I first got the idea of interviewing Astros RHP Jake Buchanan's girlfriend, Chelsa Messinger, instead of Jake after I started following her on twitter a while back. She is smart and funny with a very sharp sense of humor, and frankly, I thought it would be fun for a change. Chelsa is the sports anchor for the local NBC affiliate in Columbus, Georgia and SEC Football is her sweet spot. She was an athlete in her own right as a swimmer at North Carolina State.
I asked Chelsa a few questions about Jake and life with a minor league boyfriend and here's what she had to say.
WTH: How long have you and Jake known each other? Does he know how lucky he is to have a girlfriend who loves sports?
CM: I met Jake about five years ago when I was a sophomore at NC State, and we started dating four years ago. We both like to talk trash, and I think that's part of the reason we started talking, actually! Haha. But the first time I watched him pitch was when NC State played in the NCAA Super Regional against UGA (Gordon Beckham was the shortstop at the time), and on the very first pitch of the first inning, Jake gives up a monster home run. Oh no. I was worried to say the least. But after that, he settled down and ended up getting the only win NC State got in the 3-game series. Throughout his college career, his first few innings have usually been his toughest. But once he gets in a rhythm, it's hard to slow him down.
As far as having a girlfriend that likes sports, I'd like to think he appreciates it. But he watches A LOT of golf, and NASCAR ... two sports I don't particularly care for. So instead of arguments over watching either sports or Keeping up with the Kardashians, like normal couples, we argue about watching the Golf Channel (him) or College Football (me).
WTH: How does Jake feel about his 2012 season?
CM: I feel like I can't answer this question. We don't talk much about his pitching. One thing I appreciate about Jake is that he keeps baseball very compartmentalized. Once he leaves the field, he doesn't take his emotions with him. He can pitch 7 shutout relief innings for an extra-innings win over Virginia Tech to go to the ACC Championship (he got a key out from Austin Wates) or throw the worst game of his life, and still act the same after he comes out of the locker room. He's very even-keeled. I think that's one thing you won't find in the stat sheet that makes him a great pitcher.
WTH:. How did Jake feel about your tweeting that you wanted the Hooks to lose in the playoffs so you'd see him sooner?
CM: Well he knows that I miss him during the season, so I don't think he was mad. Obviously I want him to do well, but the season is just ... so ... long.
WTH: Have you ever seen a worse playoff beard than Jake's?
CM: His actually wasn't that bad compared to some of the beards I've been seeing in the World Series. But he knows I'm not a fan of the beard.
WTH: I saw you tweet about a wives/girlfriends gathering in Corpus Christi this season. Had you met any of them before? How did it go?
CM: It's always nice to talk with people who are in a similar situation - with the long season, unstable future, and inevitable problems (going stag to every wedding in the summer). But I actually met most of the Hooks wives/girlfriends for the first time that week. Since all the trades, the majority of them came from other organizations. But I have known Arlie (Alex Sogard's wife) since they both also went to NC State. It's so nice to have someone you know going through the same process together. Not just for me, but I know it's been great for Jake to have Alex, too.
WTH: What is Jake doing in the off-season?
CM: Hanging out with me, hopefully! I know he's taking some time to just relax and do the things he missed out during the season (seeing his family, fishing, playing LOTS of golf).
WTH: Can you tell us something about Jake that most people don't know and might be surprised to hear?
CM: One of his first big moments in baseball for him was actually in Texas. When he was 9, his Dixie Youth team played in the World Series in Terrell, TX. When he got drafted by the Astros, I wrote an article on Jake coming full circle from that day at the Dixie Youth World Series, to being drafted by a Texas team for The Raleigh News & Observer. It was my first paid article. I'm pretty sure my editor didn't know Jake and I were dating when he assigned me that story, but he loved the article.
Thanks, Chelsa, for being a good sport. I'll try to do a "serious" interview with Jake later (if he's still willing).
Give Chelsa a follow on twitter if you like your sports coverage peppered with a healthy dose of sarcasm.