I’m living in Southern Alabama, it’s early-January, and I’m a baseball blogger.
So it’s come to this. As a newly-minted “stay at home” dad, I have a lot of other responsibilities to deal with in addition to my Marlins news updates for Marlin Maniac. I had no idea of how hard some of these things were while elsewhere. I have a newfound appreciation for my wife, who was really working as a “stay-at-home” mom for most of my enlistment while I completed my 21 years in the military.
Moving every three years is hard on a military spouse. She could never get a job that fit her credentials, and if she did, she would have to leave just as things started to get in a groove for her. As this was my final duty station, she decided to open a business here, a wellness center. Three years ago, she completed the certifications that she needed to open her own practice here in town. Now its a fully functional psychotherapy and wellness center. To wit, she has a masseuse, an aromatherapist, a yoga instructor, and another psychotherapist on staff, along with herself. And the business is only growing.
I’ve now been retired from the Army for eight days. Taking the kids to-and-from school, taking care of all the little chores around the house, dishes, laundry, cleaning up, Taekwondo classes for the youngest. Building things. Making sure the dogs don’t destroy other things when I’m not looking (that little one is cute, but she’s hell on shoes and pens). I’m not trying to bemoan my situation here, it’s actually pretty sweet – I’m just trying to set the scene for you.
Sometimes it seems kind of mundane keeping track of the Marlins during the offseason. It’s hard to find a subject a lot of days, so I write about history, prospects, free agency, trade rumors, three things to watch for….whatever needs to happen to keep Marlin Maniac high on the Yahoo and Google search engines.
It’s truly a labor of love, writing about these Marlins. I’ve strived to become an actual sportswriter through hit and miss or trial and error, but mostly by perseverance. I’ve been writing for eight years now, through deployments, rotations, and now retirement. I wrote every day through a rotation into Afghanistan for blogs such as Bucs Dugout, Litter Box Cats, Hot Hot Hoops, Fish Stripes, Phin Phanatic, Matchsticks & Gasoline, Bleacher Report, The Rat Trick, and a few others. A year across Europe through such exotic locales as Latvia, Germany, Poland, and Romania couldn’t slow me down either. I watched every game on MLB.TV, even though it meant losing sleep most of the time. It was worth it to be able to keep track of my favorite team, and cover them for Fish Stripes (at the time) and now Marlin Maniac.
It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to cover a team from “in the trenches,” and that’s still my eventual aim. Even better if it turns out to someday be the Marlins, the only team that I’ve ever considered myself a “superfan,” or, “Maniac” for. In the meantime, I try to keep up on the most current information, but I’m not considered part of the actual media by the team, so I don’t get any of those nifty press releases. I’m just watching the same television and reading the same websites you are to keep up with things, then offering my take on it, where warranted.
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But several of the Marlins minor league affiliates have been forthcoming in issuing credentials when I ask. I’m hoping to get out and about this summer to visit each of our six farm clubs in turn, and maybe even get to talk to a few of these players if I get a chance.
I’m keen to talk to Jordan Holloway, who may have the most upside of any pitcher in the organization. I’d also like to speak with Sterling Sharp, and see what his expectations are for the coming season. Luis Palacios is another guy I’d really like to ask a few questions of. Nic Ready and I have a lot in common, with our military background. Which players would you like to hear from? Let me know in the comments, and hopefully I’ll be able to scratch that particular itch for you.
But in the meantime, forgive my rambling, nearly incoherent rant. There’s still dishes to wash, lawns to mow, and that little dog dug up one of those trees in the backyard.