Being a fan on Twitter

It’s obvious that Twitter has taken the world by storm. Over recent years it has become increasingly popular and now it is at the point that sports watching and tweeting go hand in hand.

This is my first year that I have tweeted about, and during my favourite teams’ games. I have interacted with some great people who are fans of the same teams as me, and even some with similar views and opinions. It wasn’t until Snider was traded, however, that I realized  how much Twitter has shaped me as a fan.

Take Snider, for instance. I never realized just how popular Snider was (still is) with the fans until I started to tweet. To be honest, I was never a fan of Snider’s and I had assumed that many people felt the same as me. I had become a huge Thames supporter over the course of the 2011 season and had made it known that I was part of “Team Thames” in Spring Training. I was eventually called out by Snider fans and that’s when I learned to keep my mouth shut on numerous topics regarding the Blue Jays. As the 2012 season went on, and as more fans became increasingly upset with the delay in the Snider call up, I began to understand the impact he could have with the team, especially with the injuries. Snider became more than that guy who I didn’t like because of “that one time I met him” (bad excuse, I know) and I began to look at him at an unbiased light, brought to me by the people I follow. This may be one case, but it has helped me become much more neutral on players which helps me be a more rational fan than I was, or so I try. I’m not the same girl who cried over Hill and Johnny Mac being traded!

J.P Arencibia is also a good example. He is a topic that gives me a lot of joy (in many ways), and a lot of anger on Twitter. It’s obvious that he is one of my favourite players. Believe it or not, I like him not for his good looks (shocker, I know) and have legitimate reasons despite how a lot of people feel. I’ll let you in on a secret. I was not an Arencibia fan at the start, although you wouldn’t be able to tell now. Was his debut fantastic? Of course! But the 2010 season didn’t turn me into “J.P’s biggest fan”. It was his Twitter that got me started. Twitter gives fans the opportunity to have a feel for their favourite players off the field. This is the reason why I originally joined AND is one of my favourite parts about the site. Anyways, I found J.P incredibly funny, nice, and has a similar love for country music. This all spurred a chain of events. I became familiar with his performances in the minor leagues, his history, and became optimistic of his capabilities prior to the 2011 season. I admire the way he plays the game, and how he conducts himself off the field. I’m aware of his strengths and weaknesses and remain a supporter and optimistic. All in all, it has turned me into a super fan, you could say. He’s a guy who gets a lot of hate on Twitter (especially for his not stellar, but improving defense) but having to defend him has helped me become both a more informed, and passionate fan.

Don’t get me wrong, the whole “Twitter experience” has not been all unicorns and rainbows. I think it takes away from actually watching the game, and at times prefer not tweeting about sports (well mostly the Jays and Leafs) at all. It can be a negative place, no doubt about that. I mean, I have blocked people who are not willing to have a rational debate on J.P’s contributions to the team, people who tell me I only watch baseball for attractive men, and people who claim I wish failure upon Snider (which I never did). Do you know how many different times the Blue Jays season has been deemed “over”? Probably since April 9 when Santos blew the save in the home opener. The downers put a bit of a damper on the season but I’ll say that they “still have a chance” until they are mathematically eliminated. Maybe if these people make me more positive, it is all unicorns and rainbows after all.

If you’re a sports tweeter, I’m sure you too have had experiences that have helped shaped you into the fan you are now, or at least experiences that you laugh about now. Perhaps your opinion on certain players has slightly changed, like me! Either way, it is a much different experience than watching the game by yourself. Heck, it’s almost like you’re watching the game with hundreds of lovely (and the occasional idiotic) strangers.🙂

A Man in Uniform

So I think I’m about to lose my credibility as a legitimate baseball fan. Although, I’m pretty sure I lost it months ago on my Twitter account (@BlueJaysGirl19). I assure you, I do know about the game and am not a total airhead. Let’s be honest, it is hard to miss the high level of attractiveness displayed by the Toronto Blue Jays. Anyways, I was just sitting around after Morrow had to leave after 9 pitches, admiring JP Arencibia in his catching gear, and noticing that Bryce Harper’s eye brows are too perfect. This led me to create the top 5 most attractive Blue Jays list because, yes, I have nothing better to do.

5. Colby Rasmus: This was a tough one. Rounding out the list is the charming Colby. Gets a lot of hate from the fans, but has turned it on as of late. His southern accent is beyond charming and can make any girl smile. His sick flow isn’t too bad either.

4. Rajai Davis: Rajai has one of the cutest smiles EVER. Plus, speed on the bases is sexy and he has the perfect calves to fill out those high socks. Run, Rajai, run!

3. Casey Janssen: Very underrated in both his closing abilities and his looks. He, like Rajai, knows how to wear the socks to perfection. Has a good head of hair on him and has beautiful eyes. Plus he throws a sexy cutter.

2. Jose Bautista: It’s simple, chicks dig the long ball. 97 home runs in two season is appealing to anyone. People say he looks like a monkey, has big ears, and has a big nose but he is actually perfect. That canon of an arm is a beauty as well. There are no flaws in Jose Bautista.

1. J.P Arencibia: OH J.P. Loved by ladies, hated on by many fans. They complain about his defense and average. Secretly, they’re just jealous that they will never look like JPA. It could be argued that he is the most attractive man on the planet. His humour is displayed on his Twitter account as he chirps fellow team mates, and even fans. His body is perfectly toned with beautiful muscles. His hair is the definition of beautiful and his face has been carved by angels. And ohhhhh that smile. The perfectly white smile breaks hearts on its own. J.P Arencibia has the most contagious smile in the MLB.

Honourable Mention: Henderson Alvarez is incredibly cute. He pitches with such ease and swag. He defends his position well and has adorable expressions on the mound.

Honourable Mention #2: Brett Lawrie is probably the fans’ choice for this list. Unfortunately, I’m not like most girls and don’t think he’s attractive. But he gets an honourable mention for being popular and Canadian.

Question: Who is your vote?🙂

Spring Blues

My baseball mood has taken a major setback today. I was jumping into the baseball season mentally, physically and with my environment around me. I went for a nice vacation arrived back to grass. Yes, grass can be my best friend.  I started some softball (close enough to baseball to be considered part of my baseball attitude) practises and had my first batting practise. And then it was Sunday. The first day of Spring- whoop-dee-doo! A day well spent with a bit of softball practise and stationing myself in front of the radio to listen to a ST game (that has kind of become a semi-tradition every weekend  for the past month). It was only a matter of time before the diamond’s firmed up and it was time to start team practises.

And Monday was like summer. People were in capris, sandals, and light shirts. Many people were showing off their tans they got while spending the March Break and pre March Break in warm places (jealous). I spent a portion of the day watching some baseball feeds on the internet and reading an amusing conversation on Twitter between some of the league’s players. I must say that Vernon Wells is quite a funny guy. Oh, and my friend and I spent quite a bit of time talking about how it was Aaron Hill’s birthday…ya we had too much time on our hands. Happy belated Birthday Aaron!

My entire life had switched gears to the final stretch of the baseball countdown. Tuesday was well, Tuesday and that leads us to today. Wednesday. I never quite liked Wednesday. I woke up to snow. Where is the grass? Where is the sun? My whole baseball attitude has taken a huge step back. And it wasn’t just a little bit of snow, it was a storm. Filled with ice, and snow, and everything I hate about winter. Softball will have to wait quite some time, unless it pours rain soon, which I doubt.

On the bright side, BASEBALL STARTS NEXT WEEK!

So for all of you that can see the beloved grass, I envy you greatly. Every time I look out the window my heart falls a little and wish it would go right to summer. So for the love of baseball, I will spend the day getting back my baseball attitude, watching baseball feeds (what’s new?!), and keep on wishing I lived in Florida or Arizona…

Realizing if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team”

-Sydney

Question of the day: Which team do you think will be the most improved from last season?

Good Look at the Future

Spring Training doesn’t matter- so they say. Players get back into the swing of things, pitchers shake off the rust, and players fight for spots on the rosters. But on March 31st or April 1st numbers posted by players are wiped off and it’s a clean slate. Both good and bad springs no longer matter and it’s time to move on to “real ball”.

Let’s consider the majority of Spring Training invitees that won’t start opening day with their club. Spring Training is really the only time fans can do some “scouting” from the comfort of their very own home. You get to check out the farm system, and even more importantly, check out who will help shape up your favourite team in years to come.

If you’ve listened or watched some games this year you will have realized that line-ups aren’t filled with the guys starting Opening Day. Sure you have the big leaguers (who will likely be pulled part way through) but you also have a lot of guys who spent last year in AAA, AA, and even A ball. I mean, let’s be realistic; most of these guys don’t have a real shot being called up until September- if they’re lucky. But the myth of “Spring Training doesn’t matter” couldn’t be less true especially for these guys.

Like I said, yeah it does kind of matter for the big league players but the guys who will spend the year in the minors need to take the opportunity to impress. This is really the only time of the season where us fans really get to see who will be part of the team in years to come. You get to see prospects that some of our favourite players were traded for, guys anticipated to make the club next year, guys who tore up the minors last year, and maybe even some guys you will never hear of again. And even if these guys tear up ST, they still might not make the team because there simply isn’t room for them.

To me, it’s a good to have a sense what is happening down in the farm system and how players are developing. A lot of guys won’t be mentioned through the duration of the season if they are playing mediocrely but you can see, and make opinions, first hand during this part of the season. You kind of have those moments when you think: wow I’ve never even heard of this guy but he has some skill over there at first. Hey we might need a first baseman next year, for example. You also get to see that GMs know what they’re doing and don’t always need to sign free agents or trade for big name guys when you have perfectly good player suited to fill holes down in the minors.

So yes I suppose it is fair to say that the standing don’t matter because most of the starting guys don’t start, but Spring Training really does matter. It may not be the most interesting but it is the first impression for a lot of minor league guys and they really get to show their potential to their club and to the fans. Will we see most of them this season? Of course not. But will we see them in years to come? Yes. Players will retire, they’ll be traded, they’ll sign somewhere else in free agency, and maybe the team will go through rebuilding. A lot of answers can be looked for down in the farm system and it all kind of starts with Spring Training. They get experience playing against big league players and are a part of the atmosphere of what it’s like up in the majors.

Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of big baseball fans realize the importance of Spring Training. And people who think it doesn’t matter may not really have interest in players that aren’t in the MLB. But the statement is pretty broad. Yes, they might be referring to the standings not really accurately foreshadowing how the end of the season’s standings will be but I think the “importance” is seen by people who really are passionate, have a real sense for the game and really get into it- in general.

So keep a tab on these minor league guys, because you just may see them again somewhere. And when you see them, remember it was thanks to Spring Training. All great players started at the bottom and ST is an important way to try and make the club or make a good impression in case the club needs a call up. You never know, your farm system just might be carrying the next Roy Halladay…

“Realizing that if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

-Sydney

Question of the Day: Which prospect has impressed you the most this Spring Training?

One Small Town, One HUGE Baseball Fan

You know what my town needs? Some baseball lovers. In this town the population of baseball fans probably comes to approximately one. Yeah and that would be me. Okay there is probably more but people have kind of given up on the whole baseball thing around here. But here in the blogosphere, no you all haven’t given up. Baseball is 365 days a year, right?

Full of dreams, hopes, rants and just baseball in general surfaces in these blogs. I told some people two weeks ago that it was spring and they just told me spring wasn’t until the end of March. Typical. How do people not grasp how wonderful the sport is? I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion but hey, I have baseball fever!

Guess what! It rained last night. Big deal right? Well in the lyrics of Luke Bryan- rain is a good thing! I mean it totally looks like spring in Arizona and Florida, actually compared to here it looks like summer. The rain is melting the way the HUGE piles of snow. Can’t wait to get ol’ ball glove worked in. And baseball registration is this week- woohoo!

All I had to do was endure a few awful months filled with hockey, football and basketball. All my favourite teams won’t even make the playoffs. You see my favourite teams just aren’t destined to ever win a championship- in anything. So I have all my hopes invested in this season, just like everyone else blogging here. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s possible to make it to the Series. But I’m not going to jinx anything- don’t want to be responsible for anything less than an October Classic appearance.

Have you realized that baseball can be compared to anything? I’m guessing this is just a withdrawal symptom but you know how it is. Baseball is like a universal metaphor. You can compare it to math, compare it to chemistry, compare it to grocery shopping and even compare it to hockey. Trust me, its manageable. Think about it, hockey is like the opposite to baseball yet I compared baseball to a hockey shootout on Saturday. Since when am I a hockey fan anyways? Kind of fell onto it as a transition I guess.

Anyhow- back on topic. Too bad y’all can’t all of the sudden flood into my tiny town. It could really use some more baseball lovers. But don’t worry, I’m representing the baseball loving community. Almost have enough love of the sport for every one of the citizens of the town. But today I saw six different MLB hats. I know, a whole six! It’s a breakthrough! Unfortunately you had to go to the outskirts of the town to find these semi fans…and I don’t even think they live here. It started with a Marlins hat, then a Red Sox hat, then a Yankee hat, then a Dodgers hat, then an Angels hat, and rounding off the day with the old school Jays hat. All over the map huh? That’s what happens when you live in the middle of no where.

So I still have a month to  go until we are full time back in action. And since hockey and basketball has been nothing to get excited over, might as well spend it reading about real baseball fans on here. Not that nobody is a “real” fan around here, but we are no “Red Sox Nation” for one team or another, that’s for sure. I’ve been waiting for the season to start since the day regular season ended last year. Almost there…

“Realizing that if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

-Sydney

Question of the day: What was the best MLB game you ever attended?

Today is a Good Day

Finally. And I mean FINALLY. The wait for my beloved baseball is over. I know technically yesterday was the beginning but today is my favourite team’s turn to hit the field. Today my withdrawals will end as my boys hit the field. Let me tell you, I’ll be glued to the radio all afternoon.

No I’m not so fortunate to live down south and be attending the game and no the game isn’t going to be aired on my television but hey, the radio broadcasts the game better anyways. I woke up this morning and pretty much sprung out of bed. Any work that needed to be done today has been finished so my undivided attention will go towards the game. Hey, I haven’t waited months for nothing.

Okay, so I know that these games don’t entirely matter besides seeing which holes need to be filled and whatnot but I look as if it is any regular game. I’m pretty superstitious and somehow wearing my lucky hat will help my favourite team win. I have a lucky hat for listening or watching games, a lucky hat for attending games, and a lucky hat when I have to unfortunately miss a game. I’ll just have to plan carefully so the right alignment of merchandise equals a World Series appearance. It’s quite the mathematical process really…and one I wasn’t able to figure out last season. But I’m dressed for a win even if it’s just preseason.

And who said nobody score keeps these days? It’s a PRESEASON game and I’ve had my lineup card filled out hours ago. It’s quite a relaxing hobby really and it helps you remember stats of games from months ago- something which I enjoy. And I know I have kind of complained about a selected few players that will probably get the start opening day that I don’t necessarily agree with but today, it doesn’t matter. Just to hear the names come from a little square box is enough to make my day- win or lose. I guess it’ll be nice to hear three hours’ worth of my favourite team come out of someone’s mouth besides mine. It’s like when I open my mouth everyone around me goes “oh there goes Sydney going on about baseball again”. I guess I’ve tired people out about my endless baseball talk but I’m sorry, the season hasn’t even started yet. Just wait until then.

So long story short, I’m absolutely, undeniably, 100% excited for today. It’s almost as if a small part of me has been missing for the past several months but today it has returned. I pretty much see rainbows, fields of grass, a bright sun and unicorns out my window rather than the snow and grey skies. I’m almost literally walking on the clouds. Because my year really begins today…

“Realizing that if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

-Sydney

Question of the day: What questions will Spring Training answer for your favourite team?

Claiming the Pennant

With the season approaching, everybody has begun to make season predictions. And what come along with the predictions are World Series predictions as well. Some people make them off of last year’s results, off season additions or losses and many just base it on their favourite team.

Okay, so it seems as if analysts have agreed that the World Series will be the Phillies and Red Sox. Well many people don’t really care what the analysts say because there is someone to advocate for every team that they’ll make it to the Series. Is there much to support some of these predictions? Not really, but that’s what being a fan is all about. Nobody is going to flat out think that their favourite team is going to come last in their division.

Every year I decide to claim the pennant before the season even begins and make my opinion known. It’s part of being a stereotyped die-hard fan around here. Unfortunately at the end of every season I have to eat my words. But then the next season comes around and I’ll claim it again. People tell me they’ll come in last but obviously I’m not going to predict that my favourite team will come in last.

Take the Orioles for example. They are in tough company over in the AL East. Many fans are going to claim the Orioles are going to win the pennant. Kind of a tough prediction with the fellow competitors in the division. But of course they won’t come in last again because this is their year, say Oriole fans. Hey they might, but I wouldn’t make a definite prediction amongst the Yankees, Red Sox, Jays and Rays. It’ll be a tough one over there.

And how about the Cubs? Why can’t the Cubs break their World Series-less streak this year? Fans have said “next year will be our year” for a while now. I’d say the Cubs have some of the most loyal fans out of every team.  They prove my point because despite their drought of winning the World Series, every year will apparently be there year. But hey! That’s what being a fan is about.

It’s part of the beauty of the game. Does it mean that analysts’ predictions are always wrong? Well no, but it’s just their prediction. Maybe the Phillies and the Red Sox will meet in the October Classic. But being a fan is more about team loyalty because eventually your favourite team will win the World Series. Might as well claim the pennant because why can’t it be this year?

“Realizing that if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

-Sydney

Question of the day: What is the most memorable season-opener you have seen?

Dear Winter

Dear winter,

You have been a long and drawn out season. It is hard enough living without baseball for months but then you give me cold weather and snow up to my head. No thank you!

Basketball, hockey and football were supposed to help me with the tough transition of winter. So much for that. For starters, the Minnesota Vikings season was disappointing- they came in last in their division behind the Detroit Lions. And you don’t want to know who I cheer for in the NHL and NBA. Quite frankly, both their seasons are embarrassing. So I would consider those three sports a fail in helping me cope with the season.

But you know, I have survived. Yes I have. The blogs, the trade rumours, the news, and even baseball players on Twitter have helped me through this difficult time. And despite your dismay, regular games will be here before you know it!

But as of tomorrow, I will no longer have to deal with you. Spring starts in March you say? Oh no, spring is not marked by a date but simply when pitchers and catchers head down to Florida and Arizona. Finally February 14th has arrived!

Tomorrow I’ll smile a little wider, my eyes will be a little brighter and my heart will be fulfilled. Baseball will be my Valentine’s tomorrow and I’ve been awaiting the day that me and my beloved met again for months. And tomorrow will just be the beginning of our eight month long affair filled with bliss and happiness.

So dear winter, I will not miss you one bit. Yes I’ll look out my window and the snow you have provided will prevent me from playing baseball or dressing as though it is spring. But mentally I’ll be somewhere else. My mind is down in Florida and Arizona and really I know tomorrow marks the first day of spring. And despite your desperate measures to persuade me that spring isn’t for another month, I will go on with my happy ways tomorrow because winter, you cannot come in between my love and passion for baseball.

I wish I could tell you that it has been a slice, but it really hasn’t been. I’ll see you again in October (the real beginning of winter) but until the adieu!

Sincerely,

-Sydney

P.S: And by the way, PLAY BALL!

 

“Realizing if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

Question of the day: Which playoff team from last season will fall short of playoffs this season?

 

Ruling Differences

                In no other sport league is there such a difference between the two conferences. Teams can play “interleague” without even realizing that they aren’t in the same conference. This allows more of an array of teams that can play against each other with no difference in the way the game is played. Instead of being confined to teams in the same conference, there are nearly twice as many teams that could possibly be scheduled against in the season. Every sports league besides the MLB that is.

                Since 1999 there is a period of time within the regular season dedicated to interleague play. The rules state that if a National League team is hosting an American League team than the game must be played by National League rules and vice versa (with an exception one side aren’t able to host the game like the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies this season). So American League pitchers who are not required to bat are suddenly thrown into a position where they have to bat, and often strike out. Not to mention the fact that even if the pitcher is pitching adequately in a tight game they are pulled out early and substitute, in many cases, with the designated hitter.

                Though the disadvantage seems to be to the American League, the National League has lost the majority of interleague games. Since the introduction of interleague in 1999 the American League has won 1,637 games while the National League has won 1,534. In either case, the flow of the line-up is interrupted by trying to make the substitutions in order to satisfy the rules of interleague. Some teams have thrived in interleague while others…haven’t. That part of the season could be considered somewhat dreaded and a period in the schedule that teams just want to get over with.

                It seems as though the league should either get rid of interleague or make the rules the same in both conferences. Personally, I think they should just make the rules the same throughout the league. In my opinion, if or when they decide to go that direction, the American League rules should be in effect. I know it is a tradition for the pitcher to hit but now they bunt half of the time and have horrible averages. Not to mention that they just about always hit ninth and do nothing elaborate in fear they’ll hurt themselves while at bat. The league has already altered the All-Star game so it satisfies both conferences, so why not carry that through to all the other games? More old rivalries can be relived more frequently and there is more of a range of teams that can play against each other. In addition, the amount of games required to play against divisional opponents could be reduced because there are more teams to play against with no difference in the way the game is played.

                Ultimately, some teams’ entire playoff hopes can be and are destroyed in the slated interleague schedule. Though months before October, if teams had a better winning percentage or continued the same winning percentage they held the rest of the season through interleague, it could make a huge difference in how the season unfolded. I think this change is needed and is beneficial to the league. I’m sure the idea and topic has been brought up within the offices of the MLB  but no progress has been made.  Or at least publicly.

How many teams have to miss the playoffs, number 8 batters intentionally walked, and pitchers get hurt before this idea is taken seriously? The commissioner seems to think everybody loves interleague. Well not everyone. Especially when your favourite team misses the playoffs part due to interleague. The league needs to find a way to sort this out… and soon.

Realizing if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

Question of the day: What’s your opinion on the differences of rules between conferences?

-Sydney

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Finally. Finally! I have suffered through the long, cold days of winter just waiting for the season to begin, or at the very least, a day like today. Today is a very important day in the life of a baseball fan like me but this day varies from fan to fan. It is so much more than January 25: today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

All of the sudden it seems as though the season is right around the corner. Almost time for single game tickets! Almost time for spring training! Almost time for preseason! Almost time for the season! So yes, YES! I CAN SEE THE BASEBALL SEASON. The catcher; the pitchers; the DH; the first, second, and third basemen; shortstop; right, left, and centre fielders; the coaches; the umps; the ball boys and girls; and of course the fans!!! There is just so much anticipation around the season….it has all clicked!

You know why that is? I think the puzzle pieces of my favourite team have finally started to fall into place. And it seems it’s a common theme around the league. Looks like in the past few days that the Rays, Angels, Jays, and Rangers teams have finally fallen into place to name a few teams. Last minute signings and trades have begun to define this season; for me anyways.

So here we go! 66 days until most teams kick off the season and we can hear the words baseball fans have been waiting for… LETS PLAY BALL!!!

Question of the day: What has been the biggest move your favourite team has made this offseason?

“Realizing if you dream hard enough, you really are part of the team.”

-Sydney