March 1, 2010

Dealing with spring training withdrawls

It’s only been a day, but I already miss being at spring training. Actually, I began to miss it the moment we headed home. It’s hard knowing there is baseball being played in the next state and I’m not there.

I can take some comfort in knowing that games will be starting this Thursday and I’ll be able to listen to them on the radio. Then again, that’s really small consolation because nothing beats being there in person.

I know I shouldn’t pout too much because Cheryl and I did go for a few days and there are many others who won’t get that chance this year. Well, let it be known that I have empathy for those who can’t make it to Tempe this year and the video clips below are just for you. It’s a little slice of spring training that I hope you’ll enjoy.

First up is an interview with Rich Thompson the Angels relief pitcher from Australia. It’s always cool to hear his accent. He’s also got a great sense of humor, as you’ll see when you watch the clips (there are two parts).

Thompson is one of several major league baseball players who has a Twitter account. You can follow Thompson (@chopper63) and others including Angel prospects Chris Pettit (@cpettit815) and Terry Evans (@TEvans23). Some players are much more active than others. Among the best is Texas Ranger reliever C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer). Torii Hunter (@toriihunter48)has a Twitter account as well; however, he hasn’t tweeted since July 10.

Wilson tweeted this today “We had our first int. squad today- got to pitch an inning. cutter was cutting too much, sinker was sinking too much! Need to tone it down.”

Sometimes the players don’t really tweet anything interesting; unless you like to know what they had for breakfast or what they’re watching on T.V., etc. Then there are times when they talk to one another via Twitter and you get to basically ease drop. Kind of strange, right? I suppose on some levels it is, but it’s not like they’re not aware that people are following them.

Some players actively ask for people to follow them on Twitter; like Michael Schlact of the Texas Rangers who had set a goal of trying to get 1,000 followers by opening day. He succeeded and as of this post has 1,010.

Some others I follow include Evan Longoria (although it seems like he basically a tweets ads for 2KSports), Nick Swisher, Matt Kemp, Chris Coghlan, and even Brad Zeigler of the Oakland A’s (I know that’s ironic). The players will often tell you about charity events they’re supporting or other appearances they might be making. The tweets really run the full spectrum.

You can send them messages through Twitter; however, it’s rare that they respond back. I’ve asked Zeigler about the foundation he’s created and he responded, but again that’s rare.

MLB (@mlb) has its own Twitter account and that’s the best place to learn which major (and minor) leaguers are posting on Twitter. You’ll find the #1 prospect in all of baseball Jason Heyward has an account among others.

In any case, here’s one more video for your viewing pleasure. This one is of Rafael Rodriguez, an Angels' reliever who saw some time with the major league club in 2009.

BallHype: hype it up!

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