Cardinal baseball, from the girls
Warming Up for Winter Warm-Up
Back before Christmas, before Santa even had a chance, the St. Louis Cardinals knocked him out of the competition for the best Christmas surprise. An official email popped up in my inbox from THE CARDINALS inviting Cardinal Diamond Diaries to be one of five blogs invited to COVER Winter Warm-Up. Very cool. Very, very cool.
Since then, I have attempted to balance the happy dancing with some serious planning. This is, afterall, more than just an amazing opportunity for close-up Cardinal watching. I have to somehow temper my giddy fan side and do this thing right. Make a good impression and not irritate the trolls, you know.
So how does a gal who started a website to chatter about baseball, her team and the players we all love actually prepare for and conduct herself at an official media event? The Cardinals are entrusting me with press credentials, and I certainly don’t want to mess that up… not even for a sneak hug attack on David Freese or the chance to size up Matt Holliday’s hunky forearms in person (True confession: I have this crazy need to know if his massive forearm circumference is bigger than my fingertip span.)
Sure, I’ve had some practice with minor league press credentials. I’ve met players, coaches, press guys and baseball folk while covering and photographing AAA games here locally. (Yes, I am still tickled about those experiences too, but work with me here: I’m trying really hard to sound “professional.”) However, THIS amazing opportunity with the BIG club has left me quaking in my wooly socks – between moments when my wiggly excitement takes over again.
So, to try to keep some of these anxious thoughts from rattling around in my brain, I’ve been reaching out, asking for help from those with more experience, those who know more about the process… those who are actually good at this sort of “professional baseball writing” stuff. Will they steer me right? Settle my nerves? Give me good pointers? I’ll let ya know.
One of the boxes on my checklist is researching BBWAA guidelines because, per my email invitation, I am required to follow said rules. While I haven’t actually learned much from the BBWAA website, some of my “expert” advice has included these important recommendations:
1) “Don’t show up wearing Cardinal red”
2)”….not even red underwear.”
I’m guessing these hints are from those elusive BBWAA guidelines?
Another confession: I have never before attended a Winter Warm-Up event. So, like many fans, I am looking forward to experiencing the atmosphere, mayhem and what I assume to be (from photos of prior WWUs) suffocating crowds. But this year I will get the chance to experience firsthand what WWU gives Cardinal Nation: a brief touch of Cardinal baseball during the long baseball-less winter. It is a welcome reminder that Spring Training is right around the corner. So, I hope to be able to share a fresh look at Winter Warm-Up from a newbie perspective.
And while I’m confessing my thoughts today: I am crazy worried about blending in and speaking up at the press interviews. (Yes, those are two very opposing stances… see my anxiety here?) On the other hand, I am super excited to meet writers and media personnel whose real job is covering the Cardinals throughout the year. And I will admit to being just a tad curious to see what happens when “bloggers” (a.k.a. “new media”) and old school sports journalists are left in a small room together for a few days. I love those real-life psychology lab experiments… ;)
I am happy to report that my camera has been invited too. So, there will be photos. (yay!) And while I am working through all the jitters, I am also very mindful that this is an experience for which I am very grateful, and I plan on fully enjoying every moment, every experience and every glimpse of Mr. Holliday. Wait, that wasn’t professional… forget that last one.
So, if you have any advice or any questions you’d like for me to try and sneak into the player press interviews, I would LOVE to read them.
….9 days ‘til WWU! Maybe I’ll see you there?