From the Big Ten Network to her current work in Fantasy Sports for Bloomberg, Julie Alexandria has been around the sports world from every angle. From learning the gaming world to helping launch shows like “Beer Money” on SNY, the Cal St. Long Beach grad has earned her stripes in what is largely considered a guy’s world. She now works the fantasy sports world alongside Rob Shaw on the syndicated digital show “Ballpark Figures,” breaking down the latest stats and stars on sites ranging from USA Today to MASN.
You have now been able to work everything from the MLB to Professional gaming events? What is on your “to do” list?
Events on my bucket list are the All Star game, as well as the Home Run Derby. It’s such a great time for players and fans to just enjoy the game without the pressures of the season. It’s a nice break in the schedule, and everyone pretty much has a positive attitude. And how could I forget – the Olympics of course! I would probably cover Figure Skating, though, having been a skater myself for 14 years.
You have spent a good amount of time in the college ranks, the latest with the Big Ten Network. What’s the biggest difference in working the college side vs. the Major Leagues?
“The biggest challenge in covering College football is definitely the schedule. The season is only a couple of months long, so you have to pack in as much as you can every weekend. When I was hosting “Tailgate48” for the Big Ten Network, we were on the road 4 days out of the week, for 10 weeks straight. Baseball has such a long season, which gives story lines, themes and players time to develop. I really do enjoy both – they are so different, I don’t think I could pick one over the other! “
One of your most successful runs was in helping launch the popular “Beer Money” series on SNY in New York? What were some of the things you encountered with the bar patrons of The Big Apple?
“Beer Money is a show that will always remain close to my heart. I really had so much fun doing it. I hosted the very first season, so it was wonderful to be there from the beginning. To this day, I am humbled by the amount of people who come up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed me on the show. I think my favorite memory would be Interviewing Mets fans during the last year at Shea Stadium, and just busting chops in general”
You said you consider yourself a lifelong baseball nerd, how did you get interested in baseball?
I prefer the term “Geek,” actually. I was brought up in a very lively baseball family. Most of my family are Mets fans, including my dad, who used to be an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan. I remember going to games as a kid, and always watching games on TV.
What was it like covering the Mets for SNY, any particular stories stand out?
Too many to count – it really was a great experience: playing Wii tennis with Daniel Murphy, Interviews with Ike Davis, David Wright, R.A Dickey. I remember one spring training, in Port St. Lucie, on the practice field for BP. The team was performing long toss drills, and I was taping for the show right behind them. Out of nowhere – a ball comes straight for my head. All of a sudden, I hear a loud thud right by my ear, and turn to my left, only to see K-Rod with his glove inches from my face, ball in web. He caught it just in time, and pretty much saved me from what could have been a pretty awful bruise; or worse. He then says nonchalantly: “I just saved your life” and continues to throw the ball to his partner. The best part: it was all caught on tape. I now know to keep ample distance from the players during practice.
You have also said you are partial to the Angels, how come?
I moved to Orange County, Calif., when I was about six years old, so my younger brother was raised an Angels fan, and we grew up about 20 minutes away from Angels Stadium. Not to mention they have made some big moves during this off season, so they will no doubt be the AL west team to watch this year.
Are you a fan of all fantasy, or just baseball?
I played in an all female fantasy league last year, and realized how intricate and involved it was. But being a baseball fan definitely helped, although I pretty much ended up drafting the players I was most familiar with — or a fan of — instead of picking my roster strategically. I believe that was my biggest downfall last year. I can’t help it — I had to have Jose Reyes!
You have also spent a lot of time around professional gaming. Do gamers and fantasy players cross over?
Yes! Definitely. Especially the contact sports, racing and FPS gamers. It’s all about the competitive aspect. Most of the gamers I know play fantasy football and baseball. Most of the gamers I know are huge sports fans in general. The interesting thing is, a lot of professional baseball players happen to be really good at video games. There is a lot of downtime on the road and it’s a long season.
Any favorite gamers who you follow?
I’m a big fan of Tom Taylor “T2,” one of the most successful pro Halo gamers ever, Tom Ryan “Ogre2″ who holds the record for most National Championship titles. David Walsh, who just retired as a Pro Gamer, after an illustrious career, has now transitioned into being a commentator on the Pro Circuit. I’m also a huge fan of Mrs.Violence – she is one of the best female players out there right now, proving every competition, how female gamers can and should be taken seriously. She recently won “The Controller” a reality competition series based on Battlefield.