While the Miami Marlins are struggling in the NL East, with a record of 13-41, Miami sports fans have a go-to place to read about the city’s struggling baseball team and successful basketball team. Just like Washington Nationals fans come to “Matt’s Bats” to hear about what’s happening with their favorite hometown team, Miami Heat and Marlins fans go to “Miami Cub Reporter.” And just like Matt’s Bats, Miami Cub Reporter is also written by a kid.
In this Matt’s Bats Chat, I am going to introduce you to Frankie, the Miami Cub Reporter. Frankie’s blog is mainly about the successful Miami Heat, but he also writes a lot about the Marlins. Frankie is also a host of the Miami television show “Billy’s Bunch.” He has met Miami sports stars such as LeBron James and Giancarlo Stanton. A few weeks ago, Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton tweeted out a picture of himself with Frankie, so I got in touch with him to do this interview.
Matt’s Bats: Thanks for doing this interview. To start, can you tell me a little about yourself?
Miami Cub Reporter: My name Is Frankie. I am 9 years old and I just finished third grade. I live in Miami, Florida.
MB: Why did you decide to write your blog? How long have you been writing “Miami Cub Reporter”?
MCR: I decided to start a blog because I wanted to share my thoughts on sports with other people. I started the blog February 2012, the middle of the NBA season. I actually started off as HeatCubReporter because a cub reporter is a new, young reporter and at that time, I only wrote about the Heat. In the beginning of this year, I started to write about most Miami sports teams to I changed it to MiamiCubReporter.
MB: I saw on your website that you are involved with something called Billy’s Bunch. What is that?
MCR: Billy’s Bunch is a TV show where me and two other kids (both older than me) ask or sometimes learn from players things that kids like to know. It’s really an inside scoop of the Marlins from a players prospective. The fun parts are when we interact with the players and especially when there is laughing along the way!
MB: How did you get on the show?
MCR: To get on it, you had to audition. They gave me some lines to memorize and then I had to go in and do a mock interview. They were looking for a fun and exciting kid. To be honest with you, when I auditioned for it, I didn’t know much about baseball. I did know all the basics and a lot of players, but you probably know WAY more than me about it. Though I do know A LOT about basketball. Believe it or not but I am the youngest one to ever be on the show.
MB: In a lot of the pictures I’ve seen of you, you’re wearing a bowtie. Do you always wear one?
MCR: I do always wear a bow tie. I started wearing it because on the day of the audition for Billy’s Bunch I thought I needed something that would make me stick out. My producer loved it and after that, it just stuck.
MB: What’s your favorite sport?
MCR: You probably thought I would say baseball, but since I was 2 or 3 I have LOVED the Heat. My first time going to a Heat game was when I was 2. It was actually the year we won the championship against the Dallas Mavericks, 2006. Since then, I have been lucky to go to almost every single Heat game.
MB: How many Marlins games do you go to?
MCR: I really don’t go to that many. I’ve probably been to about 4 or 5 this season.
MB: Since you live in Florida, do you go to spring training games? Did you go to any this year?
MCR: Actually I did go to one. I got to go because it was the day of a Billy’s Bunch filming. It was against the Cardinals. I like spring training because you get to see the rookies or new players that might do really good. I also find the games very relaxing.
MB: Have you met any of Miami’s sports stars?
MCR: I met LeBron James after a game in New York. I got a Meet-and-Greet pass and I was able to meet players and tell them about my blog. I didn’t really ask Lebron any questions because he was just walking by.
I met Giancarlo Stanton at a filming of Billy’s Bunch. We tried to see their reactions to celeb-player look-a-likes and also ask a few silly questions. Stanton was surprisingly nice. Before meeting him I thought he’d be serious but he was extremely friendly. After the interview he tweeted about me and posted a picture of us on Instagram. I wasn’t expecting that! Both are some of the nicest pro-athletes you’d ever meet.
MB: Have you met any other many Marlins players?
MCR: I’ve met a lot because of interviews. Some of the best players that I’ve met are Chris Coghlan, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez and Juan Pierre. I’ve also met Marlins pitcher Alex Sanabia and Andre Dawson, a Marlins coach and former MLB great.
MB: Over the past few years, I’ve also gotten to meet a bunch of Nationals players, including Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond, Stephen Strasburg, Ryan Mattheus, Drew Storen, Steve Lombardozzi, Danny Espinosa, Ross Detwiler, and Chad Tracy just to name a few. Well, maybe more than a few.
MB: Who are your favorite current players, both on and off the Marlins?
MCR: As of right now, my favorite current player off the Marlins is Miguel Cabrera and my favorite on the Marlins is Juan Pierre.
MB: Alright, here’s where I need to ask you the tough questions. On my blog, I have been very critical of the Marlins. I called them the “Triple A Marlins.” At 13-41 with another 130 games to play, they really could end up with the worst record in baseball history. But at the start of the 2012 season, they looked like an All Star team. Then last year most of the stars were traded away to Toronto, L.A., and Arizona. What do you think about the Marlins breaking up their team after 1 year? Do you agree with Jeffrey Loria for trading away Ramirez, Reyes, Bell, Buehrle, Bonifacio and others?
MCR: I think it was a REALY horrible idea. You can’t just take a team apart the first season they together! The Heat didn’t win the championship the first season they were together! They did the 2nd! The Marlins needed to give they’re players more time to bond and get used to playing together. And plus, you can’t just give up on your team. I wish Loria would sell the team to someone who cares about the team and its players.
MB: Well, I agree with that, but it’s not like the Blue Jays are doing so well this year either. Maybe that combination of players just doesn’t play well together. Loria did save a whole lot of money by trading them all away! And I like that the Nats get to play them a lot this year.
Let me get your prediction for the World Series.
MCR: So far, I’m feeling pretty strong about the Detroit Tigers and I think the Braves might get there. I think the Tigers would win the series in 6 games.
MB: The Braves? Noooooo! At the beginning of the season I would have predicted teams like the Dodgers and the Angels. Now, it could be a match-up like the Cardinals and the Indians. I really hope the Cardinals don’t make it! Of course, there’s still a really good chance the Nationals will be playing for the title in October, and nothing would make me happier!
TODAY’S GAME NATIONALS @ BRAVES (CRUCIAL SERIES– Nats either make up ground or fall farther behind)
STEPHEN STRASBURG (3-5, 2.49 ERA) VS. JULIO TEHERAN (3-1, 3.67 ERA)
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