Monday, January 16, 2012

Dodger blogger profile: Ernest Reyes (Blue Heaven)

In the seventh part of my Dodger Blogger Profile series, I check in with Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven.

If you're an L.A. sports fan, I'm sure you already know about the blog. It's one of the most comprehensive for all Los Angeles sports. It also has a card-collecting component, if you're into that stuff*.

*- I'm a recovering card-collecting junkie, so I'm certainly not judging.

Reyes was inspired by Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts and has been blogging since 2006.

1. How did you become a Dodgers' fan?
- I’ve been a Dodger as long as I can remember. I was originally born in Inglewood and subsequently moved with my family at very young age to Orange County in the mid-to-late-'70s. I’m often asked why the Dodgers instead of the Angels since I was young enough to not have strong geographic ties? And to be frank, I don’t have a really good answer. For whatever reason, I always identified with the Dodgers. Whether it was the rise of Fernando Valenzuela, who I thought at my young age looked like my father, my nightly radio listening to Vin Scully in the summer or my understanding and respect for Dodger history. I just don’t know.

2. What got you into blogging?
- I became an active reader of blogs starting at about 2005. At the time it was mostly business and political blogs that struck my fancy, but soon I discovered sports blogs. Then, I ran into Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts and immediately searched high and low for Dodger/Baseball blogs to read. Seeing that there were not many out there that really focused on my interest (around 2006), I figured I would give it a try. I wanted to do something a little different and decided to focus on two of my passions with the blog -- the Dodgers and collecting.

3. What are some of goals for your blog?
- My main goal when I started was to just fill up my time with something I enjoyed -- that is, talking about the team and my hobby. If you look back at my early post you’ll see that I was much more active in writing about specific games and the goings on with the team than collecting cards. I’ve now focused more on the hobby and collecting side of the Dodgers more so than talking about some of the happenings with the franchise. Who knows, maybe I go back to how I started and start doing game recaps again. I dunno, I guess you can say that I’m a little fickle like that.

Anyway, long story short, I ultimately want to just have fun with the blog. My earlier aspirations (dreams) that I might be able to make a living doing this have abated, so fun and recreation is my main motivation. That said, if someone wants to hire me to do this then I’m all ears.

4. What is the best experience you've had since blogging?
- There are two that immediately come to mind. First, it was being invited to the Blogger Nights in a suite by the Dodger PR department. It truly has made this adventure worthwhile. The second reason is being able to spend an evening in the press box reporting on a game. Although I don’t know if I’d do it again (I had a very difficult time not cheering) I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

5. What is your most memorable in-person Dodgers' experience?
- I think I kinda answered that above. Playing reporter for a game, being able to go to the press box, seeing Vin Scully (and being too scared to introduce myself), going into the clubhouse and standing on the field before the game. It was just awesome. Awesome!

6. How many Dodger games have you attended? At Dodger Stadium?
- I have no idea. While in college I went to quite a few. A college roommate my freshman year was more rabid than I was so we often went when time was available. As I’ve gotten older, being able to go has been more difficulty; especially considering I live in south OC.

7. Who is your all-time favorite Dodger player and pitcher?
- My all-time favorite Dodger is Jackie Robinson. I love the history of the franchise. When it comes to a favorite pitcher it would have to be Fernando Valenzuela.

8. What season of Dodgers' baseball do you remember most? Why?
- 1988. That season, the playoffs and World Series still resonate vividly in my mind.

9. Who is the Dodger you liked that no one else seemed to like?
- This is a very good question and I don’t know if I have a good answer. Tom Niedenfuer, maybe? I’ve read the many complaints folks had about him, but I was fairly young when he was the closer and I always put a great amount of faith on him- even when things didn’t turn out the way we wanted. Still, I always liked the guy.

10. What do you the Dodgers need to do to win another World Series in your lifetime (save axing McCourt and Colletti)?
- I think the Dodgers should focus on what has historically gotten them to the heights they have experienced. I always disliked Kevin Malone and the FOX takeover. It seemed like their focus was on long ball, free agent baseball, the big bang to satisfy the corporate honchos who wanted immediately results instead of focused attention to detail. I say go back to Dodger Baseball.

Draft well, nurture from within, focus on pitching and fundamentals on the field. Find a catcher whose main goal is handling the pitching staff while providing bonus at-bats. Run, bunt, move players along, small ball is what I think they should focus on. That to me is Dodger Baseball.

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