Post-Season Baseball Twitter: Better Than TV?
The wife (now I can say that) and I cut the cable cord a while ago, and we were saving for our wedding so paying for anything except Netflix and Hulu were out. So, my baseball viewing was either at watering holes, or ‘viewing’ via the radio, or watching Twitter and the live scoring update streams.
The playoffs started right around our nuptual time, and while we did have some down time here and there I wasn’t going to have much of a chance to see playoff baseball. Especially since we were on Pacific time, and a lot of our activities were during daylight hours.
So in order to keep up to date, I had to weigh my options. I didn’t bring a laptop or a tablet to our wedding city, lest I wanted to have two black eyes, so my phone was my only personal internet connection. Also, I need to eat and pay rent, so using the data for streaming video was right out.
Checking the scores on apps was OK, but sometimes the scorecasts are behind or they freeze up. However, there was one thing I could rely on for quick updates, AND zingy commentary.
I follow a bushel basket of Baseball Twitter, Sabremetric Twitter, and Smart-Ass Sports Twitter. Even during the weekend football times, there was enough dedicated Twitter out there that you could keep track of what was going on, and feel that you are watching the game 140 characters at a time.
Not only that, but you immediately get the second-and-third-and-fourth guessing for any critical move. Not only from journalists and media types, but those who run team sites, contribute to blogs (ahem…), and well respected fans.
When Buck Showalter left Zach Britton in the pen, and threw in Ubaldo Jiminez, Twitter was there to rightly lambaste him (sorry guys, you can’t save your best reliever for a save situation that would never happen, when others on the staff can get three goddamn outs. Not you Ubaldo…)
When Conor Gillaspie broke the Mets’ hearts, Giants and Mets Twitter had the usual reactions.
Giants Twitter also had a field day in the Cubs series, lamenting their bullpen, wondering why Bochy didn’t just let Matt Moore finish it, and feeling fortunate the Joe Maddon outsmarted himself in Game 3 by matching up everyone and their brother in the 7th and 8th.
Nationals Twitter, mostly made up of nattering nabobs and political types, seemed baffled by the concept of small sample sizes and playoff luck. It was fun to laugh and point.
Sabremetric trivia had field days with bullpen mismanagement, too much bunting, and too many intentional walks too soon. Especially Dave Roberts’ love of the strategy, either walking Daniel Murphy in the third, or walking the bases loaded with two out to force Maddon to pinch hit for Chapman. See how that worked out.
Baseball Twitter is a place where everyone can pile on Jon Heyman and Buster Olney, make the most out of Harold Reynolds’ inanities, and take sides in a twitter discussion between Brian Kenny and Alex Cora. It’s where smart announcers like Len Kasper, Chris Singleton, Dan Shulman, and Jon Sciambi can give you even more info than they say on their broadcasts.
It’s also where the baseball world has really no words for Andrew Miller’s performance in the playoffs. Because there are no words that can describe it in 140 characters that make sense.
Of course I’d rather be at the game, but with all of the blathering the networks do, and the shots of hack actors in the stands pretending to pay attention while someone promos their soon-to-be-cancelled series, Baseball Twitter is almost as good as being there.
That being said, I’d love World Series tickets. Contact me if you have a pair to give as a wedding present.