There is always that person in a group of friends who is known as the baseball fan. In the case of Travis Miller, a former blogger at Fan Sided, he is all that and more. Even though he wrote for the Chicago White Sox blog at Fan Sided, he is a tried and true New York Mets fan–but more importantly, he is a fan of all things baseball. And that’s why he’s trying to become the 2012 MLB Fan Cave fan. Below is a little interview, cutting to the core of Travis and his fandom.
Ben: How long have you been a Mets fan for?
Travis: I’ve been a Mets fan for as long as I can remember (born in 1985). Whenever my family would drive by a Howard Johnson hotel, I couldn’t help but wonder if HoJo was in there. I locked myself in the bathroom for three hours when we traded David Cone – I didn’t quite understand “gun for hire” yet. If you asked me in the early 90’s, I would have sworn Eddie Murray was going in the Hall wearing Mets colors. I was told to turn my “YANKEES SUCK” shirt inside out at Shea Stadium on three different occasions because it’s a “family atmosphere.” Didn’t stop me from trying. My first memory from a game I attended was a Joe Orsulak pinch-hit home run.
B: What’s your favorite Mets moment?
T: Robin Ventura’s grand slam single in the ’99 NLCS. Every Mets fan remembers how the Braves completely owned us, no matter how good we were. “You Gotta Believe” never meant more to me than that very moment when I actually thought we were going to come back and take down Larry Wayne Jones, Jr., John Rocker and the boys.
B: And your least favorite moment?
T: Sitting on the couch staring at the TV (that I had promptly turned off) for what felt like an eternity after Mike Piazza’s flyout to end the World Series. I’m not the only one who thought it was gone off the bat, was I? I had a lot of pride at stake that October, as did all Mets fans. It was not easy or fun walking through the halls of my high school for the next, well…ever.
B: What are your expectations for 2012?
T: We’ve got Johan Santana and David Wright, that’s good for 90 wins right there, right?
I’m encouraged by the Sandy Alderson/Terry Collins duo. With the cards they’ve been dealt, they seem to be handling the situation to the best of their ability. I don’t think things can really turn around until something changes all the way up top to take the handcuffs off of Alderson. Given the talent in the division, I’ve come to terms with what this season won’t bring.
Having low expectations isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have a great chance to break out and turn themselves into centerpieces of the future. The walls being moved in a bit will also help the offense.
I don’t like the shape the bullpen is in, but there are some hard throwers in there, I’m hoping they can prove me wrong. The starting rotation needs to stay healthy, as always, because there just isn’t enough depth. But when was the last time our rotation stayed healthy?
I do not want to see David Wright traded, but if he is, I’ll wish him well and root for whichever team he goes to. That man deserves a ring. I think he’d be a great fit with the White Sox, but they don’t have enough pitching or money to work out a deal for No. 5.
B: Why do you think you deserve to be the next MLB Fan Cave fan?
T: I’m creative and entertaining, I’ve got great baseball knowledge from sitting on the toilet reading my baseball almanacs for the first 18 years of my life, as well as covering the Cubs and the White Sox as a freelancer for the last two years. Each series, I spend time in the visitor’s clubhouses at Wrigley and U.S. Cellular, as well as the home clubhouse, so I’ve gotten to know each and every team throughout the season and build a rapport with players and managers. I had the unfortunate privilege of covering the Mets last season when they were in town and sold a minority stake of the team. I was also there for Lou Piniella’s last game managing the Cubs and Ozzie Guillen’s last game managing the White Sox. Being that close to the game has brought my appreciation for it to a whole new level. Finally, I’m a Mets fan. The baseball gods owe us a win for once. I think it’s time for me to cash mine in. You gotta believe.