MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH JEANA BELLEZZA
MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH ERICA MORALES
MEET THE BYB FAMILY: INTERVIEW WITH STEVE SKINNER
And now, here's my buddy Ike. I hope you enjoy this... I sure did:
BYB: Ike. When did you become a Yankee fan? What player sealed the deal for you and why?
Ike Dimitriadis: I became a fan when I was 5 years old, watching Yankee games with my dad. There were two guys that defined the team for me back then - Reggie Jackson and Ron Guidry. Reggie was the personality, the power, and home runs were very popular in the schoolyard. Guidry made it for me the night that he struck out 18 against the California Angels.
I still remember sitting on the sofa with my dad, counting down each strikeout. They had the old graphics, and when he broke the franchise record for strikeouts in a game, cheers turned into screams. I was sold!
BYB: What 1 move should the Yankees make this off-season that will turn Yankee fans heads and calm us all down a bit.
Ike Dimitriadis: The Yankees need to get a premier ace starter, either through free agency or through a trade. It did not feel like a downgrade until David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy took deals with other teams. I think the feeling is that the Yankees are remaining inactive, and that is a bad thing for the team and the fans. If they can sign Scherzer, it would be awesome, but it has to be someone at that level. Without an ace added to the roster, I think we have good reason to worry about the season.
BYB: Give me your immediate reaction when you read that David Robertson signed with the White Sox. Where were you, where did you read it?
Ike Dimitriadis: Of course I read it here! Where else would I have seen it??? I was not completely surprised, though I was obviously disappointed. When the Yankees went silent, I knew negotiations were not going well. I always liked him and his charity, High Socks for Hope. It is tough losing a player that you consider one of us. He came through our system, we developed him, and I am sure he is going to have a very successful career. I just wish it was here.
BYB: What's the best moment for you as a writer for BYB on your Feature day. For the audience, a "Feature day" is when you headline that day... the top story.
Ike Dimitriadis: I have always considered it a privilege to write for BYB. Most people that know me know that I am very opinionated, but sometimes it is hard to present a thought or an opinion in a way that makes sense. To make things even more challenging, BYB is committed to providing high quality material for Yankee fans to enjoy and understand. I think our readers have come to expect that. Most people do not know how hard the writers work to get these pieces out, and I have the deepest respect for my fellow writers. My favorite moment is when it all comes together, whether it is the right collection of stats, or the right set of references, or even the imagery to tell the story. When the points that are in my head make it to the page and the points are strong, that is the greatest moment for me.
BYB: You and Bob Lorenz seem to have a pretty good banter on Twitter. You mentioned you really like Lorenz as a baseball guy. Why is he one of your favorites?
Ike Dimitriadis: I have always loved Bob Lorenz. There are many TV personalities that cover the Yankees, baseball, and all sports. Bob makes it fun. Besides giving the highlights, he injects his unique style of humor that really makes it great. Many reporters miss that part of the experience, especially when it comes to the kids watching. If you follow him on Twitter, he takes it to another level. Whether it is the back-and-forth with his followers, or zany pictures he posts, he is a great guy to follow. All the while, he is keeping you up to date on all things Yankees.
BYB: You've covered some pretty cool events for us here at Bleeding Yankee Blue. Which was your favorite and why?
Ike Dimitriadis: Every event I go to for BYB is a cool event, but my favorite would have to be the CC Challenge kickoff. Aside from the obvious thrill of meeting the Sabathias and getting to talk to them, the event itself was a charity event to raise money for inner city youth. We read many stories about how athletes abuse their privilege and live in excess.
Talking to Amber Sabathia about her passion for reaching these youth, and to see both of them giving back with their time and energy to kids who need help, it was a privilege to cover the event.
BYB: You and Erica Morales did the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer and Laura Posada and Amber Sabathia both accepted the challenge. If it was 2005 and I told you we'd have this type of relationship with the players and baseball wives... would you have believed me?
Ike Dimitriadis: It is hard to believe that we have that level of engagement with people in the spotlight like that. For the record, Jeana Bellezza did it too, and it was a privilege for us to be able to help raise support for those suffering from such a terrible disease. It was personal for me, as we lost my wife's Aunt Gertrude to the disease.
Nevertheless, it goes back to what I mentioned earlier, that these are people who are driven to help others, and I'm thrilled to be part of an organization that supports them and extends the reach of their efforts to our readers.
BYB: You and my friend Frank Gentry started as BYB as recap writers. After that season ended, you stayed on and began doing features for us. Tell the audience why that was important for you. After all, you had your own blog at the time...
Ike Dimitriadis: I started my own blog, as many people do, just for fun. I was actually surprised when friends suggested I should try out to be a recap writer for BYB. First, I did not think anybody read my stuff. Second, I did not think anyone thought it was good enough to be on the level of BYB. I very much enjoyed doing those recaps, and I enjoyed getting constructive criticism. I found that my writing was getting better as I was doing it. Being here has helped me think about how Yankees news is made, and how fans receive it. I would have been crazy not to stay on.
BYB: You could have written for any blog out there. You're smart, you're a good writer and you have a great knack for baseball history? Why BYB?
Ike Dimitriadis: First, thank you. I have been grateful to be a part of BYB ever since I was invited to join. I get to write about the Yankees for a blog that is top-notch, and for an editor that goes to bat for me every single time out. I get to write about things that are sometimes controversial, and I get the support I need to know that independent thought is encouraged. I know that even when we do not completely agree on everything, that as long as I can make an argument and that it is fair, it will be promoted on the site. For a writer, it does not get much better than that.
BYB: Think back... what was the 1 piece you read on BYB that made you realize, "Hey, I like these guys"
Ike Dimitriadis: You have got to be kidding! Just one?!? I found out about BYB through Jeana Bellezza, and I found her pieces very insightful. I think it was right after Mariano Rivera's injury in 2012 that she did a piece on what his injury meant to the team and all the impact on the Yankees roster, I thought it was really good. It didn't just cover the events, it covered them with the added dimension of the fans' perspective. That property seemed to permeate all the pieces I read on BYB. I quickly became a fan.
BYB: Be honest... (not that honest) How am I doing as the Chief of BYB... or as Mike O'Hara calls me, "Skip"
Ike Dimitriadis: O'Hara calls you Skip? Why am I only finding out about this now??? Seriously, though, I can be honest. Leaders are not measured by their individual accomplishments. They are measured by the collective accomplishments of those they lead. The fact that you encourage people to be creative, explore stories and angles that may not be popular or even mainstream, allows us to be the best writers we can. I especially appreciate your defense when we get unfair criticism. Many people may not realize that we do this as volunteers, for the love of the game and the love of writing. Everybody has an opinion, and many disagree with our viewpoint, but some take it too far and make it personal. It is good to know that you have our back. It's great working for you, Skip!
Well that gave me chills. Thanks Ike!
Who's next? We'll see soon enough!
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