On the one-month birthday of Red Hot Mama, writers from all my favorite Reds sites had participated in the May round table that was posted in pieces all around the Reds' blogdom. I had scanned through, feeling wholly inadequate because I thought OPS was a stupid stat and I lacked any strong opinion about exactly how many weeks after his 30th birthday the Reds should tie up Dunn. So you can imagine my surprise to receive an invitation to the next one.
Fast forward one month: I've learned a lot, and I'm confident that I can hold my own with these guys; maybe even take them to task on some stuff. I'm getting psyched up to be witty, coquettish, wise, thoughtful, and an ambassador for all of woman-kind. I'm nervous. I'm pacing the room. I'm tying my hair in knots. But I pull myself together, get into the online forum, ready to wow everyone.
So now I invite you to guess what I did. Do you think I shocked everyone with my insights? Made everyone laugh so hard that they couldn't even type? Well, I'll tell you what I did: I broke the forum. My big chance to prove myself, and I broke the freakin' forum.
The forum couldn't handle the use of double-quotes, but my love affair with punctuation is so deeply entreanched that I used them without even realizing I'd done it and blew the darn thing up.
And oh the chaos! Reds bloggers everywhere were sent flying, spread-eagle, into cyberspace! If it hadn't been so gruesome, it almost would have been cool.
Since you see the transcript below, you probably have already figured out that the guys pulled together another solution in no time flat. They didn't even make fun of me for screwing everything up. They were WAY nicer than I would have been.
And though I was humbled at first, I soon got the sassy back out. So, without further ado, I am pleased to present part one of the June Reds Round Table. Links to the subsequent parts will appear below when the rest of those guys make them available.
Joel: Who wants to introduce themselves to the class first?
Blade: I'm the creation of a young boy:
Joel: Blade is a mystery wrapped in an enigma disguised behind a false moniker.
Joel: Hi, my name is Joel. I started as a blogger back in December and already I have to beat my fans off with a stick. I manage to be both adorable and witty at the same time, which drives the women nuts. I started writing at Great American Reds Blog, but I have since moved to the 5th most popular blog on the MVN network, Reds & Blues.
JDArney: Hi, JD Arney here. I started blogging about the Reds back in December of 2002 with Redsfaithful's Baseball Blog. Bought my own domain in February of 2004 (Reds Daily) and then moved to SportsBlogs and Red Reporter in February of 2005. I also coach high sports such as tennis and cross country and I go to school in pursuit of a political science degree. Also I'm getting married in August. And I like long walks on the … ok that's enough I'll let someone else go.
Red Hot Mama: JD - aren't you too young for all that stuff? You must be some sort of prodigy.
Joel: Thanks JD, how's the wedding planning coming? And is the future wife prepared for the fact that you are one of the 5 most important bloggers on the net? If you only count Reds blogs.
Blade: Sweet, I'm one of the five most important, too.
Joel: Uh, Blade, there are 6 Reds blogs…just sayin'.
Blade: Sweet, I'm one of the six most important, too.
JDArney: I'm 23, and the wedding planning is going pretty well. From what I hear. I try to stay out of it. Also my future-wife is blown away by my Reds blog. I think it's what attracted her in the first place.
Shawn: I'm Shawn. I have a wife and four kids. I have been teaching science (mostly physics and chemistry) at the high school and college levels for 15 years. I became a Reds fan when I was 8, during the 1972 pennant season, watching the team on TV. 40 games on WSAZ, Channel 3 out of Huntington, WV. My parents were kind enough to humor my youthful passions, and our family vacations in 1975 and 1976 included trips to Reds games. Good times. I've been a Reds fan since, blogging since 2002. Though if I were starting now, I probably wouldn't do a Reds blog. I only did it because no one else was at the time.
RHM: What would you do instead?
Shawn: I might not have gotten into blogging at all. I found out about blogs, saw that no one was doing a Reds one, and started the CR Blog. Now I have four…well, five actually.
Joel: Wow, I have a hard enough time trying to find time to write one post a day…I'm impressed.
Shawn: I don't post to the others every day.
JDArney: Yeah, I have a political site that's dead, i need to try to revive it.
Joel: But then, I'm a slow writer, so I mull over everything way too much before I post it…too much of a perfectionist, I guess.
Shawn: They are more historic and specific in nature, and don't require daily updating. Longer shelf life, as it were.
RHM: I can't believe that after a day of sitting in front of a computer and writing, I come home and write, but I do it. Might be different if I'd followed physics like you. Certainly would have been, actually, since I'd be a time-traveller by now.
Shawn: Well, it's not so much physics as education. I teach…that's really the only thing I've ever found that I can do that people will pay me to do. So I'm not an office drone, sitting at at computer all day.
Joel: I hear you RHM, my wife can't understand how I can sit at a computer for so long after working at one all day.
RHM: What is it that you do, Joel?
Joel: I'm an IT guy. I work at Initech…I check bank software for the year 2000 switch…
Joel: Nah, that's from Office Space, but I do hate my job and everyday is just slightly worse than the one before it…sad really.
JDArney: It's only fractions of a penny! That's not stealing … it's like the need a penny take a penny thing on the counter! Only hundreds of thousands of times.
Joel: Well, what do you want to talk about? How about this question….who is your all time favorite Reds bench player?
Shawn: Hmmmmmmm…maybe Terry Crowley.
JDArney: D.T. Cromer.
Shawn: He was usually good for a pinch hit.
Joel: I always liked Luis Quinones….that's fun to say. “Quin-yone-yes”
JDArney: D.T. … J.D. … it was love at first sight really.
Blade: Ed Armbrister. He was one of Sparky's boys.
Shawn: Yeah, but Ed was Sparky's pinch-bunter.
Joel: You're in love with that Big Red Machine, aren't you? Do you have BRM bed sheets?
Blade: Yes, and no. Only because I didn't know there was BRM bed sheets. I should check ebay.
Joel: I don't know, there's something kind of weird about sleeping with Joe Morgan right in your face.
Shawn: Hey, those are my childhood heroes, dude.
Joel: I know. I don't mind. I'm just a bit too young to have appreciated them.
Blade: I was four in 1975.
JDArney: I wish I'd been alive for that. 1990 is pretty much all I have.
Shawn: Ah, what you missed. I was 11 in 1975….that was the Golden Age of baseball for me.
Joel: I was -1 in 1975, if you believe in pre-existence. Oops, there I go philosophizing again.
JDArney: Hey I like this game, I was -6 in 1975 … -7 before July 6th.
RHM: My parents had not yet met in '75.
Joel: No way, you are not that young, are you? Er, I mean, aw forget it.
RHM: I'm younger than say, Casey, older than WMP.
Joel: Ah, that clears it up then.
Shawn: I'm older than any of them, but younger than Julio Franco.
RHM: Once I'm older than all the players, I'm not sure how that will affect my fandom.
Shawn: You'll be more maternal.
Blade: Eh, I'm getting there. I don't think it matters too much.
RHM: The other day I was in Dairy Queen when the Logansport High School baseball team came in, and I caught myself checking some of them out, so it may not change anything. In my defense, they were the oldest-looking 17-year olds I've ever seen.
Joel: Here's a harder question for you: who is your favorite CURRENT bench player….this does not include Freel and Wily Mo who should be starting.
Shawn: None of the above.
Joel: Aw, c'mon, you gotta choose one.
Shawn: Oh, shucks. Valentín then. There's only four to choose from: Valentín, Aurilia, Romano, L. Lopez.
RHM: Well, Javy *is* the Latin Love Machine.
JDArney: That's hard. Jacob Cruz, I guess. He seems to try hard.
Shawn: Oh, yeah, Cruz. I'll take him. We're down to 12 pitchers, I forgot. Cruz is the only one who really belongs on a big league roster.
Joel: I like Cruz too. He's one of the few guys on the team that seem half way competent.
JDArney: I've read that he takes extra BP, stuff like that, although that might just be because he's bored.
Blade: Cruz would be my choice as well.
Joel: Though, you've got to give props to Javier Valentín's mustache.
Blade: We know about your infatuation with his mustache.
Joel: Hey, if I could grow one like that, I would, but just for the weekends.
RHM: What's up with Cruz? Why hasn't he been running for himself? Something wrong with his legs?
Joel: I don't think so, I think it's just a case of Miley over-managing. Plus, I think DanO demands that Romano plays every game.
Shawn: Is that like mind over matter?
RHM: That doesn't explain why LLopez ran for him today, though.
Joel: Well, I guess if Luis Lopez is going to be on the roster, he should play occasionally, too.
Check out the rest:
Part II on Reds and Blues
Part III on Red Reporter
Part IV on The Cutting Edge
Part V on Shawn's Cincinnati Reds Blog