College of Houston alumnus Robert Flores splits his time between internet hosting MLB Community’s “MLB Central” with Lauren Shehadi and Mark DeRosa at 9 a.m. Central weekdays and streaming video of himself taking part in MLB The Present with assorted visitors on Fb.
He mentioned the 2020 MLB season, the Astros, gaming and different subjects with Chronicle reporter David Barron in a latest dialog.
Q: What has it been like this season for a nominal Astros fan working at MLB Community?
A: Everybody on this line of labor has an affinity for a staff or franchise as a result of we’re sports activities followers by nature. So I’m not that uncommon. However, that being mentioned, it has been totally different. Having the investigation and every part that transpired, there’s been quite a bit to unpack.
I’ve all the time taken satisfaction in the truth that I attempt to be truthful and inform the reality and report occasions as they’ve occurred with none filter or judgment. However as somebody from Houston who grew up going to Astros video games and having seen what the staff did for town and the realm in 2017, it’s disappointing. There’s part of you that wonders, nicely, what was I watching?
I am nonetheless not fairly certain what to make of it, and we’re nonetheless in want of somewhat bit extra time and context to evaluate every part that went down. I am certain that there can be movies and documentaries that may come down the pike within the subsequent years forward. But it surely’s undoubtedly blended emotions.
Q: How is your job totally different this 12 months? Have you ever been to a recreation?
A: I’ve not been to a recreation. We’re attempting to do extra make money working from home and holding manufacturing conferences remotely. I’ll write the evening earlier than and do some extra after the present assembly after which come into work. We’re attempting not to hang around or be on the studio longer than essential.
In a standard 12 months, I might cowl the league championship collection and the World Collection in particular person. I all the time loved speaking to the gamers. Our community is on within the clubhouse, and we all know that baseball followers are watching and that gamers and managers and coaches are watching too. They know our present and us in addition to a number of our common followers, so we take an enormous duty to verify we’re giving out correct data whereas being entertaining.
They see us on TV, however being on the sphere and interacting with them personally is totally different. That was one thing I’ve actually loved.
Q: How do you keep up with the restricted entry this 12 months?
A: There is a handful of gamers that I’ve gotten to know simply from a texting relationship in order that if I’m in search of data, I am going to textual content a few guys and so they’ll get again with me. I do really feel lucky that due to the exhausting work that we put in that guys inside the recreation belief me and so they belief us.
Q: Do you suppose the bounds on entry and the brand new taking part in guidelines will endure previous this season?
A: There’s all the time going to be a necessity and room for high quality storytelling, high quality information-gathering, truthful reporting. I believe gamers acknowledge reporters which have taken their job critically and attempt to do their jobs pretty. Hopefully that is one thing that’s not going to go away so far as on the sphere.
I believe the common DH is one thing that is going to remain. I get pleasure from the additional inning guidelines, however I don’t need to see them within the postseason.
Q: How about all of the accidents this 12 months? Was it the beginning/restart, or is one thing else at work?
A: I am certain that there is going to be research. There’s been an entire bunch of accidents. The Astros are seeing the consequences of accidents on a pitching employees. It could be acceptable to at the very least speculate that the beginning the stopping after which the short beginning once more of preparing for the season is a contributing issue, however we do not know for certain.
That’s why I’ve maintained that these gamers are making a sacrifice to be on the sphere and never a simple determination. We noticed Marcus Stroman deciding to not play in 2020. There are such a lot of severe elements that gamers are coping with.
Q: Will you query the legitimacy of any champion that emerges from the World Collection, given the size of the season and the weird elements?
A: I do not need to say let’s put an asterisk by the eventual champion, as a result of that is not truthful to the gamers. It is not truthful to the groups and all of the scouts and the final supervisor, as a result of there’s a lot work that has gone in by individuals all throughout the league and the business simply to get these video games on the sphere.
That being mentioned, once we look again on 2020, it is all the time going to be in our thoughts that 2020 was the season that they performed 60 regular-season video games. However I believe you can make the case that whichever staff makes it by this season and is topped champion, they’re probably the most distinctive and most resilient champion that baseball has seen.
Q: You left ESPN to come back to MLB Community in 2016. Why did you need to work for a specialty community?
A: After 11 years at ESPN, I wished to attempt one thing totally different. I had a few different alternatives exterior of MLB Community, however I favored what they needed to say about what their imaginative and prescient was for me. I knew lots of people from ESPN that had been at MLB Community, so I obtained some good intel on the place and the surroundings, and it was all rave evaluations.
I have been right here 4 years as of March, and it is passed by shortly. I obtained an opportunity to see the Cubs win 2016, to go to Japan, to cowl Recreation 5 of the World Collection in 2017, so it has been a very enjoyable time for me.
Q: What did you do when your present was off the air in the course of the shutdown?
A: We did some remotes from our properties and had been on our social feeds from residence. I’ve gotten to be good at video video games. I had an excessive amount of gear as a result of I stream video video games on my Fb web page, (additionally on YouTube) so I used to be ready to make use of that for precise work, too. However we’re glad to be again in studio. It’s an excellent present for baseball followers within the morning. We attempt to inform, however we additionally like to love to entertain as nicely.
Q: What video games do you stream on Fb?
A: It’s “MLB The Present.” That occupied my time quite a bit in the course of the quarantine, and I am nonetheless doing it now. Individuals affiliate me with baseball, so it is smart. They’re asking me questions, I am asking them questions, so it’s like a sports activities discuss present whereas I play video video games. I have been doing for a few years, and it’s a style that’s exploding and a novel method to join with followers.
Typically I’ll do a play by play, however more often than not I am answering questions from individuals which might be watching or holding a dialog with them. Lance McCullers joined me one time, and we performed face to face and talked about his rehab from Tommy John surgical procedure. It’s a method to merge actual dwell baseball with what online game gamers are doing.
(McCullers) is an enormous gamer. Blake Snell is an avid gamer, Trevor Could, too. There are fairly a couple of guys in Main League Baseball who stream video video games or play “Fortnight” or “Name of Responsibility.” I wished to discover that and discover a approach the place I can leverage the relationships I’ve with these guys and showcase their personalities otherwise.