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November 2018

Lifer: Done The Baseball Way- Off-Season Survival Guide

Lifer Logo

Welcome back Baseball Lifers to the seventh installment of Lifer by All Heels on Deck! It’s hard to believe this is already our seventh issue of Lifer. We’ve gotten you through the Dog Days, Christmas in July, and the Postseason. Now, our Lifer team is here to get you through this time without baseball. Our writers have put together an exclusive “Off-Season Survival Guide” packed with everything you need to keep you sane until Spring Training begins!

Before we get into it, I just want to make everyone aware of some logistical details regarding the column. Lifer content will now only be available to our subscribing teammates, and will link with Patreon. Not a subscriber? No worries, certain items from every edition of the column will still run on the All Heels on Deck blog site, so you’ll still be able to get some fill of Lifer.

With that, let’s take a glimpse at our Off-Season Survival Guide! How do you spend the time between the World Series and Spring Training? Do you watch classic games of your favorite team? Tune in to MLB Network’s Hot Stove every morning? Well, starting in February 2019, you’ll have a new way to gear up for the season ahead. Our team is happy to announce that the All Heels on Deck Baseball Podcast will be here for the 2019 season, and we have the details!

Is it baseball season yet? We are officially 87 days (including today) away from the return of baseball! Lucky for us, we can turn to a commodity most of us are glued to when we’re bored to fill the gap. Yes, I’m talking about our cell phones and tablets. Do you prefer playing games on your phone? Are you more interested in keeping up with the stars of tomorrow? How about the personalities of today’s game? There’s an app out there for every baseball fan, and we’ll be featuring a few of them.

If all of that doesn’t pique your interest, All Heels on Deck creator Jessica Quiroli will be making her Lifer debut with a special contribution to our Survival Guide.

So, join us as we do life the baseball fan way! You don’t want to miss this special edition of Lifer!

~RoseAnn Sapia




All Heels on Deck: The Podcast

By: RoseAnn Sapia


It’s official, All Heels on Deck is getting a podcast! Actually, it’s more than just a podcast.

Coming your way in February 2019, the All Heels on Deck podcast will be operated as a network of podcasts, with each “show” bringing something unique to the platform.

Our goal is to interact with baseball fans everywhere, and bring you all fresh baseball content every episode.

We’re still working out all the specifics, but the All Heels on Deck podcast will feature analysis, discussion, and will allow all of us here to further connect with you! And, we already have an incredible graphic created by Devon Howard.




While All Heels on Deck founder Jessica Quiroli won’t be hosting the podcast, I am so happy to announce that I will be the main regular host for the podcast. I’m really looking forward to having yet another platform to interact with all of our readers and everyone around baseball. We're looking into ways of making my segments as interactive as possible, so stay tuned for more info leading up to the launch.

We can’t give too many details away just yet, but know that you’ll have yet another way to engage with the sport we love. There’ll be fresh and new takes on topics all around baseball, and this'll be another extension of the mission here at All Heels on Deck.

Trust me, the All Heels on Deck podcast will be worth the wait!





An App A Day Keeps The Baseball Blues Away!

By: RoseAnn Sapia





 1. MLB Tap Sports Baseball 2018

Perhaps my favorite way to pass time even during baseball season is playing Tap Sports Baseball. Officially licensed by the MLBPA, in this game you get to choose your favorite team and play your favorite game! You’ll start out with a handful of players from your selected team, along with others from all throughout baseball. It’s as easy as tapping your screen to hit the ball. Win or purchase draft picks to improve your team, win games, and advance up the rankings. Trust me, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of opening a draft pick to see it’s your favorite player! This game is available free to download in the App Store and Google Play.

2.MiLB First Pitch App

Believe it or not, I just discovered this app during the summer. The official app of Minor League Baseball, First Pitch keeps you up to date on all 160 minor league affiliates from Rookie ball to Triple-A. This is the perfect way to catchup on who’s been flashing leather or slugging away down on the farm now that you have time. This app will definitely keep you informed by giving you a look at who we can expect to see in The Show in the near future. It’s just as useful during the season as it is during the Off-Season. This app is available free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

3. Infield Chatter

This is basically the official app of the MLBPA, and I just recently downloaded. I’ve been following @InfieldChatter on Twitter for some time, and loved that it really gave a voice to the players. The best way to describe this is a social network dedicated to baseball and its players. It was created in 2016 at the request of the players who wanted a more meaningful way to engage the fans. Your feed will be all baseball all the time, and will allow you to catchup on the latest happenings around the league without any added distractions. All you need is an email address to sign up. The app if free to download from both the App Store and Google Play.

4. Sports Trivia Apps

Just type “Sports Trivia” or “Baseball Player Trivia” into the App Store or Google Play, and you’ll be surprised by just how many trivia apps are out there geared to sports fans. There’s no better way to pass empty time than by enhancing your knowledge of the things you love. Diamond Sports Trivia has some of the best reviews, and allows you to choose from several different sports trivia decks. Other apps feature team logo quizzes and name the player games, so you can see just how well you know the game you love. There’s no better time to brush up on trivia than during the Off-Season, and most of the apps are free to download.  

5. Twitter/Instagram

And finally, social media had to make this list. Most people spend their down time scrolling through their social media feeds or watching stories, so why not fill those feeds with baseball players? Keep up with what’s happening down on Johnny Cueto’s ranch (he goes live on Instagram A LOT), and stay up to date on Trevor Bauer’s latest opinions (super active on Twitter). It’s also a great way to catchup on the sights from MLB’s Japan All-Star Series that just wrapped up last week, (Rhys Hoskins has been great at documenting that).





Shop Your Off-Season Blues Away!

By Jessica Quiroli

  1. The start of the off-season is marked by A LOT of mentions of that Rogers Hornsby quote. Oh, you know the one. About the window? Well, now you can hang it in your home. As you stare out the window. Waiting... (On Amazon, Prime eligible)



  1. Maybe you want to let your neighbors know how hard the winter is for a baseball fan. For $4 you "can." With a "tin" (get it?) sign featuring the baseball loving Peanuts gang. (On Stylin Online)


  1. ...need more baseball AND the Peanuts gang? Cafe Press has you covered. Get a mug, fill it with your drink of choice, and think about fresh grass, bat, ball, and glove. You can find that here.


  1. Finally, maybe you actually want to do something to deal with no baseball being played. If you're able to take a drive, or perhaps you're further and want to take a big plane ride, head to Cooperstown in January. You can customize your tour experience through February. The new program promises to "connect fans with their favorite team and memories”. (Check site for pricing of package). Also, for some beautiful, fascinating history, head to the HOF as they celebrate Martin Luther King Day. (January 21st, starting at 9 am). 

The Feminism of Fighting: One Woman's Story of MMA Training, Wearing High Heels, and Staring Down Double Standards in the Ring

By Meghan Phelps

You could mess your face up doing this. Why would you risk doing that to yourself?” 


He was beyond handsome and his expression held a look that could only be described as half concerned and half disgusted. 


“You could just as easily mess up your own face.”


I wasn’t about to let that double standard slide. He knew I had a point but he relinquished his argument and said nothing more. He was on a team from another school and statistically had the same probability of messing up his face as I had. I loved my sport and the possibility of breaking my genetically high profile nose wasn’t a deterrent.


This is just one example of the unfair treatment that women in the male-dominated world of contact and combat sports grapple with to this day. If misogyny and violence upset you, I must warn you it gets much worse the further you read.


Starting out on my high school wrestling team, I found out that the majority of my team, one of my coaches, and the team managers all talked negatively about me behind my back but that didn’t dissuade me from showing up every day to wrestling practice. Despite being used as a punishment for wrestlers who disappointed the assistant coach, I still worked on my technique. The sneaky elbows and rib jabs didn’t phase me. I knew that as a girl on an all-boys team I’d have to prove myself. 


But I had found my sport. Pole vaulting, gymnastics, and cross-country did nothing to feed my soul but wrestling did. So why was every male involved in the sport so set on discouraging me from pursuing it? Clearly, I didn’t belong. I had long hair, kaboodles of makeup during my daily life, often times high heeled, and female. The weaker sex, a distraction. I kept things sportsman-like overall and maintained boundaries that spoke for themselves to insist on being serious about progressing with the team. 


The hours on the treadmill to cut weight and forcing my friends to be rigid dummies so I could practice on the weekends should have helped prove myself. Keeping up during sprint drills and pinning guys during open mat should have been enough. Yet, I realized, no amount of effort would be enough to get anybody's approval. In the end, all I wanted was to be accepted as part of the team. 


I’ll always remember what the senior coach, Coach Scott, said to me though, “You are a lady off the mat but as soon as you step onto the mat you shift gears to an athlete. I respect that and that’s why I think you have potential.” So I continued to show up.  


Although this was in a suburban town in Virginia circa 2003, I’m here to tell you that to this day being a woman in contact sports is still rough. The struggles and prejudices still remain depending where in the world you are, including the USA, and especially Asia. I moved to Korea for work 4 years ago and soon joined a gym and decided to train in mixed martial arts, also known as MMA. Since I practiced hapkido as a child and MMA incorporated wrestling I figured I had a good base. 


The first year was everything that I hoped. I was included in all the team building excursions and weekend competitions, my skills advanced quickly despite still wearing heels and makeup in my daily life. I finally felt I belonged. As time went on, however, the dynamic began to shift. Elder members became comfortable enough to ridicule my weight although in the USA I generally wear a size small. There were a few notable accounts of blatant sexism and abuse that I haven’t talked much about as well. 


I was training for my first amateur fight, yet any time a new female from the cycle class decided she wanted to try MMA I was volunteered to be her partner. This was despite the fact that there were other members that were better suited to her skill level. While my pride was injured that slight was minimal compared to the next instance.


One night the MMA gym owner, who was also the boss of the fight promotion, came to the cage. I had a young man in a submission hold and the owner asked him if I was “too much” for him. As my opponent objected to his accusation I felt a hand wrap around my ankle and I was swiftly yanked from the cage and drug on my back to the outside mats. 


“I’m going to give you a free lesson today. No charge.”


He never coached in our class before and I didn’t ask for any lessons but it would be considered rude to refuse the offer. He instructed me to spar with him. Upon raising my fists to guard my face he jabs then shoots in to take me down. At this point, we were using jiu-jitsu and were scrambling for position. I found myself on my back and as he successfully straddled my waist he leaned in to say something.


“Bite down on your mouthpiece...hard.”


I obliged this unexpected and bizarre command just as his arms lunged forward and I found myself unable to breathe. His grip around my throat became tighter. I bit down harder on my mouthguard as each pulse intensified the restriction. My eyes darted overhead toward my coaches and team members hoping one would meet my pleading gaze and interrupt. It was useless. No one would dare interfere with the boss. It’s just how it is. 


As women, we have to navigate how to tactfully set boundaries given our situation. We also must choose what we are willing to endure, and what to sacrifice for what we want. Some may argue that we can’t have it all but at least we need the opportunity to earn it fair and square. It’s never been a fair fight inside or outside the ring. I’m here to persuade you to keep showing up regardless because no fight was ever won without persistence. No fight was ever won biting down on a mouthguard either. That bit of advice is nonsense. So wear your heels proudly, your makeup however you damn well please, and step into the ring every day like you belong there because you do. 


Follow Meghan on Twitter @MeghanPhelps1


Never A Doubt: The 2018 Boston Red Sox

By Helen Silfin


The 2018 Boston Red Sox had a season fans can usually only dream about. They won 108 games in the regular season and then those essential 11 postseason games to be World Series Champions. And while they always believed in themselves, and much of the fanbase believed too, many of the “experts” around Major League Baseball did not believe until the final pitch was thrown.



Just about every publication - including, SB Nation, Baseball America, USA Today, and The Sporting News - had the Red Sox winning one of the AL Wild Card spots and perhaps making it to the ALDS but no further. Possibly undeservedly, they were underdogs coming into the season.


The 2018 Red Sox spent one day with a winning percentage under .500, and that day was the first of the season. They never had a losing streak of over three games and were never more than two games back in the American League East. Their “worst” month of the season was September, during which they were still four games over .500. They simply never stumbled and never took their foot off the gas.


However, on their way to 108 wins people still wondered if they were for real. Even once the playoff field was set, most of Sports Illustrated’s experts left them out of the World Series.

  Rick Porcello

What separated the Red Sox from the rest of the pack may be the same as the reason so many questioned their legitimacy. They feasted on lesser teams, going 16-3 against the Orioles, 15-4 against the Blue Jays, 6-1 against the Rangers, and 5-1 against the Royals. They built a cushion that would have helped had they struggled against contenders like the Angels, Mariners, and Braves. The cushion also helped them win the AL East by eight games even though they only won the season series against the Yankees by one game. They somehow made it through the entire regular season without appearing to be truly tested.


Yet, in the playoffs they beat the Yankees, Astros, and Dodgers handily - only losing one game in each series. Their offense bested both Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw along the way. They handled the best of the best like it was nothing.


So maybe their domination of lesser teams should not have been taken as a sign that they still needed to be tested, but rather a signal of their true greatness. They never played down to an opponent, collecting wins like coins in Super Mario. They collected so many that they were able to rest Chris Sale, their ace, in August and then essentially use real games in September as his rehab assignment before the playoffs.


A team with a Wild Card ceiling would never be able to do that.


It is a bit of a shame that the media never seemed to catch on to just how good this team was. Whispers of the 1978 Red Sox, 2001 Mariners, and the team’s 2016 and 2017 first round playoff exits surrounded them until they finally hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy.

  Jason Varitek Joe Kelly

Just about everything related to the 2018 Boston Red Sox was unbelievable, but perhaps most impressively, they really did not make their fans sweat. The high of a 21-7 start to the season never wore off. Dennis Eckersley proclaimed “It’s time to party!” on July 12th and he was absolutely right.


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