12/05: Interviewing the Yankees Blogosphere: Joseph Pawlikowski, River Ave. Blues
Posted by: Patrick
Mainly reading and writing. I write for a few blogs professionally (Prepaid Reviews, on the prepaid telecommunications industry and BB Geeks, a BlackBerry enthusiast site), in addition to doing some freelance work. I also am known to bang out a few riffs on my gee-tar from time to time.
How long have you been blogging about the Yankees?
Since May of 2005, when it seems that a few notable blogs appeared - WasWatching.com launched then and didn't YanksBlog.com come into existence about that time?
[Patrick's note: Yes, that's right. YanksBlog.com launched on May 5, 2005.]
How did River Ave. Blues come to be?
Ben and I both got new jobs around the same time and both were a bit time consuming at first. So I left The Sporting Brews to join him at what was then Off the Facade. We grew frustrated with the over management of the network and, as it would turn out, Mike harbored similar feelings. Ben and I decided to break off and start our own thing and thought asking Mike to come with us was a good idea.
What's the best and worst part of blogging?
The best part is being able to connect with other fans and get into some serious debate and discussion. There's nothing I enjoy more than a 50 comment thread. Thankfully, we have some sharp commenters at RAB. The worst part... is there a worst part? It's the flak we take from journalists. They see bloggers as a threat, which leads them to say stupid things.
Besides your own, what are your favorite Yankees blogs?
I have an RSS feed category dedicated to my favorite Yanks blogs so that I can keep up with what's going on. The list: My Baseball Bias (very underrated, in my opinion), Bronx Banter, My Pinstripes, Pinstripe Alley, YanksBlog.com, Yanksfan vs. Soxfan, WasWatching and Depressed Fan - though I am fundamentally opposed to being a fan of the Yankees and also liking the Eagles.
What are some of your earliest memories of the Yankees?
My dad has watched nearly every Yankees game from the time I was born until now, so there were plenty of early memories. I remember Don Baylor being my favorite player until my first trip to the Stadium (as a six year old in 1988) and hearing the crowd go crazy for Don Mattingly. I remember making fun of Wayne Tolleson and Alvaro Espinoza because they looked funny. I remember liking Pat Kelly because I hated Steve Sax. And I remember hating Bernie Williams at first because I had a boycrush on Roberto Kelly (Williams filled in for a bit in '91 while Kelly was on the DL).
Did you grow up rooting for the Yanks? Was your Dad or someone in your family influential in making sure you pulled for the Yankees?
As I said, my dad is a relentless Yankees fan. I watched games with him every night, because my mom would refuse to be in the room when they were on. My immediate family are all Yanks fans, though everyone in my extended family roots for the Mets.
Who is your all-time - past or present - favorite Yankee and why?
I might be the only twenty something who won't answer Donnie Baseball here. I'm going with Andy Pettitte. I remember his debut in '95 and he and Jeter were the focuses of my attention in '96. Game 5 of the World Series cemented him as my favorite Yankee.
Do you admire anyone (doesn't need to be a player) in the Yankee organization?
I've got an affinity for Damon Oppenheimer. The dude seems to know what he's doing. He would make a nice successor to Cashman, should he decide that he's lost too much hair and call it quits after his contract runs out.
How often do you make it to the stadium to see a game?
I made it to 20 games last year, a record for me. Having grown up in Jersey, it was always a bit tough to get in, since public transportation still leaves you at least a half hour from the Stadium. And, after I was stuck in a gridlock for over an hour driving into a Red Sox game this year, I'm limiting my driving to Sundays. Hopefully I'll make it to more next year - a lot more if I move to the City or a borough (anyone need a roommate?).
Excluding our own guys, who is a free agent that you'd like to see the Yankees sign?
Honestly, no one really piques my interest right now. David Riske would have been the only one I would have considered, but he seems off the market. Everyone else has too high a price tag for too many years and doesn't fit the needs of this team. Maybe a flier on Bart Colon. But that's even a stretch.
What would you break the Hughes, Joba and Ian trio up for?
Considering I'm against trading Hughes for even Santana, it would take quite a lot. It'd have to be a superstar bat - think Pujols.
What do you think about the Tyler Clippard for Jonathan Albaladejo swap?
Absolutely love it. Think what you will of Clippard, but he didn't have much of a place with the Yankees. He killed his trade stock over the course of last year. Albaladejo gives our bullpen a different look. We're used to the power fastball/slider/no control guys. Now we'll have a few different types of guys.
Out of all current Yankee hitters, if you need someone to make something happen, who do you want?
A-Rod? I dunno. After this year's playoffs, it's tough to think of any of the Yankees making something happen. I'm half-serious with the A-Rod thing. He's the best hitter in baseball, after all. Other than that, I suppose Johnny Damon. That could be my short-term memory (the three run homer in game three) talking, though. Oh and that Derek Jeter character.