Bruce Chen just joined Twitter at the behest of Nick Wright at 610 Sports, and if you’re on the social networking site, you realize it has caused quite the wave within Royal Nation.
If you’re not on Twitter, well then, you’re missing out. After witnessing the uproar of approval caused by Chen’s introduction to the Twitterverse, a single impenetrable thought occurred to me.
If you call yourself a Royals fan, then you have to be on Twitter.
There’s no way around it anymore. Sure it was fun to be a Twitter hater for a while, to bemoan the impending death of the English language, to condemn this social media as yet another source of mindless rot.
Trust me, I know the arguments. I am a recovering Twitter hater myself. But when I finally dropped the preconceived notions and gave it a real chance, I realized all that I had been missing.
Sure, Twitter can be like a gossip site. But it can also be like a news wire.
There is so much access, such an incredible archive of information, that it’s impossible to soak it all in. I follow athletes, sports writers, comedians, actors, friends, and colleagues.
Before you say “I don’t care to know what everybody in the world had for lunch” or something to that effect, consider the reality of the situation. These people who you’ve chosen to follow, at your own discretion and based off your own interests, are often tweeting news articles, poignant or funny videos, pictures, and observations. The fact that they also tweet what they ate for lunch is merely a bonus.
As I alluded to earlier, The Kansas City Royals have a strong presence on Twitter. The Royals figure to have among the youngest teams in baseball, so that’s no surprise. But with a strong local media contingent in Surprise, Arizona for the opening of spring training, the fodder has been especially rich.
I know that ultimately, my words alone can’t convince you of the relevance of Twitter. That’s why I’ve compiled the following list of the ten best tweets to come out of camp in Surprise. Don’t worry, I’ll also provide context when necessary. I’ve also attached the players’ (and organization’s) Twitter handles in parentheses for your reference.
10. Fox Sports KC (FSKansasCity):
"Sights & sounds from #Royals camp: Danny Duffy messes w/ Everett Teaford during a clubhouse interview: http://youtu.be/WECcGrrBYJU."
For this tweet, you really need to watch the accompanying video. It’s a short bit, but I think it says something about the clubhouse chemistry. Teaford is giving a straight-faced interview response about starters going deep into games when an off-camera Danny Duffy starts messing with him. Teaford doesn’t skip a beat, delivers some quality deadpan humor, and the scene seemed to bode well for clubhouse chemistry. Nothing earth shattering, but a fun little video.
"#MLB camp has been a great experience so far. Tons of talent in this organization and working hard to help contribute!"
You have to like the attitude Myers has taken in MLB Spring Training. He’s almost a mortal lock to start in Omaha, but it’s still nice to see him saying the right things coming off his success in the Arizona Fall League. All signs point to him being a fast riser this season.
8. Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc):
"(1) Just chatted w/Sal Perez. Says he called his mom, Yilda Diaz last night and told her to get a water and sit down” (2) Told her about contract and his mom cried. Says they talked on phone for three hours and neither slept much last night.”"
This is just a cool anecdote that Fox Sports KC’s Goldberg was able to parlay directly to his followers, albeit in two separate tweets. There was frankly a lot to like with the Perez contract from the Royals’ perspective, so it’s nice to see that the security of the deal is a game-changer for Sal as well. Goldberg provides his Twitter followers with some nice emotional context from Perez, and it helps explain why Perez agreed to the deal. For fans, it’s a win-win of information and emotional pull.
"If you were absent during our struggles don’t expect to be present during our success #ourtime"
Kings of Kaufman’s Brett Christie wrote a piece about the Hosmer tweet earlier this week that summed up the importance of this one. Hosmer has obviously embraced this season’s slogan of “Our Time”, and that is a good thing. One of the pitfalls of Twitter, however, is that the 140-character limit on tweets can sometimes leave a contextual void. Hosmer’s comment caused a brief stir, although he later apologized (via Twitter) and said he didn’t mean the tweet as a knock on fans.
6. Robert Ford (raford3):
"Danny Duffy’s delivery definitely looks smoother & easier to repeat. Doing a good job of keeping the ball down #Royals"
Here’s an example of the raw information that can be obtained through Twitter. Robert Ford provides excellent analysis for 610 Sports, and he is definitely worth a follow. I had been hoping that the mechanical adjustments Duffy has been explaining in his various media interviews was something tangible, and Ford’s observation here seems to back Duffy up. For a guy with as much talent as Duffy, a smooth, repeatable delivery could turn him into a star sooner rather than later.
5. Everett Teaford (@teaparty61):
"How do I know I am uninteresting? @ChenMusic has more followers then me in less time then 1 practice!"
Everett Teaford has a great sense of humor, so this tweet was in good taste. And it was true. Chen’s followers skyrocketed after his introduction to Twitter. I guess I also like the notion of Royals players competing for Twitter followers. It seems like a friendly competition between the guys, and as far as I’m concerned it harmless fun. Plus, only one practice for Chen to surpass Teaford? His Twitter potential might be greater than I had previously suspected.
4. Bruce Chen (@chenmusic):
"(1) “This is my first tweet ever! (2) “Does this mean that I lost my tweetirginity?"
Bruce Chen’s first tweets simply had to be included in this list. Chen has long been a fun personality inside the locker room and possesses considerable Twitter potential. The story of how Nick Wright (@getnickwright) convinced Chen to join is also worth telling, and it can be found easily on Wright’s previously linked Twitter feed. Just saying.
3. -Danny Duffy (dduffkc23):
"Bury me a Royal"
Here is an example of the simple beauty of Twitter. Duffy is another player who has wholly embraced the “Our Time” mentality, and it has been fun to watch. His enthusiasm for this season just seems infectious.
"I would give anything to go back to college and have to opportunity to pitch against ku tomorrow and shove it up their @$$"
As a KU alum, I can say without remorse that this was a classic tweet. There was some pure emotion in there, and he showed ingenuity and creativity with his use of the dollar signs. In the afterglow of Kansas’ incredible come from behind overtime victory over Mizzou, the emotions were understandable.
1. Sam Mellinger (@mellinger):
"Overheard before today’s intrasquad, from @Hos3KC to @ChenMusic: “Gimme a first-pitch fastball and I’ll mention you on Twitter. #Royals"
This tweet essentially encompasses everything I like about Twitter. Mellinger heard some playful banter that wasn’t going to be the center piece of a column and offered it up to Twitter. It’s a legitimately funny line from Hosmer, who is playing off Chen’s new-found presence on Twitter as well as his own soaring popularity. Everyone just seems excited to play baseball. As a fan, It’s a perfect piece of information to digest on Twitter.
So what are you waiting for?
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