Yesterday, one of my favorite "Survivor" cast members shared his "All-Time Baseball Heels" .
Not to go down memory road, but another one of my favorites is the same guy that host Jeff Probst once called "the smartest player to have never won Survivor”.
Taking time out from his website Rob Has a Website, Rob “Rob C.” Cesternino re-dons his "Survivor" buff and takes on the challenge that is...the “Friday 5”.
HOVG: Alright man, you’re a New Yorker. Right out of the gate, I’ve gotta know…Mets or Yankees?
ROB C.: I've been a long-suffering Mets fan for as long as I can remember. The last few years have been pretty brutal and it looks like we're going to have to blow the whole thing up and start over again while the Yankees look like they're headed to a second straight World Series. Not fun.
HOVG: If you could play "Survivor" and have a Rich Hatch-like alliance with any three of your beloved Mets (past or present)…who would they be?
ROB C.: If I were going to start an alliance with any past Mets, first on the list would be former (and hopefully future) manager Bobby Valentine. In addition to being a strategic mastermind who was able to take a mediocre at best 2000 Mets team to a World Series, "Bobby V." was very charming and able to outsmart opponents with crazy disguises! I also am very partial to both Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez and think they do a great job calling the game and are both really interesting guys and have great baseball IQ.. And Keith, on day one, would have the greatest mustache in "Survivor" history. Unquestioned.
HOVG: "Survivor" has seen a number of former professional athletes (Guatemala’s Gary Hogeboom, China’s Ashley Massaro and, currently, Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson) take part. Is there a Major Leaguer that you would like to see out there? If so, who and why?
ROB C.: We may not ever see a Major League Baseball player on "Survivor" but there actually a couple of Phillies that have very close ties to "Survivor". One of the women from my season, Heidi, is now married to Cole Hamels and Shephanie LaGrossa is engaged to Kyle Kendrick! If I was going to pick any Major Leaguer to watch on "Survivor", I think the guy that would be the most entertaining to watch might be Manny Ramirez. In fact, I don't understand why Manny doesn't already have a reality show...every episode would be see TV.
HOVG: In one of your podcasts, you compared two-time "Survivor" contestant Russell Hantz to former slugger Mark McGwire. Care to explain what you meant again?
ROB C.: I certainly don't mean to imply that Russell Hantz might be using performance enhancing drugs. Russell, is similar to McGwire or any of the modern day sluggers who hit huge home runs and strike out a ton. They are all incredibly entertaining to watch, much more so than someone who always plays it safe and chokes up on the bat. But Russell, literally swings for the fences with every bold move he makes in the game. And much like hitting a baseball, that isn't necessarily the best approach to take on EVERY swing. Also, it's not always the best way to win baseball games. So while I think Russell will always be entertaining to watch as a fan, I don't think his strategy will ever work because he will always burn too many people along the way to the end to ever get the jury votes he would need to win in the end.
HOVG: Lastly, and I know it isn’t a baseball-related question…but who are you picking to win "Survivor: Nicaragua"?
ROB C.: I am loving seeing Jimmy Johnson on "Survivor" this time around but I think both he AND the Cowboys might not have what it takes to go too far this season. I really like Marty. Marty seems like he has a great understanding of the game and seems like he is savvy enough to go the distance. But in baseball terms, it's only about the top of the second inning in the game, so there's a lot of "Survivor" left to play.
Rob Cesternino appeared on two seasons of "Survivor"…Amazon (where he finished third) and All-Stars (where he finished 15th). He currently can be found online waxing poetically about "Survivor" and other reality shows and on iTunes as host of the popular “Rob Has a Podcast” podcast. He can also be found tweeting away as @robcesternino.