MLB’s Advanced Media Strategy: What Strategy?

Although I think about this all the time, I got set off on this ironically by something on Twitter. Bill Simmons offered to have the head of MLB’s advanced media on his podcast to explain their “media strategy”. This was after MLBAM apparently removed a video of a NESN reporter choking on a sandwich for some reason or another.

I’ve gripped about this quite often. MLB has had the worst internet presence and social media strategy in sports for years now. Most egregiously, they’re the only sport that has forbidden any highlights from appearing on Youtube whatsoever. So while I can watch highlights of the 2000 Masters, see an entire replay of the last drive of the 2008 super bowl or watch the 4th quarter of game 4 of the 1984 NBA Finals, I can’t watch Derek Jeter pass Lou Gehrig as the all time Yankee hits leader or Barry Bonds break the homerun record. The NBA has allowed Youtube content for years now and it leads to excellent ideas like Sebastian Pruiti’s, who breaks down and diagrams NBA plays every night and then shares them on his blog the next day.… Click here to read the rest

Media Thoughts: Taking Advantage Of Twitter

(comic from

Time Magazine recently released its list of the top 140 twitter accounts, and there were a number of accounts listed under the “sports” heading:

Old Hoss Radbourn
Eric Stangel
Dara Torres
Brian Wilson
Rory McIlroy
Apolo Ohno
Steve Nash
Rio Ferdinand
Chad Ochocinco
Shaquille O’Neal

My intial reaction to this list was one of amusement, and I suggested that these are the kind of accounts you might follow and adjudge to be among the best tweeters if you were not an interactive user. Ben Kabak of RAB followed up with the following comment that I thought succinctly summarized the problem with this list:

That’s why I said it’s so Time Magazine-y. Very passive, web 1.0 list of Twitter accounts. Few people who engage.

The list drives home the fact that there is a huge gulf between the general perception of Twitter and its actual utility. Most people see Twitter as a one way street, a tool to follow celebrities, funny people, and Eric Stangel without much interaction.… Click here to read the rest

About MLB and Twitter

[Moshe asked me to share this with you, so I have]

[Caveat:  This story is still developing.  Recommend reading this post from Fang’s Bites for background info, and updates.]

This evening, news broke that is now preventing their writers from tweeting anything non-baseball related.

I wish I could adequately put into words how much that this policy, if true, is quite simply the wrong way to go.

I’ll try to put this simply, so I don’t bore you with my waxing philosophical:  the great benefit social media gives to us is that it allows us to humanize those that might otherwise seem distant.

In terms of baseball, social media has had the advantage of making the game seem closer and more accessible to us humble viewers.  I’m not going to lie–I’ve been blogging now for two and a half years, and it’s still an awesome thrill when an MLB’er responds to one of my tweets.  Yes, I’m a total fan girl. … Click here to read the rest

Granderson's New Handset

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Twitter is an amazing tool for fans and bloggers, in that it provides access to people with expertise that many fans would not have had the ability to speak with in the past. Last night, I was able to learn something about Curtis Granderson’s stance from one such interaction. After Granderson hit his home run, senior scout Steve Carter of Project Prospect stated that he loved Granderson’s new handset. When I asked for clarification, he graciously sent me the following explanation:

Granderson is holding his hands further away from his body, and much more out over the plate. His struggles in the past against LHP was a result of him flying open trying to protect inside, which left the outer half wide open. Now that his arms are out away from his body he can win the race on the inner half and still cover and/or fight off pitches away.

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Discussion: What Do You Expect From Baseball Writers On Twitter?

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Twitter has entirely changed how baseball reporters and writers deal with the information that they collect and how they interact with their readership. Ken Rosenthal chimed in on this topic last night (h/t @crashburnalley):

Early in my career, I would lose sleep if I reported something inaccurately, even worry about losing my job. The standards now are much lower; too often, the emphasis is on being first rather than factual. Many stories lack nuance and context, particularly when reported in 140-character tweets.

I’m not preaching from any mountaintop here — I pride myself on accuracy, but occasionally make mistakes, too. It is the nature of the business now. It is not a step forward. And from the perspective of an executive such as Williams, it is just one more hassle.

Rosenthal is right, as the nature of Twitter sheds details from stories and often leads to misinterpretations by readers and fans. Furthermore, the offhand nature of Twitter tends to make it impossible for readers to distinguish whether a tweet is the writer’s opinion or is based on actual reporting.… Click here to read the rest

Some lazy Saturday afternoon links

If you read Yankeeist you probably also already Fangraphs, so even though you don’t need me to tell you to go there, I’m going to anyway. Matt Klaasen’s post from yesterday on Dayton Moore and Omar Minaya cracked me up. To wit:

“One might be tempted to see the Royals’ signing of outfielder Scott Podsednik as a move to steal the headlines in the wake of cross-state rival St. Louis’ big Matt Holliday contract earlier this week. Or maybe they just wanted to sneak in the bad news on Friday. Close observers, however, know better. This is all part of The Contest.

I’m not exactly sure what the goal of The Contest is: to put together a team that might contend in 2005, get fired, or to shatter the blogosphere’s Universal Snark-O-Meter in one fell blow, but it’s been apparent for some time now that Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and his Mets counterpart Omar Minaya have been involved in some sort of bizarre rivalry for at least the last year.”

Awesome.… Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Does Twitter Mean The Death Of The Reporter?

Yesterday, I first read the news about David Robertson’s successful meeting with Dr. Andrews on River Ave. Blues. At the time, I noticed that their story had no link, and instead began with the words “The Yankees have just updated us…” I did a quick search among the local beat reporter blogs and found no mention of the story. Finally, it struck me to check Twitter. Sure enough, the Yankees PR feed had updated fans directly as to Robertson’s condition, entirely bypassing the news media apparatus.

As fans get more direct access from teams and players, it seems likely that newspapers would cut back on beat reporters. What would be their function if news can be gotten directly from the source? They would basically just function as collectors of banal quotes used to fill column space. However, illustrious RAB commenter TSJC added the following:

Perhaps Twitter will place less emphasis on the beat reporter aspect of the beat reporter, and more emphasis of the investigative journalist aspect of the beat reporter.

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Red Sox to acquire Victor Martinez, per twitter

No word on the price yet, but hopefully the Indians were able to extract some valuable players/prospects from Boston.  The tweet is from Bob Nightengale, a USA Today writer.  Of the big 3 of Halladay, Adrian Gonzalez, and Martinez, V-Mart would likely have had the lowest cost, and is not the same caliber player as the other two.  This is a nice addition to the struggling Boston lineup (depending on the price, of course), but as a Yankee fan, it’s hardly a reason to panic.  I imagine Martinez will spend a lot of  time at 1st base, with Youkillis moving to 3rd.  He will probably catch occasionally as well, to spell the gritty Jason Varitek.

Now let’s see if the Yankees make any moves in the next 2 hours, perhaps to solidify the 5th spot in the rotation (Justin Duchscherer?).  I’m not expecting anything major at this point, and since Boston seems to be out of the Hallady picture with this trade, I don’t see the Yankees overpaying Toronto in a panic to keep him away from Boston.… Click here to read the rest