Tuesday, November 11, 2014
MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH ERICA MORALES
We continue our BYB interview series MEET THE FAMILY. I bring you now... Erica Morales...
BYB: Tell the audience how you came aboard to become a writer for Bleeding Yankee Blue.
Erica Morales: It was a little more than two years ago. Jeana Bellezza and I had formed a friendship on Facebook. She had been with BYB for a while, and knew that I was a writer, and a huge Yankee fan.
So when BYB started looking for a new writer, she suggested that I should throw my hat in the race. And here I am.
Erica Morales: Credit for that goes to my grandfather. I have all these memories of growing up watching the Yankees with him, as he would rattle off all the reason why the "new" Yankees would never be as good as Lou Gehrig. It just became our thing. I remember watching all 162 Yankee games with him in 2000. We spent game five of the World Series against the Mets screaming at the TV.
BYB: What was the best Yankee moment you witnessed, be it on TV or at the Stadium and why?
Erica Morales: Being a Yankee fan, we get a lot of great moments. It's so hard to pick, but the one that always stands out to me is watching from the bleachers with Jeana as Jorge Posada came out to pinch hit, and ultimately clinched the division for the Yankees in 2011.
He struggled so much that season, and the media was horrible to him. I kept telling people that Jorge was clutch, that he would come through when we needed him. The feel in the stands when he hit that two run single was incredible! That season was filled with great moments, from Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit to Mariano Rivera breaking the saves record. But that one moment was the greatest to me. Jorge told BYB that the best advice he could give was "Grind it!" That one moment was Jorge putting that advice to work.
BYB: What makes Bleeding Yankee Blue unique... different than the other blogs?
Erica Morales: At the risk of sounding repetitive, we're a family. From the writers to our readers. We, the writers, each have our own voices, our own opinions. We talk about baseball, in a way that is different. Sure, we talk about the news, trades, rumors... all of that. But we also talk about the life lessons that the game teaches us. We inject our families into it, sharing stories about our kids, and other loved ones. So fans relate to us both as Yankees fans, and people. The feedback is nice. Although fans don't always agree with us, they get us, so it's a working symbiotic relationship.
BYB: I know for a fact you're a Paul O'Neill and Jorge Posada girl. Tell us how that came about.
Erica Morales: Jorge was all grit and heart on the field. He played with dedication and determination. He expected the best from himself, and didn't accept failure. He always met failure head on with more determination.
Paulie was kind of an early inspiration for me. Regardless of how he felt about a previous play or at bat... he'd always get right back up there, ready to tackle the next task. You know the saying "It doesn't matter how many times you get knocked down, it's about how many times you get back up"? That's Paulie in a nutshell. He really is a Warrior. Guess, both of them taught me to grind it out. When things go bad, you get back up and fight it out. And how could you not respect that?
BYB: Do you envision Paulie and Jorge eventually becoming a Yankees coach or manager? Give us that perfect scenario.
Erica Morales: Could you imagine? I'd be the happiest Yankee fan in the entire world! It would be perfection. Maybe sometime in the future we'll see them. I know right now they are all about spending time with their families, and I respect that. I would love to see Jorge as manager, with Paulie as hitting coach. The combination would be incredible! Two of the most determined players to play in the Bronx. They wouldn't accept a loss lightly. They'd bring a serious fire to the Bronx. I dig it!
BYB: Amber Sabathia and Laura Posada are big supporters of BYB, and we've interviewed both. First off, what do you admire most about them? Second, what was your favorite interview on BYB and why?
Erica Morales: I love Laura and Amber! You get all these stereotypes of sports wives, and here are these two women just going "NOPE! We will not be defined by your misconception. We ARE Boss Ladies!" I lead Girl Scouts, and they are exactly the kind of women that we hope to build for the future. Women who carve their own legacies.
As for the interviews, we've had a lot of great ones. I think I have to go with the Posada's one. Partly because of my love for Jorge, but many because it gave us an insight to the dynamic of their family.
BYB: The BYB crew seems to flow pretty well when it comes to story content. Tell the audience how the collaboration works...
Erica Morales: The key is communication. We're good about discussing everything. And we all know that certain writers own certain topics.
When it comes to Mark Teixeria, it's either Jeana or Mike O'Hara. Usually both. I've done all the Alex Rodriguez stuff. We kind of just get each other.
BYB: I try to be fair and honest here with the staff. How am I doing as the chief?
Erica Morales: You're our very own Don Corleone! You respect us, and our families enough to know when something major comes up, we may need to lay low for a while. You communicate with us when we need to get our stuff done. And god help anyone who messes with us. "You don't take sides against the family." Part of have a good team is having a good leader. I'd say you're doing well.
BYB: I remember seeing a picture of you sleeping at your computer, clearly exhausted after a long day of life. You were trying to write an article for our audience. I felt bad, but I've been there myself. Find the words to tell the audience why we love what we do here.
Erica Morales: That picture... I pulled a 12 hour shift at work, and wanted to get my writing done. Clearly, that didn't work. There really isn't any other way to describe it other than passion, pure and unadulterated. I have been a writer for a very long time, working on school newspapers through Junior High School, and High School, publishing poetry under pen names. It's just what I love to do. So you combine that with my love of the Yankees? It's kind of a no brainer why we're so driven.
BYB: Since we already know you read BYB... tell me, going back all the way to the beginning, what was the post on BYB you read that made you say "Hey, I like these guys."
Erica Morales: A Facebook friend, I don't even remember who, shared a piece about CC and WHY BASEBALL ISN'T PREDICTABLE. I was pretty ticked off about that game. I've always liked CC, but man... what the hell happened? I guess my friend thought I would relate to that post. I did, and I've been reading ever since.
Erica, thanks for being a rock star. Thanks for your hard work and dedication and thanks for allowing the BYB audience to learn alittle bit more of one of my top writers. You are appreciated.
To our audience, if you haven't read our first interview in this MEET THE FAMILY series, you can read it below.
MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH JEANA BELLEZZA
We hope you're enjoying this so far.... who will be next? Stay tuned.
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