MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twins baseball has become interactive, but not only on the field. It’s also now on the Internet, and it’s taking baseball to a whole new level and making it personal.
When the season starts at Target Field, you’re sure to hear a few familiar sounds. They’ll be coming from your phone.
Social media isn’t’ just changing the way the media covers sports, it’s changing the relationship between fans and players.
“It was actually last year, I was sitting on the bus with Michael Cuddyer. I kept going through web sites and he said why don’t you go on Twitter you can follow those websites or those people and just get everything right there?” said Twins pitcher Glen Perkins.
Once the game is over, players put down their bats and gloves and pick up their cell phones.
“I think it helps for the fans to feel somehow connected with us and makes it a little more personable,” Pitcher Brian Duensing said.
Because the players aren’t always on the mound, Perkins shows us what he’s up to when he’s out of uniform.
“I didn’t want to write about baseball. I’d like to think of myself as more than a baseball player, so I try to do the stuff that I think is interesting,” he said.
The players share and they receive. If the players have a tough night, they’ll hear about it directly from fans in 140 characters or less.
“Last year was a rough year and I got a lot of Tweets saying ‘keep your head up,’” Duensing said. “It’s actually really encouraging because sometimes you feel like you’re letting everyone down and when you get tweets it reassures you they’re behind you.”
It’s not just the guys on the field getting involved, members of the team’s front office is logging on, too.
Fans are turning to social media for the latest news on the team. Dave St. Peter, whose Twitter handle is “@TwinsPrez,” said fans deserve to hear what’s going on straight from the source.
“I think it’s important that we’re speaking to our fans,” St. Peter said. “A lot of fans are on Twitter that are asking questions and I was worried unless I was sending a response to answer – they weren’t getting answered.”
You won’t find all of the Twins players on Twitter. Only about 20 are signed up.
“My technology savviness is non-existent,” said pitcher Matt Capps, who does not tweet. “I thought Twitter was a yellow canary bird for the longest time.”
Twins fans will have a new hashtag to follow this year. Perkins started “#ThingsCarlSays.” He’ll be tweeting one-liners from fellow ace, Carl Pavano.