MLB.com’s decision to add the MLB Fan Cave to its offerings in 2011 was pretty genius. The Fan Cave gives a couple of lucky fans the ultimate opportunity: watch every major league game throughout the entire season, while hanging out with ballplayers galore and basically being non-stop awesome. I can’t think of a way to improve on the Fan Cave in 2012 other than getting a Rockies fan in there! So meet Dan Dreger, one of the 50 finalists for this year’s Fan Cave. Read all about him, then go vote for him so we can get him in!
Rox Pile: How did you come to be a Rockies fan?
Dan: I was baptized a Red-Sox fan. And from 0-12 I followed Sox greats like Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens, and Wade Boggs. Colorado had no major league team, so I was raised in the time-honored traditions of starting fast, fading late, heartbreaking postseason disappointments, and intense Yankees Hatred. I was only 5 in ’86, but after the World Series – when Buckner missed the grounder and the Mets won in 7 – sensing such sadness in the room I asked, “Mommy, did somebody die?”
But in ’93 MLB approved an expansion team – named the Rockies – for Colorado. This was something different! Unlike the Red Sox, this was MY team, with my players, in my city – not a hand-me-down passed on from my family like old china. By opening day 1993, I had a Rockies jersey, hat, socks, shorts, batting helmet, bat and, most importantly, tickets to the home opener. I skipped school to go to that game against the Montreal Expos. And in the first at-bat, in the first MLB game in Denver, Eric Young hit a home run. The 70,000 plus fans went nuts and I was a Rockies fan forever.
Rox Pile: What is your favorite moment in Rockies history?
Dan: My favorite moment was when the Rockies turned into the ’27 yankees for 4 weeks in ’07. Here is a team 7 games out of a playoff spot that miraculously wins 20 out of 21 games to go all the way to the World Series. Along the way they win a 163rd game, pick off a Phillies team with Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, and Ryan Howard, and demoralize a division-winning Diamondbacks club. It was sad when the Cinderella Rockies turned into a pumpkin in The Series, but the ride was something special.
Rox Pile: How do you feel about the 2012 Rockies? What are you hopeful about/concerned about?
Dan: I love the lineup. I finally believe that Dexter Fowler will continue his success at the end of the 2nd half last year. Scutaro and Cuddyer will enjoy the benefits of Coors Field and Helton has one more productive year. Cargo will return to MVP form and Casey Blake is good enough until Arenado’s ready to take over 3rd base. For the first time in a while the Rockies have DEPTH to accompany talent in the middle of the order …
But I’m terrified of the rotation. It seems like the master plan this offseason was to acquire as many questionable pitchers as possible and host a month-long tryout during spring training. It’s going to make for great reality television with unexpected twists and lots of drama. Ultimately, I don’t know why Rockies management opted to bring a pack of flyball pitchers – Guthrie, Moscoso, and Moyer have flyball tendencies well above average – to a park which turns those fly balls into home runs. Huh? De La Rosa needs better health, Chacin needs better control, and Nicasio needs two off-speed pitches. I expect a lot of 10-8 ball games.
Rox Pile: How do your personality/life experiences make you well-suited for the Fan Cave?
Dan: There’s a reason they call it the ‘sports and entertainment’ business. Fan Cave residents must be astute enough to relate to a fan who cares about xFIP, and entertaining enough to interest the casual observer.
I spent 3 years in college on the improv team and I have a history in theater. But I also coach high school baseball and play in a fantasy league that’s way too serious. If I’m in the Fan Cave, you can expect dry humor, creative skits, intelligent interviews, and humble perspective. Why? Because thats what I’d like to see if I were tuning in.
Rox Pile: How will you make sure the Rockies are represented in the FanCave?
Dan: The fan cave has 3 giant screens, surrounded by many mini tvs. Whenever the Rockies were playing, they would be on one of the big screens. So my blogs would be about Cuddyer’s transition to the National League or Pomeranz’s first full month with the Rockies. As the season progressed, fans could follow my tweets on the Rockies farm system or my report on Rosario’s call-up. I have an obligation to cover the whole league, but there would be no confusion about which team I cared about: The Rockies.
A lot is made of the east coast bias. And there’s something to be said for news outlets covering the teams in their nearest markets. I hope that the voters in the Rocky Mountain Region take the initiative to end this continuing cycle. Lets put a fan in The Cave who cares about the National League, the middle of the country, and the Colorado Rockies!
Rox Pile: What players and/or other celebrities are you hoping to meet in the FanCave?
Dan: Tulowitzki’s scheduled to appear so that would be the highlight of the summer – even if he wasn’t rocking that sweet mullet! But there are lots of great players Im excited to meet. I’d like to ask Josh Johnson why he can’t stay healthy enough to win the Cy Young award, ask Big Papi what brings that million-dollar smile to his face every day. I’d like to know whether Robinson Cano, if he had to choose, would take less money to stay in NY or leave to get the big paycheck. The T.V. stars attract the casual audience, and thats great, but I’m more interested in the ballplayers.
Rox Pile: What else would you like Rockies fans and FanCave voters to know about you?
I’m a Cancer, an above average skier, and I’m embarrassed to have BOTH Jordin Sparks AND the Pussycat Dolls on my ipod. I’ve seen over half the major league parks and I still think Coors Field is in the top 10! I saw the Zephyrs play live and I worked a summer for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. My fastball tops out at 78mph, but I’ve got a nasty curve :). I can’t decide whether to name my fantasy baseball team the Sacrifice Bundt Cakes, Booze on First, or the Hanley Men Can. I like country music way better that the crap that TULO choses for his walk-up music. I think that CITI field is WAY better than New Yankee Stadium. I think the Cardinals, Braves, and Reds are going to be really good this year. And I think the Angels aren’t going to be as good as everybody thinks. I’ll take Vin Scully over Jack Buck any day and I think Bob Costas should be appointed MLB commissioner. If Rockies fans vote me into the MLB Fan Cave, they would be proud to have me there. I’m a thoughtful person with a passion for Colorado, its people, and especially its baseball team.