
Phillips: Gets it.
Bruce: The clinching walk-off from 2010 is one of the happiest moments of my sports watching life.
Frazier: Gets it.
Latos: Gonna be an ace for a long time. Also, he should start wearing glasses like Sheen in ‘Major League’. They would add so much to his persona. Just a thought I had.
Arroyo: Junk ball master. I love junk, and Arroyo’s always chucking junk.
The Bullpen: Once everyone is healthy, this is gonna be the best pitching staff in baseball, hands down. Also, someone needs to make an updated Nasty Boys t-shirt and I wanna buy one for everyone in my family.
Dusty Baker: I know we all get frustrated at times with lineup or pitching decisions, but at the end of the day, Dusty manages championship teams, plain and simple, and it’s not a coincidence that the Reds started winning division championships once he got here.
Here are a few more general thoughts I have on the Reds:
-I think its time to eliminate the black from the uniform color scheme. There was a time in the late 90’s when it was a cool thing for baseball teams to add black for no reason at all, but that time has passed. I’d even like to get rid of the black drop shadow behind the ‘C’ on the hats. Let’s simplify, red and white (and gray for road games). It looks cooler.
-The Reds have one of the best twitter communities of all baseball teams. Since being in the Fan Cave, I’ve gotten experience with a lot of different teams’ fan bases through twitter, and the Reds is near the top every time. Every team has a faction of negativity, that’s inevitable, but if you’re ever looking to talk Reds baseball with a group of fun passionate people, hop on twitter and search #Reds. Also, a lot of fun photoshop pictures and new catchphrases are being tweeted every game.
-A quick thought about the negativity. I’m sick of people instigating negativity and then bashing it when it comes out (I’m thinking mainly of certain people in the press who I won’t name but it’s really annoying for someone of high sports press stature to tweet a sarcastic negative thing about how the Reds aren’t hitting or something, and then to almost immediately call out Cincinnati fans for being too negative. It’s a pet peeve of mine). All cities have negative fans, Cincinnati is not worse than any other city that has a sports team.
-That’s not to say Cincinnati sports press is bad, there are so many great people who write about and talk about the Reds. In particular I think Mo Egger, Joel Luckhaupt, and Chad Dotson and his crew at RedlegNation.com are very worthwhile reads/listens when it comes to Reds chatter.
-Man, I don’t like the St. Louis Cardinals and I can’t understand how anyone could.
That’s all I have for this blog post. If you have any questions about the Fan Cave, Google.com is a good website to find answers to anything, Fan Cave or otherwise. Or you can reach me on twitter. I’ll urge you one more time to follow what the Fan Cave is doing by visiting mlbfancave.com because I really think Baseball is figuring out fun new ways to enjoy the game and it’s exciting. Also, I have blog posts and video sketches up on the web site that you can enjoy or not. Whatever you do, please get pumped for the Reds baseball team this year, I know I am, because it’s gonna be a special season.
Yours in the Cave,
It’s been a tough road trip so far, but our boys finished off the weekend strong with a 5-2 win over the Nationals on Sunday. Tony Cingrani shined as he threw 6 scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts, including 4 strikeouts in the 4th inning. Get your Monday started off right with a video recap from yesterday’s game:
And check out these great images from the series, including the much-talked-about Votto high socks. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Tonight at 8:15pm we kick off every Reds fan’s favorite series…Reds vs. Cardinals. Between now and then, get in your 35 votes at reds.com/allstar to help get your favorite Reds to the All-Star Game in NYC. You’ll also be registered to win a 2013 Cincinnati Reds Team Autographed Baseball.
Have a great Monday. Stop back in this afternoon as we’ll have an extra special guest blogger joining us on Better Off Red.
See you over on twitter. We’ll welcome a new player to The Show.
Hey, there’s a new blog – We’ve added a 5th blog to our Reds lineup! In addition to Better Off Red, Mark My Word, So I Married A Baseball Player… (check out Dallas’s new blog design!) and Reds Camps (learning to play baseball and softball the Reds way), there’s a shiny, new Reds Hall of Fame blog!
Greg Rhodes, Rick Wall and Chris Eckes bring you great stories of Reds past, along with updates on what’s currently happening at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. It’s informative and entertaining – definitely check it out.
People/MLB Tribute For Heroes – Nominate a military hero to represent the Reds and be recognized at the 2013 All-Star Game in NYC. Visit tributeforheroes.com for details and to nominate a hero.
More later. Reds vs. Nationals, 7:05pm.
All-Star Voting has begun! – Yes, it’s only April, which gives you plenty of time to make sure your favorite Reds are on the field at the All-Star Game in NYC on July 16. #VoteReds now at reds.com/vote. If you vote more than 20 times through that link, you’ll be entered to win a 2013 Cincinnati Reds Team Autographed Baseball.
It’s the “Season of the #Whiff” – our friends at Head & Shoulders for Men have created a contest to reward one MLB club each month a $10,000 donation for their local RBI programs. Here are the details:
Some of the other teams have gotten a good start on us for the first month, but we know that: 1) we’ve had no shortage of strikeouts this season so far, 2) Reds fans are the champions of hashtags battle, and 3) Our fans on twitter have been great supporters of the Reds Community Fund…so we’ve got a great formula for success. Check out the latest leaderboard voting results here: mlb.com/whiff.
#JoeyVotto #RedsTweetUp – Our first Reds TweetUp of the 2013 baseball season is happening on Friday, May 10th and we’ll be celebrating #JoeyVotto as the MLB Network’s #FaceOfMLB. The ticket package includes a field box seat in our TweetUp section and this really cool, exclusive t-shirt.
Get your tickets while they are still available at reds.com/tweetup.
Hang out in the MLB Fan Cave – Want to see the Reds play the Mets at Citi Field? Want to visit the MLB Fan Cave and meet Reds Fan Cave dweller @BenWietmarschen and a few Reds players while you are there? Enter our #RedsFanCave promotion on Instagram!
Get all the details by going here: reds.com/instagramcontest.
Good seats, good price – And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s our Reds Win, You Win promotion that makes it possible to buy lower-level field box tickets for the Reds vs. Braves series at GABP on May 6-8 for only $16 ($20 off!)
Visit reds.com/redswin for the offer.
Now you feel really smart, don’t you?
I’ll be back soon with details on a few new Reds blogs, the new Reds Hall of Fame Grille, a special military salute at the All-Star Game and more. Reds vs. Nationals at 7:05pm.
If you are on twitter, you’ve probably seen Reds fans furiously tweeting the #JoeyVotto hashtag. The MLB Network asked fans to vote for the face of their club in January, and is now having a competition bracket style via twitter to make one player the Face of MLB. And let me tell you, based on our track record, Reds fans are LEGENDARY around MLB for their hashtag battles.
Here’s where we are today:
Votto has made it to the final four and is now going head to head with Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates. Voting for this round will end at 6:30am on Monday. Winner will be announced on the MLB Networks’ Hot Stove show at 9am et that day.
IF Joey advances to the finals, he will take on Matt Kemp of the Dodgers (Kemp won his hashtag battle by a close margin this morning), Monday through Friday of next week for the title of the Face of MLB!
Some of the basic rules: one #JoeyVotto hashtag per tweet only, retweets count, and you don’t need to include @MLBNetwork or #FaceofMLB in the tweet.
There are certainly more important things in life than hashtag battles, but it’s our chance to show the baseball world how much we love our team and have a little fun while we are doing it. Thank you for all your support. Reds fans are the best! Happy Spring Training! – Lisa
The full squad is in Goodyear and Spring Training is officially underway! The Reds’ first game takes place on Friday, 2/22 against their Goodyear Ballpark roommates, the Cleveland Indians. If you are headed out to Arizona for the Spring Training action, get the latest info HERE. And follow Goodyear Ballpark on Twitter and Facebook.
If you aren’t able to join us in Goodyear this year, all the games will be available on 700WLW or Reds.com.
Here’s a look at what’s happening at the ballpark, thanks to Rob Butcher, Zach Bonkowski, Corey Hawthorne, Ralph Mitchell and Karen Forgus.
Hope you are having a great weekend. 43 days until Opening Day!
Wow, what a day! Three big public stops this afternoon on the Reds Caravan and every venue was a sea of red. We’ve got one more day with stops in Dayton, Lexington and Hamilton. You can find the details HERE.
Check out all the fan photos on twitter by searching the hashtag #RedsCaravan. Here are some of ours:
MUNCIE (thanks Rob Butcher and Audra Sordyl)
LIMA (thanks Jamie Ramsey and Nick Erikson)
BOWLING GREEN (thanks Larry Herms and Kathryn Braun)
Hope to see you on Sunday!
It’s been a busy Saturday on the road for our Caravan crews. The crowds have been huge, the Q&A questions are great, and our fans are so enthusiastic about the 2013 Reds season. Thank you to all that have come out to see us. Here are photos from the first half of the day. Check out the schedule, photo albums and twiter coverage HERE
INDIANAPOLIS (thanks to Rob Butcher, Nick Erikson and Megan Hewitt)
COLUMBUS (thanks to Jamie Ramsey and Michael Anderson)
SELECT-A-SEAT EVENT AT GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK (thanks to Larry Herms and Laura Coleman)
FINDLAY (thanks to Jamie Ramsey)
CELINA (thanks to Rob Butcher)
PORTLAND (thanks to Rob Butcher)
LONDON, KY (Courtesy of Larry Herms)
PARKERSBURG, WV (courtesy of Jamie Ramsey)
BLOOMINGTON, IN (courtesy of Rob Butcher and Audra Sordyl)
Tomorrow we head to Columbus, Lima, Bowling Green, Muncie, Indianapolis and Great American Ball Park. Get all the details on the Reds Caravan HERE. See you on the road!