The headline covers most of what the following post will be. But I’ll make a few quick points. Baseball is fun and it’s a lot of fun to follow along and interact with people on Twitter about it. The following list has a few rules. First, these are not people you follow for news. Ken Rosenthal breaks lots of stories, but this list is about people who you follow because of their interesting commentary, not their ability as a reporter. Current players are also not eligible. Second, the account doesn’t have to reflect a person but it can’t be an entity like MLB or ESPN. Three, I’m not listing anyone I have a professional affiliation with. It wouldn’t really matter because this is a fun list and I can’t imagine anyone finding a way to profit from this, but it just felt more ethical. Finally, these accounts are being judged only by baseball tweeting. No points for your literature or food tweeting. Both quality and quantity are considered. Just like “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” everything is made up and the points don’t matter.
Honorable Mention. Batting Stance Guy
On the list for humor. I don’t follow him, but got some recommendations to put him on the list and I’m all about listening:
9. Keith Law
Law is pretty popular for his “snark” and hilarious ability to retweet people who don’t know the difference between your and you’re, but he’s worth a follow because he provides solid baseball commentary in most cases and it well informed on prospects. Mostly, his invention of #umpshow is reason enough.
8. Heard on MLB Tonight
This is the designated Twitter account for pointing out hilariously off base baseball commentary.
7. MLB Fake Rumors
This is a great play on MLB Trade Rumors. Their only failure is that they don’t tweet often enough.
6. Mark Simon
Simon posts a ton of statistical breakdowns and tidbits and is great about looking into advanced data for followers.
5. Dave Cameron
Cameron is the managing editor of FanGraphs and is just an excellent baseball analyst.
4. Can Predict Ball
These guys tweet when something hilariously predictable happens. Must follow.
3. Brian Kenny
Kenny is the mainstream media’s sabermetric champion and does a nice job providing commentary and taking people to task for not opening their minds.
2. Jeff Sullivan
Sullivan makes excellent observations about baseball, but is also supremely funny and always tweets what I’m thinking about national writers who tweet silly rumors.
1. You Can’t Predict Ball
They tweet when unpredictable things happen, which is just about the best thing about baseball.
Word has it that over the last year or so, Tigers manager Jim Leyland has become a bit more tech savvy that he used to be. Leyland famously didn’t know how to turn on his computer when he arrived in Detroit, but last year he sent “text messages” and this spring he has used Skype to speak with his wife. (“She looked good!”)
Which got me thinking, if Leyland progresses at this rate, it is possible that he could join Twitter one day.
Last year, at one point during a fan mutiny, Leyland wanted fans to e-mail their lineup choices to members of the media to show him so that he could get their input, if they were so smart. But what if we could tweet with Jim?
His son and Tigers minor leaguer Patrick is on Twitter, so presumably someone could help him out at home. And several Tigers players are “Tweeps,” including Paws, the Tigers’ mascot. Could we soon be living in a world in which Jim Leyland tweets?
One can only hope.
His mixture of sage wisdom and nonsensical clichés are exactly what you need to be successful on Twitter, or really the internet in general.
Consider: “Man, that trip to the dry cleaner was just what the doctor ordered. #tonic”
Additionally, I would be very interested to see how mumbling sounds in 140 characters and if he would tweet about things that make him emotional.
“Just got off at Exit 32. That just makes me think of Donnie Kelly. I love that man more than my wife and son put together. #goldenboy”
But most importantly, he could tweet out his lineups ahead of time so that fans could critique his managing in an interactive way.
His Twitter profile would say, “Tigers Skipper, 3 Pennants and a World Series. Will block lineup suggestions.”
In fact, can you think of any person currently without a Twitter page that would be more entertaining to follow than Jim Leyland? I sure can’t.
Just imagine the kinds of things Rod could tweet at him. “Hey Skip!!! You got those boys workin today! #keepinitreal”
This needs to happen. Jim Leyland belongs on Twitter. Don’t you agree?