Can you hook ME up with a ticket?

Contrary to popular opinion,  MLB players do not have free tickets to hand out for every game. If they did, I’d be doing twitter ticket giveaways way more often because I’d love to get more people out to enjoy a ball game. Instead, we are allotted 4 family tickets and 2 friends tickets to purchase at around 40% of their face value, which varies from ballpark to ballpark.

One of my golden rules is to not discuss money with strangers but rules were made to be broken and there’s no other way to bring this situation to light. In 2010 (Mat’s first full year in the big leagues), we left tickets for every long lost cousin’s estranged best friend without even thinking twice. It didn’t seem like a big deal and we were just happy and excited to have support in the stands. At the end of that year, it was brought to our attention by our financial advisor that we had spent a collective $14,000 on tickets. Fourteen. Thousand. Dollars. That’s a huge insanity pie no matter which way you slice it.  It was at that moment and without hesitation that we decided we would never do that again.

Before the start of the 2011 season, we unapologetically explained the situation to our family. We offered to leave tickets by request to people who were willing to pay us back what we were charged for a ticket at any given ballpark and everyone was more than happy to do so because hello- discount! Also, in most cases, even our family and friends had no idea that we pay for tickets and most felt a little guilty- totally not our intention. You live and you learn.

If you are a baseball wife and you’re reading this, I strongly advise that you lay down the law quickly. It is one thing to leave tickets for parents and close family but it is quite another to pay $90 a ticket for someone you haven’t seen in 6 years to bring Jolly Jilly Loud Mouth on a first date to root against the opposing team in your own family section. I won’t get into that one but you can use your imagination to figure out how annoying that experience was.

The bottom line is this- no matter how much money you make you should always be mindful of your spending and to quote the late and great over-used phrase, “Nothing in life is free”.

Stay humble. Stay grateful. Be kind. Be mindful.

Xo

D

SE7EN

It’s that time of year again! I’ve been tweeting about being the worst packer in the history of the world while trying to sort my belongings into destination piles and you all have your countdowns to Opening Day. Upon really realizing that spring training is coming to an end, I also realized that my designated time window to write more, work out more, and be an all-around better human before getting swamped with another baseball season is coming to an abrupt end. Sadly, I’ve hardly posted a peep on here, I don’t have a freaking six pack and I still don’t get along with alarm clocks. Drat.

Because I like to believe that negative thoughts are draining and should be avoided at all costs, I have decided to post a list of positive things that happened this spring.

1. Mat and I successfully watched seasons 1-5 of Big Bang Theory from start to finish. I may not have a 6 pack but my butt probably looks more like a couch and couches are comfy. Bazinga!

2. We all shared that really fun comradery during MLB Network’s Face of MLB competition on the Twitter. It showed me that we can all get along and agree on something as a fan base- refreshing and RAD! (get it, comRADe?)

3. I potty trained our cats to use the toilet while we were in Arizona. Now there is no need for speculation, I really am a crazy cat lady.

4. I may have had a panic attack and 3 too many vodka drinks in the 7th inning alone but Mat didn’t break his ankle in his last start. Thank goodness.

5. They still haven’t been able to find Bigfoot on Animal Planet so we don’t have to really worry about him eating us or seeing us naked (since he’s obviously invisible) any time soon.

6. Connecting with fans via the jersey signing thing was a really fun experience for Mat and I. After all, who doesn’t like cat toys and vodka showing up in their husband’s fan mail?!

7. This list is getting silly so let me say something kind of serious…

While I’m borderline disappointed with the things that I did not achieve since we arrived in Goodyear, I believe in the power of being able to laugh at one’s own short-comings and above all, let go of the wish to please everyone at once- it is impossible and I have finally accepted it so.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be someone who hates peaches”. – Dita Von Teese

I could have said that in my own words but this quote is perfect and if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Bottom line- things don’t always happen as we plan and the most important person who will ever love you is yourself.

Have a happy week, friends.

SEVEN DAYS.

xo

D

Whatever, Kale.

For whatever reason, kale is currently the face of leafy green vegetables and I feel annoyed about it. Sure… I eat it, I drink it. But it’s everywhere and I don’t even know what private interest group funded the movement. Rude.

No matter where I turn, it seems kale is what the kool kids eat.

The other day a friend reminded me of an awesome leafy green veggie- rainbow chard. It’s so much more fun than kale, it’s no wonder vegetables want to pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s way more colorful than kale… Prettier than kale… And why doesn’t Brutus just stab Caesar?!  (Mean Girl reference, not very fetch, I know.)

Anyway… Rainbow chard is fun because it’s colorful and you can cook it any way you’d cook the old green staple, spinach or the new girlfriend, kale.

I cooked  it in the following steps and then I ate it all. Do you dare?

1K

Ingredients:

1 bunch rainbow chard

1/2 cup veggie stock

1/4 cup white whine

2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce)

1 teaspoon of brown sugar

Pepper to taste

(Note: if you use a sweet wine, skip the sugar or reduce one ingredient)

(Note 2: I was trying to keep fat intake down/avoid oil but if you’re feeling froggy, leap)

Step by step, day by day:

2K1. Buy rainbow chard

2. Chop the leaves and separate the ribs. Cut them how you want but you’ll see my method in the upper right hand figure.

3. Turn stovetop to just above medium heat and add veggie stock and pepper to pan.

4. Put stems of chard in pan and cook for 4-5 minutes

(Add the rest of the ingredients some time within this period as you see fit)

5. Start adding chopped chard to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes.

6. Place lid on pan & steam for 2 mins.

7. Put on plate.

8. Eat.

7 eight 9.

Yum.

I’m not good at recipes but if you’re lucky, you’re good at remixes.

Namaste.

-D

Hangry Cooking Gone Cedar Wrapped Chicken & Stuff

Grocery shopping at Sprouts yesterday was a panic attack waiting to happen. I didn’t go with a list or any comprehensive grocery acquiring plan. I was hungry and even worse, I was so tired I made my mom drive me back to our apartment in fear that I’d pass out or spontaneously combust at the wheel. All you need to know about this situation is that it was a shit show. If that still isn’t registering, recall that scene from My Girl where Vada is nonchalantly throwing random cans of food in the cart.  That was me today- only more thoughtless and wandering around in circles looking for hummus for at least 12 minutes.

While I was shopping near the meat section, I came across cedar wraps. I asked a butcher if he had ever used them and he replied in a rather short, snappy tone , “No. But they keep things moist. Moist is good. *grunt*”. I may be making up the grunt part but the dude clearly wasn’t in the mood for polite conversation. I cheerfully annoyed him by saying, “Cool! I’ll totally have to try them!” in my best “I’m as dumb as I look” voice.

Side note: playing the overly enthusiastic blonde card is always a good idea when people are grumpy and you’re temped to be grumpy back. You end up feeling better and they feel more confused.

Moving right along…

By the time I made it home to put away the groceries and cook dinner, I had no idea what we actually had in the kitchen. I knew one thing- I was using that stinking cedar wrap no matter what.

After little deliberation, I decided I would marinate some chicken breasts in a marinade I frequently concoct for the grill, wrap those breasts in bacon, put some asparagus on top and wrap that whole shebang in cedar wraps. While it would have been way more delicious on a grill, this is spring training and I’m limited to a stove top and an oven- I just make it work.

The following is what I came up with on a few hours of sleep and with little brain power. You could stretch this recipe to the moon and back. Use prosciutto instead of bacon. Add some goat cheese. Maybe some brown sugar. Baby spice. Sporty Spice. Posh Spice. Get creative! Recipes aren’t meant to instruct, they’re meant to inspire. (Unless you really suck in the kitchen… In that case, read this post carefully and follow it like food paparazzi).

You need:

2 large Chicken breasts

6 strips Center cut bacon

12 stalks of asparagus

Cedar wraps

Butcher string

Water

(Forgot to tell you.. Cedar wraps are usually near the meat department. If you don’t see them, ask the butcher & hope (s)he’s more friendly than Mr. Moist)

1

For marinade:

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons mesquite seasoning

1 tablespoon minced garlic (or about 2 cloves)

2

1. Mix all ingredients for marinade

2. Rinse & trim fat from chicken breasts

3. Combine. Marinate chicken breasts for 30-60 mins

3

4. Soak cedar wraps and butcher string for 30 mins

4

(In order to keep the cedar wraps submerged, you may have to get as crafty as I did and put something on top of them. I marinated the chicken in a smaller Pyrex than the one I soaked the cedar wraps in so I stacked them. BOSS)

5

ALERT: DON’T FORGET TO PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 375!

5. Lay your cedar wraps out with the bacon on top. The following photo was my first idea… It was awful. If the chicken breasts I was working with hadn’t seen Dr. 90210, this might have worked. 

6

It didn’t.

This idea however… much better.

7

The bacon is laid so that it’s flush with the right edge, I put the breast on top, then I wrapped the bacon around.

NOTE: smaller breasts wont require 2 pieces of cedar wrap but these breasts did.

6. Add a bit of the marinade on top of the bacon.

7. Lay 6 asparagus spears on each bacon wrapped breast.

8

8. Add another cedar wrap on top and wrap it all around the meaty short stack.

9. Tie the butcher string to make it appear like a parcel of foodie goodness.

10. Put them in a Pyrex dish with about a cm of water at the bottom.

9

11. Bake your breasts according to size. Like I said, these were on Pam Anderson’s level so I put them in at 375 for an hour.

12. Serve

10

I left the bottom cedar wrap on the plate to make it seem like I did something fancy. To my knowledge, that tactic didn’t have much impact.

Lesson notes:

-Cedar wraps seem more suitable for grilling but does cool tricks in the oven too. Mat said the flavor was phenomenal and cooked all of the way through the meat.

-I should have put the breasts back in the oven for 5 minutes on broil to make the bacon a little more crispy but no one complained.

-I now have 49842 million ideas for cooking with cedar wraps. It was fun.

Let me know if you find yourself experimenting and I will do the same. I need a broader audience. My one picky eater is starting to stifle my creativity.

That’s all for now folks!

Peace, love and I miss bacon.

Xo

D

Be The Match

Chris

Chris is 39 years old and has been married to his wife Laurie for 15 years.  They have three young children; Chase (8) and in the 2nd grade, Rickson (2) and Alani (infant) who was just adopted this past September right before Chris became sick.  Chris has worked for the Cincinnati Reds the past 15 years and was recently diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), a rare form of blood cancer.  His only cure is a bone marrow transplant.  Presently, no donors in the bone marrow registry match Chris. A match must be found to save his life. Without it, his wife and children will lose him to this battle.

Chris and others need a matching Tissue Type…not a blood type match.

MARROW DONOR REGISTRY DRIVE, AGES 18 TO 44

Friday, February 22nd

11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Cincinnati Reds

Great American Ball Park

(Reds Hall of Fame Museum)

Event flyer: Bethematchdrivereds

Fill out a Registration form and have the inside of your cheek swabbed

to have your Tissue Type tested

Contact info: Dannie Terre Moore, Be The Match Recruiter dmoore@nmdp.org or Michael Anderson at manderson@reds.com

_________________________________

Additional drive:  Pattison Elementary School, Milford

Saturday, February 23 from 9am – 3 pm

Event flyer: Bethematchdrivepattison

_________________

And if you don’t live in the Cincinnati area you can still register for the Bone Marrow Registry here:

www.bethematch.org  Use promo code: REDS03MATCH

Be the Breakfast Burrito You Wish To See In the World

Mat has become rather fond of breakfast burritos. I tweeted about it the other day and was asked for the recipe… It’s not very impressive. I will say that he thinks my breakfast burritos are “bleeping phenomenal” so maybe you should eat one (I’ve never tried them because I’m trying this new thing where I don’t eat animals).

If you’re looking for some fancy burrito secret, I don’t have one. He’s a picky eater and I often cook with pretty simple ingredients so don’t expect to be scouring the isles of Whole Foods to find something you’ve never heard of if you want to try to recreate Mat’s favorite breakfast burrito of this off season.

I shall call it: The Spicy Don’t Eat This If You’re Watching Your Girlish Figure Breakfast Burrito

(I figure this is only appropriate because it’s a mouth full… Get it? Hahaha)

 Ingredients:

 1/4 small yellow onion – chopped 

3 slices of pepper jack cheese – cut into thin strips (see photo) (unless you can find it shredded- I couldn’t) 

4 slices of bacon- cut into 1/2 inch pieces 

Jimmy Dean Spicy sausage- (I use about 1/3 of a package)

4 eggs

Butter or something like it (I use smart balance) 

Salt & pepper

1 Tortilla (flour, burrito sized) 

 

Note: there are about a million ways to make this more healthy and/or diet friendly. Think center cut bacon, turkey bacon, reduced fat sausage, egg whites, taco sized tortillas, reduced portions, etc. This is the extra fat version. Eat at your own risk and maybe run the stairs or something if you’re into that sort of thing.

 

Prep your cheese and onions. 

Cut your bacon into small strips, cook in skillet, set aside. 

Rinse skillet.

Cook the sausage as you would cook ground beef, set aside with bacon. 

Rinse skillet. 

Melt about a tablespoon of butter or something like it, add onions to skillet, cook for about 1 minute, add eggs and a little salt & pepper, scramble. 

When the eggs are almost fully cooked, add bacon and sausage back to the skillet. 

Fold it into the eggs to get a nice mixture going on.

When the eggs are cooked, remove pan from heat, sprinkle cheese on top. 

Heat your tortilla! You can do this however your little heart desires but when I’m making a burrito, I get both sides of the tortilla wet, stick it between paper towels and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds. This keeps your tortilla from drying out and also makes it pliable and burrito friendly. It’s good to be burrito friendly. Trust me, I’m from California. 

Go back to your skillet and sort of fold the cheese in so it’s nice and melty. (See photos) 

Put your tortilla on a plate, put the stuff in, fold it, eat it, boom. 

Some like it hot but if you don’t, I hear using the regular Jimmy Dean sausage & cheddar cheese is pretty delicious also.

Happy burrito-ing!

– D

p.s. turkey bacon is so rude.

Burrito

This is just a test… An autograph test.

Getting a jersey signed by a player is awesome but not always an easy task. During baseball season, I often get requests on Twitter, complaints that people are having a hard time getting a hold of Mat for an autograph and even a few people asking me how to get an autograph because they don’t get to make it to the ballpark very often.

Mat and I were talking about this issue the other day and trying to come up with a way to make it easier for fans trying to get their jerseys signed. We have never done anything like this before so here is what we came up with in an attempt to be nice while avoiding potential abuse of the system….

In the spirit of the new year, anyone who purchases a Latos jersey between January 1st and February 28th, 2013 is eligible to get a personalized autograph on said jersey by following these directions:

Simply mail your jersey to Mat at the Spring Training complex (address below), make sure the package is insured and is trackable, include proof of purchase date, what you would like signed on the jersey (“To Joe”, etc), a return address and voila! Mat will sign it in as timely a manner as possible and I will be the mail fairy and get it back to you.

If you are on Twitter, you may want to include your Twitter handle so that I can contact you relatively easily in case we have any questions.

The Reds Team Shop is currently being renovated at the moment, so a good place to get your jersey is through Reds.com/shop. Please don’t ship the jersey directly to Goodyear from MLB or we will have trouble matching up who it belongs to and where it needs to go.

Disclaimer:  The “personalized autograph” offer does not include things like, “I hate ____” or other inappropriate requests. Use your brain here. You’re more than welcome to ask him to write something silly but your jersey will be returned to you unsigned. If you are unsure, you’re more than welcome to run your idea by me on Twitter before sending your beloved jersey on a mini vacation.

Here is the address to send your jersey and information to:

Mat Latos
Reds Spring Training Complex
3125 S Wood Blvd
Goodyear, AZ 85338

Happy spring training count down!

Dallas

Are YOU going to Redsfest?

When I am asked the same question hundreds of times and I answer it at least 37 yet it continues to come my way on the Twitter, I often come to my handy dandy blog to get everyone down with the 411 in one clean sweep. This edition of “my final answer” is regarding Redsfest.

Because I am one slacker of a secretary at times, Mat’s name failed to make the early list of attendees for this year’s Redsfest. I failed to respond to the travel arrangement email in a timely manner and the rest is history.

In a panic, masses of concerned Reds fans swarmed to my Twitter asking why he wasn’t going as soon as the list was released. Could this be true? Why would Mat not go? How was life going to go on in Cincinnati without Mat getting all Redsfesty?! (this story is 99% fabricated for entertainment purposes only).

Don’t worry, loyal Reds fans, I am here to assure you that Mat and I will both be at Redsfest on December 7th and 8th. That’s right. The double whammy.

I am not entirely sure which event’s Mat will be participating in at this time but I am sure the media relations department will get those details to you in due time. In fact, I am not even really sure what happens at Redsfest but I expect it to be fully excellent.

I plan on doing some exploring but if you would like to say hi, I will be in a new area at Redsfest called the “Reds Connect Zone,” hanging out with some of the other bloggers including Jamie Ramsey, your main man at Better Off Red, and Mark Sheldon from MLB.com an Mark My Word.  Plus, Reds players you follow on Twitter will be stopping by throughout the event for Q&A sessions, games, and more.

If I can answer any more questions regarding Redsfest, feel free to post them in the comments on this post.

My question for you- What’s your favorite part about the Redsfest experience?

See you there.

D.

p.s. Anyone who asks me whether we are going to Redsfest from this point forward is hereby subject to receiving the response, “BLOG” and is not allowed to be mad about it.
…and that’s my final answer.

Costume Contest Results Announced! (kind of)

First of all, thank you for all of your submissions to the first annual Latos costume contest. Inspired by those of you who failed to follow the rules, I can’t wait to hold a more organized contest here on “So I Married a Baseball Player” with expanded categories next Halloween!

This year’s winners and finalists were decided by a panel of judges.

The award for the best Latos family costume and winner of two tickets to a regular season home game in 2013 goes to @BThornberry23

Nice work guys!

Here’s where things get sticky… because some of you got so creative with your submissions, we have a hung jury in two categories. I am now turning this contest over to my readers and Twitter followers to vote for who will win and who will be named the runner-up for these awards. The winner will receive a signed baseball and the runner-up will receive a signed photo.

Please cast your votes by midnight tonight! (pacific standard time)

The first category is for the best female “Dallas Latos” costume:

#1 – @KelseyAlford

#2 – @ennywithaG

The second category is the best male “Dallas Latos” costume:

#1 – @CincyRedsphreak

#2 – @ThisisSan_diego

If you haven’t been following me for long, some of the details may not make sense, but trust… these submissions are hilarious!

Alright- get to voting and thanks for playing along!

– D

‘Tis the Off-Season

For some of us, the off-season began as the regular season ended and for others, it begins today. No matter when one’s off-season starts, it can be chaotic for the players and their families who don’t live in the cities they play in year-round (most don’t). I’m going to do my best to share this year’s postseason experience with you. And because it was so awesome, I almost had a nervous breakdown (you decide if I’m kidding or not).

We sat around our apartment ordering take-out for every meal in some sort of delirium or shock or disbelief for how the season ended for a few days while deciding where we should go from Cincinnati. When we finally decided to go back to San Diego, Mat couldn’t get out of there fast enough (not for any reason besides that it was high time to turn the page). I spent the weekend trying to figure out how I was going to make this work. On Sunday night, I realized that nothing was going to get done if I didn’t make it seem damn near impossible (I only work well under pressure) so I bit the bullet and booked our flights for early Wednesday morning. For those next 48 hours, I don’t care who you ask, I was superwoman.

This was my first at-bat in MLB wife life of figuring out how to move our lives across the country. It sounds simple, and maybe it is but it felt more like drowning in a sea of terrible timing and 6 million decisions to me. I found myself overwhelmed while scrambling to make arrangements for every fork, animal and sock we owned in Cincinnati. It was so frustrating that I yelled, “This is ridiculous! I’m only bringing 2 pairs of freaking shoes out here next year!” (If you know me, you know that this must have been a very dark period in my mental state because that is absolutely absurd).

First, I had to sort our belongings into destination piles. I was working with the following six: stay in Cincinnati until next season, ship to San Diego, pack in the car to ship to San Diego, put in suitcases to check on the plane, find a new owner and when the hell did I buy this slash why do we own a freaking fushigi? (google it and ask yourself how I was supposed to make a responsible, adult choice on that one).

In the meantime, I scheduled last minute doctor, dentist and vet appointments. I had to be sure I could get a health certificate for Cat to travel before booking his flight that had to be booked 24 hours in advance but also scheduled for the following day (what did I even just say?). Then there was the figuring out the perfect timing to be without a car for about a week while it’s picked up and shipped off. Did I have everything I needed at our apartment to effectively pack? What if we needed more boxes? What if I forgot packaging tape? What if I needed more bubble wrap? What if my head falls off?

They say don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things but getting all of those details in line and our things packed up really made me need a 24 hour massage. Do I sound like a whiner yet? If not, you should get your glasses checked and then read again. You may be an organized moving-master but I am not quite there yet. Sorry.

Anyway, by the time we made it back to San Diego, I felt like a zombie, had been traveling for 7 hours and it was 248942 degrees outside. The fun wasn’t over… we were going to just rent a SUV at the airport because we had checked four rather voluptuous suitcases. However, we failed to remember that renting vehicles at the San Diego airport is the biggest pain in the butt in the history of hypothetical butt pains and we just weren’t up for the challenge. We ended up sweating our way into two separate cabs because you have to know when to wave your white flag and we were done.  Spent. Cashed. Exhausteous maximous (that’s not really a thing but it sounds right so just go with it).

It took a few days, a few bubble baths, a few good friends and a few glasses of wine but I am happy to report that I can breathe again, Mat is back to being a happy goofball and Cat is obsessed with running up and down the stairs and teasing the dogs.

I have never been more stressed in my life as I have been over the past ten months but I have made a promise to myself and the promise is to knock that crap off. Since the trade, I have faced countless challenges that I didn’t think I could possibly handle but did. From figuring out transition logistics to the mere lonely feeling of being so far away from my loved ones, I eventually saw that I was letting the stress and anxiety of my lifestyle win for well over half of the season. It shouldn’t take finding yourself feeling like absolutely everything is out of your control to learn that it’s okay if it is but that’s what it took me. Through it all, I found a new appreciation for keeping myself humble, my priorities in order and my life simple (or as simple as possible).

Enough of the sappy nonsense.

Happy off-season to all of you.

…but don’t think you’re getting rid of me until spring training.

May our obsession with MLB trade rumors begin!

D