Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Redlegs Review Q&A with Jamie Ramsey

Recently, we here at Redlegs Review had the chance to interview Jamie Ramsey, the Assistant Director of Media Relations of the Cincinnati Reds. Jamie has been wildly successful with his blog, Better off Red, and has also been instrumental in the Reds TweetUps the past couple seasons.

Jamie is a great guy and a tremendous follow both on Twitter (@JamieBlog) his actual blog (mentioned above). I think I say, and the other writers on this blog would agree with me, Jamie Ramsey is a guy we all look up to in a sense. With his style of writing, the interesting blog posts and the successful blog, I think that's exactly what we here at Redlegs Review want. As long as it's fun and there are people interested, we continue writing.

Here's a look at the transcript from the interview with Jamie:

1. Early in the year you mentioned the similarities between the 1972 team and this year's team. What similarities do you see with the way the two teams are structured with personnel?

JR: I've been amazed at how this comparison has played out. The two teams are incredibly similar statistically and in the day-by-day standings. It obviously started out as a coincidence but now it's just downright eerie.

When the 2012 team got off to a slow start, I wanted to find a successful Reds team from the past that also started slowly, with the intent to calm the calamity howlers who thought the season's decided in the first 25 games.

I landed on the '72 team because they had just come off a disappointing year in 1971 (79-83) after a wildly successful season in '70 (102-60, NL champs). Very similar to how this year's team is trying to rebound from a lackluster 2011 season (79-83, same record as '71) after experiencing the playoffs in 2010 (91-71).

The '72 offseason was busy for the Reds, as the team made some big trades. Just like the 2012 team. So it was all laid out for an ideal comparison. Needless to say, it's played out perfectly.

As far as personnel goes, both teams have/had the perfect mix of veterans and young stars. The core to both teams was strong pitching (3.21 era in '72, 3.45 era in '12) and defense (.982 fielding % in '72, .985 fielding % in '12). Obviously it doesn't hurt to have a manager that star players want to play for (Sparky in '72 and Dusty this year).

It's been fun and if the '12 Reds make it to the World Series, I don't think anyone will complain. But I'd prefer the Reds win it this time, unlike the '72 team that lost in 7 games to Oakland.

2. You're employed by the Reds. Could you see yourself doing anything else? If so, what?

JR: The Reds are my hometown team and I've been with the club since 1997. However, I feel that if the right opportunity presented itself and I was offered a position with another club that was worth me uprooting and moving, I would certainly entertain it. I've had the chance several times in the past to move on to other clubs, but for one reason or another, my best interest at the time was to remain in Cincinnati.

As far as working outside of baseball, I'd love to be involved somehow in the music industry. Baseball is the only sport that I'd feel comfortable working in. Like baseball, music is something I'm passionate about and the industry has several outlets in which I think I'd have something to offer. I also wouldn't mind being a plumber.

3. The TweetUps that you've had this year have been extremely successful in my opnion. I've been to two of them this year. Talk a bit about the TweetUp. What "visions" do you have for future TweetUps?

JR: I think the common misconception about the "TweetUp" is that it's devised for the fans to go to the game, sit in the same section and stare at their phones the whole time while they tweet. While I agree that TweetUps are "Twitter friendly retreats" to the park, that's not what it's all about.

The intent lies within the name: "TweetUp" is intended to be a "meet up" for the Reds social media folks who only know each other by Twitter handles and avatars. We want our social media community to put faces with names, make real-life friends, watch the Reds at GABP together and most importantly - have fun. And then tweet about their experience.

With that being said, there are things I think we can do to improve upon the TweetUps. One obvious improvement is the limited WiFi available at GABP. It's a very, very expensive problem. As much as the club would prefer that each person in attendance have wi-fi access, it's simply not practical for the team to spend 1 or 2 million dollars to make that happen. However, I think in the future, there will be a solution. I just don't know what that is at this time.

Also, I like the idea of having a designated "TweetUp" section for our Reds Social Media community. As you know, our TweetUps take place in a different section of the ballpark each time. I think if our folks had an area to call their own, it would heighten their experience. Ideally, I wish that area was a suite or a location that everyone could mingle and interact with each other while still watching the game. As it is now, once you sit down in the section, it's difficult to hang out with your Twitter friend who might be sitting at the other end of the section 5 rows up.

I think Lisa Braun does a fabulous job putting together the TweetUps. She has great vision and recognizes the importance of growing new media and how it affects baseball fans, specifically Reds fans. She's constantly coming up with ideas to make our TweetUps the best in the league...and I think she's succeeded in doing so.

4. This team looks like they have tons of fun on the field. Who is the funniest/most entertaining guy on the team? (It's gotta be Ryan Ludwick, right BROTHER?)

JR: Todd Frazier is easily the most entertaining player on the team. That amazes me because he's a rookie, but facts are facts, he's the guy who keeps it loose in the clubhouse. Ryan Ludwick has also contributed to the chemistry of this 2012 clubhouse. He's incredibly fun to be around and the guys really like him. I think a lot of credit also should go to Sean Marshall, Sam LeCure, Miguel Cairo and Bronson Arroyo.

5. Joey Votto missed a significant amount of time. Being that you cover the Reds, what was the most notable difference in Votto's absence?

JR: How confident the team became in itself. When Votto went down, the Reds immediately became first-place underdogs. I remember many folks saying that if the club could just maintain a .500 record while Joey was gone, they'd be ok. The players knew they were a great team with or without Votto and it carried over into the field. It was like they were hungry to prove it.

I think the initial shock of the news that Votto would miss significant time affected the fans way more than the players. There are times in which I've seen similar news wreck a clubhouse and send a team spiraling. Not the case in this instance.

6. World Series prediction?

JR: To keep with the '72 comparison, I'm going with the Reds vs. A's. This time though, Reds win it in 5 and as revenge for Charlie O. Finely dancing on the Riverfront Stadium dugout in '72, Bob Castellini does the Macarena on the pitcher's mound in Oakland following the clinch.

There you have it folks, Reds in 5! 

Again, go follow Jamie Ramsey on Twitter @JamieBlog and on his blog "Better off Red."

A huge thanks again to Jamie Ramsey for his time in answering these questions! 

1 comment:

Tim said...

So going by actual "wins above replacement" for Votto and Ryan Howard, both of whom missed a lot of time,, the Reds played at a winning percentage that pro-rates over 162 games to minus 13 with Votto playing, while the Phillies would be plus-29 wins with Howardl playing. Go figure.