Twitter: A Real Asset For Fake Baseballers
February 20, 2013 | Brien Bonneville
So you’re new to Earth. There’s this thing on the interwebs called Twitter. Its a free social networking site, kind of like Facebook (or Myspace for you dinosaurs), except its basically all status updates, or microblogging. However, unlike Facebook, Twitter users tend to use it for something other than staying “in touch” with friends and family and more to stay in touch with what’s happening. Of course, it depends on who you follow. Following people in the know, on your topics of interest (say fantasy baseball), will get you less of what Sally had for breakfast or that Tom and Jane are back “in a relationship,” and more of “Breaking News: Prince Fielder signs with Det. Tigers.”
Now that I’ve talked down to you for a paragraph, I’ll step off my high horse to admit that I am relatively new to the Twitter-verse. One thing that I’ve always known is that in fake sports, those owners that pay attention and stay informed win more. That is especially true when it comes to an everyday game like fake baseball. One thing I quickly learned after joining Twitter is that those owners who use Twitter to stay informed for fantasy baseball win a heck of a lot more than those who don’t. Why? Because they can bounce ideas off of other owners or they follow and get breaking news from the Twitterati of fantasy baseball, the elite “in the know” people (listed below). Sometimes, average joes on Twitter get answers to their questions or comments on their thoughts from the guys at Yahoo Sports, ESPN, CBS or a number of blog sites. “Breaking” news stories that you hear about on the teevee or read in the paper are old already. In the time it takes those news outlets to assign it, write about it, edit it and/or get a camera there, its old news already to those on Twitter because a guy with a cell phone who is there already took a photo and tweeted it to his 1000 followers, who retweeted to their 50,000 followers, who retweeted to their… you get it.
Brien, that all sounds great but how do I get on this Twitter and how do I know who to follow? Great question, random voice in italics! Here is how:
First, sign up for a Twitter account and begin following your friends and anyone you already like from baseball, especially fantasy baseball.
Second, download a Twitter program like TweetDeck. The nerds who all act like they know how to use the internets better than you, or I, will tell you numerous other programs to use instead. I’ve been using Tweetdeck since I’ve been on Twitter, it works well for me and allows me to filter those I follow into many categories. I have one section for each major sport I follow, politics, comedians who say funny things occasionally and then one for my actual human friends when I want to know that Mike is having french fries.
Third, be a helpful Twitter type person. We all follow people but interacting is key. When interacting be helpful and nice. Just like in real life, no one wants to be friends with or help out an ass or someone who is antisocial. Ask those you follow a question, no matter how important you perceive them to be, and you may get an answer. If they give you a helpful answer or someone else tweets out something you find interesting/helpful, retweet (RT) it for your followers to read and get that info. Whenever someone interacts with me or asks a question, I try to be as helpful as possible and provide as much info as I can. Most importantly, just know many people are on there for the same reason, that there are very few out to ruin the experience and most are there to be helpful and stay in touch themselves. Unless blocked, there is no one on Twitter you can’t talk to and no one who is too important to speak back to you. Just have fun on it.
Fourth, follow people who follow you. Its just basic courtesy. You like that they followed you, give them a follow back. This also helps open the door to interaction between the both of you.
Fifth, MLB players and real celebrities suck. Despite what they hope, fantasy journalists don’t count as celebs, so follow them. When you follow athletes or celebs, you generally get a bunch of moronic rants or boring nonsense (exceptions: Logan Morrison of the Miami Marlins, Brandon Phillips of the Cincinatti Reds, that is all.) If they do provide you with information relevant to fantasy sports, its usually wrong. Here is a list of must follows (full list below that):
- TheFakeBaseball – The Bert Reynolds of fantasy baseball sites.
- Chet Gresham – Every minute of every day, 250 babies are born worldwide, lightning strikes the earth 360 times and Chet Gresham tweets twice. He’s obsessive about Twitter, one of the most connected of the fantasy twitter elite and if he doesn’t write about something interesting, he retweets someone who just did.
- FantasyRundown – One Twitter account to rule them all, one account to find them. They run a great site that compiles all of the top fantasy articles each day.
- Grey Albright of Razzball.com – He is the Yoda of fantasy baseball and has a Tom Selleck-like mustache. Also, his columns are a daily must-read.
- Rotoworld – A world about fantasy baseball. Move there.
- Trader X – He’s cooler than the other side of the pillow. I mean, c’mon, the guy where’s a suit on Twitter. He’ll help with trade questions too.
- Tristan Cockroft – Laugh not at the first syllable of his last name, this man knows his stuff… Forget it, you can laugh but don’t forget to follow.
- Peter Gammons – The godfather of all things baseball.
- Fantasy Pros – They take all the rankings of experts from tons of sites and use some strange equation to find the “average.” I don’t know much about Geometry but this stuff sure is useful.
- Brien Bonneville – If peeing your pants is cool, consider me Miles Davis.
- ESPN Fantasy – They obviously pay these people more than our blog sites do.
- Tim Kurkjian – ESPN’s Adam Schefter of baseball.
- MLB – They have this league of extraordinary gentlemen that play a game that nerds watched and came up with this other game to play based on their stats.
- FanGraphs – Their writers treat next-level statistics like porn and they’re into some weird stuff… BABIP, XFIP and WAR, oh my.
- Stephania Bell – Injury expert. I’ve heard she dumps baby oil around the bases and near the mounds to cause them. Just kidding… but seriously. Best in the Biz. Read her regularly.
***For my full, easy to follow fantasy baseball list click here and subscribe.*** – Remember the cool kids’ table at lunch? Well, everyone on this list sat near that table.