Results tagged ‘ Twitter ’

Out of Many, One

MLB.com is currently running a content called “Face of MLB” (or, more accurately, #FaceOfMLB), a Twitter-driven popularity contest to determine, yes, the “Face of Major League Baseball.” This bracket-style tournament is now in the finals, with David Wright pitted against dark horse contender Eric Sogard, but Major League Baseball is clearly not the concern of this little slice of the internet. Our concern is this:

Who, or what, is the face of Minor League Baseball? On Monday, with a lot of help from my Twitter followers, the answer to this question was finally obtained. THIS is the “Face of MiLB”:

For those who may be unawares, this face is comprised of the eyes of the Lake Elsinore Storm, the nose of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the mustache of the Lexington Legends, and the mouth of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Four teams, in four states, in four leagues, at four levels of play combining their otherwise disembodied facial features into a coherent and not-at-all frightening whole. This is what Minor League Baseball is all about!

My thanks to Ben Gellman-Chomsky for his photoshop skills, and John B. for getting the ball rolling with this tweet.

And if you’re wondering what this face would like in physical form, well, wonder no longer. Simply observe the efforts on one David Dermer.

After all this, I only have one more thing to add: an even better “Face of MiLB” would also include a hat bearing the Minor League Baseball logo as well as a gold pendant inscribed with the words “Ben’s Biz.” Feel free to make that happen. (I don’t actually do anything, I just make passive-aggressive suggestions.)

The above bit of inspired stupidity was inspired, however indirectly, by this bit of inspired stupidity: this season, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will wear several new alternate uniforms. And one of those uniforms revolves around brine-soaked pig meat:

strip

From the team:

The “Smell The Change” initiative is brought to life in the IronPigs brand-new bacon-themed Saturday ensemble, which includes a bacon strip logo transfixed to the cap, a fresh “Pigs” jersey design emblazoned across the chest as well as the first-of-its-kind bacon-style piping down both legs of the pants….The bold new bacon strip logo sits atop a two-tone cap featuring the familiar colors of IronPigs Steel and Furnace Blue. The bacon-enriched pants, the first baseball pants to feature a logo design within the piping, are also IronPigs Steel. In addition to the cap and uniform offerings, innovative “scratch-and-sniff” t-shirts that smell like bacon (they’ll literally make your mouth water) are also now available.

Scratch_Sniff_Shirt_300

“Smell lasts for up to 10-15 washes.”

In my early days of doing this blog, I would have tried very hard to be “first” with news such as the above. But now that I am old and wizened, I don’t worry about it, for the increased traffic that results is as ephemeral as the morning dew. My strategy now is to simply sit back and watch the amateur hour internet hyperbole pour in from across the land. Hey guys, did you know that the IronPigs are your new favorite sports team, that their epic bacon logo will make your mouth water, that it has “won” the internet, and is therefore the best thing in the history of ever?

Have some dignity, internet, says man who just wrote the above blog post.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Information Regarding the Online Insult Prowess of Aquatically-Inclined Felines

In yesterday’s post on the West Michigan Whitecaps, I speculated that their Facebook update in the aftermath of Friday’s stadium fire was the most liked and shared Facebook update in the history of Minor League Baseball. Continuing on this speculative line of social media-centric thought, it is also likely that the most popular tweet in the history of Minor League Baseball occurred just last month.

It all began on Tuesday, December 3, when the Sacramento River Cats sought to fill some offseason down time by engaging fans in an “ask us anything” discussion. This prompted their Pacific Coast League rivals the Reno Aces to posit a somewhat snarky question, and within a quarter hour the River Cats responded in devastating fashion:

Oooh, burn! And, as burns are wont to do, it soon spread like wildfire throughout the Twittersphere and then the internet in general. Retweet upon retweet soon inspired a number of regional and national blog posts, amusing innumerable individuals along the way. I expected the Aces, egos bruised, to retort in kind but instead they took a “you’ve won the battle, but not the war” stance and humbly retreated into the background.

The background is where this feud remained, until the River Cats decided to end 2013 by gloating anew.

This time, the Aces couldn’t stay silent.

And on and on it went, a tit for tat diss battle in which no clear winner emerged. Click HERE to read the whole back and forth, but please know that it ended with the Aces’ referencing the “worst bobblehead of all time.”

As mentioned, the above Twitter battle gained some notoriety not just within Minor League Baseball but within the sports universe at large. But the River Cats take on all comers, as evidenced by this far-less publicized battle that took place with the Fresno Grizzlies on December 19. This one was started by Parker, the Grizzlies mascot, in response to an innocuous question from a local radio station.

Oh, Parker, why did you do that? Did you really think you’d get away it? Cue debilitating River Cats comeback in 3…2…1…

Parker’s ensuing retort wasn’t much to speak of (Sorry Parker, just keepin’ it real), but the Grizzlies jumped in with a parting shot. The lesson here is: when beefing with the Sacramento River Cats on Twitter, and at a loss for words, simply mention “the worst bobblehead of all time.”

At the end of the day, Twitter wars are stupid. But aren’t most things? And Twitter wars are not only stupid, they’re entertaining as well. So I guess what I’m saying is this: if you’re a Minor League Baseball team, go ahead and tweet something insulting at one of your league rivals. I’ll be glad you did.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Give It Away Now!

As of this exact moment in time, I am being on followed on Twitter by 1652 hardy souls (and  the occasional hardy spambot). I am grateful for each and every one of these individuals — especially the ones that possess sentience — but more are wanted and needed.

After all, I’m doing my best to document the best and brightest (not to mention the surrealest and strangest) that Minor League Baseball has to offer. This meticulous chronicling of a nationwide network of 160 distinct sporting entities is of interest to more than 1652 people. Of this I am sure.

Here’s one way to increase the ranks: give away Minor League memorabilia! As a result of my extensive travels (and more are coming soon!), I am awash in the stuff:

And now it’s time to give it away! Over the next month,@MinorLeagues (the official Twitter account of Minor League Baseball) and @BensBiz (yours truly) will be distributing this accumulated souvenir bounty to our loyal followers. It will start next Friday (March 16th), and run each Friday thereafter. Here’s how it will work.

1. Follow @MinorLeagues and @BensBiz on Twitter

2. Look for the following tweet, which will be posted each day of the contest at 2 p.m. ET: “It’s MiLB giveaway time! Must be following @MinorLeagues and @BensBiz to win! Click here for official rules.”

3. This tweet will be followed by another tweet, posing a question along the lines of the following: “What is your favorite Minor League logo and why? Respond to @BensBiz and @MinorLeagues to be eligible to win a prize.”

4. Those who respond to the question posed in the tweet (and are following both accounts) will be then entered into a drawing to win that day’s prize. As to what that could be — well, who knows? An Inland Empire 66ers Snuggie? An Iowa Cubs t-shirt? A Charleston RiverDogs knit cap? These are the sort of things that most people only dream of owning, and we are here to make your dreams come true.

Under the desk: bags and bags of MiLB swag

So that’s the gist of it — a simple way to systematically distribute Minor League swag across the land, while gaining followers at the same time. What’s not to like?

And, teams — going forward @BenzBiz and @MinorLeagues would be delighted to promote your unique giveaway  items and merchandise. Simply send a sample to MiLB.com HQ (address provided upon request). I’ll take pictures of it (maybe even make it my Twitter avatar pic for a few days), and then we’ll give it away in an manner similar to the one outlined above.

And while all of this is going on, I’ll be busy plotting my 2012 Minor League road trips. Rest assured that these travels will quickly replenish my MiLB souvenir supply, so that the entire process can begin again.

It’s a beautiful thing.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Leaving On a Jet Plane

The most pressing thing that needs to be conveyed at this moment in space and time, from a blogging perspective, is this: next week there will be no new blog posts. This is because I’m taking a a week-long respite from Minor League Baseball, in the form of a vacation.

When I return, it will be nearly March. And if it’s nearly March it’ll nearly be baseball season. Therefore, it’ll be time for me to make some plans — where to go, who to see, and how to best cover this multifarious entity known as Minor League Baseball.

Suggestions welcome, and appreciated! Unique content is key, so please get in touch with any knowledge you may have about any particular corner of this Minor League universe.

I look forward to your reply. But, in the meantime, here’s a nice-sized portion of that typical Biz Blog content you’ve come to know and tolerate.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’re in the midst of “promotion unveiling season.” One of the more interesting ones to come down the pike this week comes courtesy of the Memphis Redbirds, who have put an interesting spin on the increasingly prevalent “social media” sub-genre.

Reports the team:

The first 500 fans through the gates that use Twitter can write down their Twitter username, allowing the Redbirds to follow them. Prior to the game, a Twinterview will be held with one of the Memphis Redbirds players. Twitter handles from each player will also be included on their headshots on the Redbirds’ new video board.

Fans will be encouraged to take a photo from where they sit at the ballpark and share it on Facebook. Adding their seat location to the picture caption will give them a chance to win a social media themed prize during the game. One fan will also receive a prize pack that includes a bird watching book, a team-signed hashtag and a box of figurines containing 140 characters.

Not surprisingly, my favorite aspect of this promo is the “prize pack.” I look forward to seeing what a “team-signed hashtag” looks like, and, especially, what sort of figurine characters end up in the box.

My last post had a Valentine’s Day emphasis, but now that particular holiday is firmly in the rear-view mirror. Or, is it? In honor of the Red Sox’s new manager, the Lowell Spinners are hosting their own “Valentine’s Day” on July 14.

Ya gotta love it:

The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a pink Bobby Valentine’s Day Spinners’ baseball. Fans who do not receive a baseball will be rewarded with Valentine’s candies and cards so no fan is left lonely on Bobby Valentine’s Day.

 The concourse will feature a Valentine’s card swap area, with Valentine’s available for younger fans to give to each other, leave for their favorite Spinners players or, of course, leave for Bobby Valentine. The area will also have an abundance of Valentine’s Day favorites, including Hershey’s Kisses and NECCO Hearts.

Outside of Valentine’s Day, the Spinners will also salute Bobby Valentine by exploring some of their favorite Bobby V-isms. The concession stand will feature wrap sandwiches, in honor of their inventor, and the team will celebrate Bobby’s fabulous ballroom dancing moves, with a between innings dancing contest.

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier this week, a component that needs to be added to this stellar promo is a mustache giveaway. And all fans in disguise should get in free!

A reasonable question to ask at this juncture is “who cares about any of this stuff? The world is ending!” The Frederick Keys understand such apocalyptic angst, and are therefore staging “Six Months Until the End of the World Night” on June 21.

“We will be paying tribute to what is supposed to be the end of life on earth with our six months til the end of the world celebration. Enjoy survival of the fittest events, last meal eating contests, zombie interns and more!” reported the team. “Oh, and there will be Keys baseball too.”

If the above didn’t satiate your appetite for apocalyptic images, then perhaps this will.

Photo: Laura Brinkman

Yep, that’s Visalia Rawhide mascot Tipper with his ol’ buddy Newt Gingrich at Tuesday’s World Ag Expo.

“Newt Gingrich” sounds like a good name for a Zooperstars character. This beloved troupe of pun-obsessed inflatables are visiting Charlotte on May 26, with five of the characters confirmed. The team has launched a fan poll to determine the final two characters, with the choices as follows:

  1. Manatee Ramirez
  2. Yao Flamingo
  3. Jeff Gordog
  4. Centipete Rose
  5. Mackerel Jordan
  6. Nolan Rhino

A manatee, a clam, and a centipede walk onto a baseball field...

The triumvirate of above characters look like they could be gatekeepers to the afterlife, but fortunately we won’t have to deal with such matters for another six months. In the meantime, all you need is Like!

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are aiming for 10,000 new Facebook fans this month, and will donate $5000 to New Horizons soup kitchen and homeless if this goal is met. So CLICK HERE and like away!

 

And you know what? That’s going to do it for me. I’ll be back on the blog come 2/27, but in the meantime please meditate on what you like about this blog, what you don’t, and what you’d like to see from it in the future. I’d love to hear it.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Making Do With What You’ve Got

It is of course not something that I can control, but I’ve received several complaints this offseason regarding the relative paucity of new logo unveilings.

And, indeed, times have been tough (especially when compared to a particularly fertile 2010-11). This year’s crop has been limited to the Daytona Cubs, new franchises in Pensacola and Grand Junction, and two Blue Jays affiliates (Dunedin and Bluefield) who responded to changes made by the parent club. The rest have been anniversary marks, All Star Games logos, and various subtle tweaks.

But if it’s logos you want and logos you demand, I’ll do my best. For example, the Billings Mustangs recently unveiled a logo celebrating 60 seasons of professional baseball.

Writes the team:

In honor of the club’s 60th Season, the Mustangs, in association with Studio Simon, have developed a 60th Season commemorative logo, which will be featured on multiple applications and platforms throughout the season. The logo will serve as a sleeve patch for both the home and road jerseys, and it will also be available on team merchandise and souvenirs.

Keep in mind that there have been a few small gaps in Billings’ baseball history, which is probably why the words “Since 1948″ don’t appear on the logo. That would be confusing, as would the slogan “Celebrating 60 Mostly Consecutive Years of Baseball Since 1948.”

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes will be sporting new uniforms in 2012, and it’s easy to find “fault” with them. The logo remains the same, but the team is emphasizing its affiliation with the (relatively) nearby Los Angeles Dodgers.

Try this on for seis

Team talk:

Arguably the most noticeable change will take place on the numbers in the uniform, as the 2012 uniforms will feature the Quakes’ customary “fault line” running through the middle of each digit, giving it a unique and truly “Quake” look.

An addition to the 2012 uniform will feature a red number on the lower left-half on the front of the jersey, which is also a popular feature of the current Dodgers’ uniform.

Quakes’ jerseys will have sleeves in 2012, a change from the sleeveless style worn in years past. The jersey will no doubt be “Dodgerized”, as the left sleeve will feature the traditional “LA” logo.

Missing from the pants this year will be any piping down the sides, as the new pants will be solid white, also emulating that of the Dodgers’ home pants.

I’ve put my weekly Twitter Round-Up on ice for a bit, as I’m not sure if people were getting/enjoying the concept. But I remain committed to that form of social media, and hope that @BensBiz slow march to 1500 followers transitions into a tidal wave to 10 million. I mean, let’s be honest here, I’m worthy of far more followers than I have.

Follow @BensBiz on Twitter!

One new Twitter account that should be of interest to readers of this blog is @milbstaffprblms — a compendium of, you guessed it, Minor League staff problems. A few samples:

when you see your season ticket holders more than your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend #MiLBStaffProblems #noweekends #noholidays

the shoes under your desk covered in orange clay and the mildewy smell that accompanies them #MiLBStaffPrblms

chicken fingers are a staple of your summer diet #milbstaffproblems #fatgut

I would like to note that I am not the one running this account, despite my (subtle) presence in the @milbstaffprblms avatar.

Update! And, wouldn’t you know it, @broadcastrprobs has now emerged. Follow that one too!

Let’s end the week, as we often do, with a video. This one hails from Tennessee, land of the Smokies, and is to be lauded for its commitment to absurdity. (Another Update! Episode Two of the McGinty and Cunningham series is out, and can be viewed HERE.

Commitment to absurdity: a Ben’s Biz Blog guiding principle since 2007. Thanks for reading.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Minor Leagues, Minor Changes

A quick glance to your right will reveal some minor changes to the ol’ blog dashboard, changes that I hope will add to your overall enjoyment of the Biz Blog experience.

For starters, why not subscribe? Those who do so will receive an email notification each and every time a new post goes live. (Because if there’s one thing you surely need in your life, it’s more email.) Below that you’ll find my five most recent Tweets, and hopefully that will serve as a not-so-subtle reminder to please follow me on Twitter (@bensbiz).

Biz Bloga Lisa says: "Subscribe!"

The links have been updated (and will continue to be updated) as well. I added the category “Ben’s Biz on MiLB.com” to provide links to some of my recurring website features, an action that may help alleviate the disconnect between blog and MiLB.com contact. They are meant to complement one another!

x

Find me on MiLB.com!

But not everything is about me, of course. I’ve updated the list of team blogs to include heavy hitters such as the Frisco RoughRiders “Insider Blog” (regularly updated and chock full of info) and the similarly information-besotted (and oft humorous) “Inside the Chiefs” with the Chiefs in question hailing from Syracuse.

On the player side of things, check out “Cole Cook’s Stream of Consciousness.” This should turn out to be one of the most creative and unpredictable blogs out there, and recent posts include literal-minded rap song interpretations as well as ruminations on the potential sentience of mouth-residing gingivitis killers.

(Cook, as you may recall, is a right-hander in the Cleveland Indians organization who I interviewed this past June. He actually grew up in Herman’s Head).

Also of note is Mets farmhand Collin McHugh’, whose “A Day Older, A Day Wiser” is a well-written and wise chronicle of the Minor League life. It is certainly worth your time, should you have any to spare.

Reading about the Minor Leagues is fun!

Also, for the heck of it, I threw on a link to one of last season’s personal writing projects: “Leave ‘Em Wanting Moyer,” a start-by-start documentation of Jamie Moyer’s 2010 season. It’s slightly insane, but aren’t we all?

Anyhow, if YOU have any suggestions as to what blogs to highlight and link to (insane or otherwise), then please get in touch via the usual channels. With this bit of housekeeping complete, I’ll leave you with the best Minor League team video that I’ve come across all day.

Over the Line!

And, why not? Here’s one I missed the first-time around: the Round Rock Express’ Ballpark Rob takes on the phenomenon that was “Friday.”

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

From the Internet to the Ballpark: Celebrities, Jerseys, and Scandals

Road Trip content has dominated these virtual pages over the past week and a half, and I’ve still got a few odds and sods to share from my Ohio excursion.

But that can wait. A formidable blog backlog has been brewing in my content cauldron, which is now threatening to boil over. Time to start ladling out the info before it’s too late!

Let’s start with some significant news out of the Pacific Northwest. The Eugene Emeralds opened up the season last week, and highlighting the Opening Day roster was  Domingo Ayala. This ageless superstar is proprietor of the Domingo Baseball Academy and a YouTube sensation, and received a call-up before even playing a game. Still, he made a mark during his brief time in Eugene.

Says the team:

Domingo Ayala’s visit was short and sweet for the Eugene Emeralds. After suiting up for the Emeralds opening night at PK Park, Ayala put on a hitting clinic in batting practice, showing fans why he is the 5-time homerun champion.  This guy can literally do it all. Not only did he throw out the first pitch, but he also had time to sign autographs mid game, take pictures with fans, and even announce the Boise Hawks lineup.

 Domingo was very laid back when he heard the news from Ems Manager Pat Murphy that he would be moved up from Rookie Ball. “I thought it maybe be a week or maybe two, but it no surprise me that it happen sooner,” Ayala said.

Ayala’s brief appearance captivated the attention of the local media, as evidenced by this story that ran on KEZI News. And with good reason, as this guy is one of the most outsized characters to ever (almost) play in the Northwest League.

And speaking of characters, or in this case the limited use of them, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs paid tribute to Twitter as part of their recent “Social Media Night.” Players wore Twitter-themed jerseys, one of which was signed by the team and auctioned off through the micro-blogging website. Fan tweets were displayed on the videoboard throughout the game, and the elusive “Twitter Bird” was even in attendance.

In the next picture #PIGSAFE would have been a more appropriate hashtag.

Jerseys were auctioned off after the game, with the winning bidders getting to meet the player who had worn it.

And, finally, the elusive Twitter bird.

I”ll close the blogging week by mentioning that the State College Spikes asked fans to submit “Weiner Pics” during Monday’s game.

And, wouldn’t you know it? One fan was brave enough to do so. That’s new frankfurter mascot “Colonel Mustard,” barely visible through the fuzz.

And despite my constant focus on such lowbrow material, I’d like to reiterate once again that I remain committed producing quality articles as well. Please check out this piece on baseball’s longest game, and let me know what you think.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

One Thing, Led, Another

My recent post on the Lake Elsinore Storm experience included many photos, including shots of the team kitchen as well as the easily-angered Grounds Crew Gorilla. But never did it occur to me that I’d soon be posting a photo of the Gorilla in the team kitchen.

And yet here we are:

For reasons unknown and perhaps best left unexplained, the Grounds Crew Gorilla has gotten into the international youth fad known as “planking.” The Storm have posted a photo set on Facebook entitled “Gorilla Planks the Diamond.” Here’s a few more:

The word plank brings to mind nautical discipline which brings to mind John Paul Jones, the “father of the American Navy” but also the name of the bass player in Led Zeppelin.

And here we are. Yesterday was the West Michigan Whitecaps’ second annual “Led Zeppelin Night”, Led Zeppelin II as it were.

And when it came to theme jerseys, the song remained the same. Once again, the team took the field in these:

Note: Not a player

The Whitecaps have also done “Pink Floyd Night”, and other bands that have been celebrated in such a fashion around the Minors include the Grateful Dead, Beatles, and Rolling Stones.

This leads me to make the following demand, which like all my demands will be aggressively ignored.

Nonetheless: Do a Creedence Clearwater Revival Night! CCR are easily one of the greatest rock bands of all time and deserve Minor League Ballpark immortalization.

Abbreviations such as “CCR” are prevalent on Twitter, a mode of communication that encourages extreme brevity. And as part of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs “Social Media Night”, the team will be wearing the first Twitter-themed jerseys in Minor League Baseball history.

As part of the promotion, the team is asking fans to change their Twitter and/or Facebook profile pics to the following image:

Those who do so will be eligible to win game tickets and an autographed Ryne Sandberg baseball.

Let me close with a final demand — Read Crooked Numbers!!!

It would mean a lot to me if you did so. I spend way too much time on that column, but it’s a labor of love.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Promoting, Pleading, and Lecturing to Start the Season

Opening Day in the Minors is here at last, and I think we can all raise a glass to that.

But anxiety-reducing celebratory libations can wait until later, for right now there’s business to attend to. For starters, the first “Promotion Preview” column of the season premiered today. Here’s how it looks on the home page of MiLB.com:

As I hope you are aware, “Promotion Preview” is a weekly in-season column that highlights the 10 “best” promotions of the upcoming week. I started writing it in 2006, quite by accident, and it is what has led to this niche that I now call my own. Of course, I implore everyone to get in touch with their best and most creative promotions, so that I may (possibly) include it in the column.

This week includes 3D scoreboards, snowman destruction, DIY bobbleheads, weather-related contests, pigs ON a blanket, and a lot more. Get in touch with what I’ve missed/what you don’t want me to miss.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

But with the season starting today, it is even more imperative that once again I draw your attention to “Crooked Numbers.” — a monthly column highlighting the most absurd and unlikely on-field, in-game happenings.

For this I rely greatly on broadcasters and other close observers. Did you see a pitcher notch four strikeouts in consecutive innings? A lumbering catcher hit two triples in a game after not hitting any in his entire career? A journeyman infielder switch teams between games of a doubleheader?

That’s the kind of stuff I’m looking for, the stranger the better but I want it all. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

– And since games are now being played on a nightly basis, it’s worth bringing up a point that I raised on Twitter yesterday. Namely, that teams should have a separate Twitter account for in-game updates and news! This is because there are a lot of fans who are not interested in such minutiae, and will quickly become alienated and agitated by dozens upon dozens of tweets over a short amount of time (I know I am).

This is not just my opinion — I received a lot of feedback on this issue yesterday, with comments ranging from “Even in only 140 characters, you can usually tell it’s different people with different writing styles; there’s no consistency” to “in-game updates become clutter” to simply “with you 100% on that one.”

– I might as well keep this blog’s auto-didacticism feature on for a little while longer. Apologies in advance, but here goes nothing:

I probably spend more time reading Minor League Baseball tweets, Facebook posts, blogs, and press releases than anyone on the planet. Here are a few other recommendations/observations as we begin the 2011 season; sorry if I sound like a jerk.

1. If posting simultaneously to Twitter and Facebook, make sure the message is fully contained on Twitter. Otherwise it ends abruptly with no conc

2. Again for Twitter: Explain what you are linking to, and then link to it with a shortened URL. A tweet consisting simply of a massive URL is unclear, unprofessional and a waste of the precious little space one has on Twitter to communicate.

3.  If you are posting on behalf of a team, speak for the entire organization. First-person is confusing and, again, unprofessional (ie TimbuktuTarantulas: I’m hungry good thing our GM buying us pizza 2day!!)

4. Spellcheck!

5. Speaking for myself:  I’m MUCH more likely to read a press release in which the release is contained in the body of the email itself. Having to open a word document or PDF simply isn’t worth the effort sometimes, especially if its unclear what is contained therein.

6. And use BCC (as opposed to “CC”)! A press release that starts out by displaying 400+ email contacts looks unwieldy and compromises privacy.

The bottom line is that I’m really looking forward to what will transpire this season, and consider it a tremendous privilege to cover such an interesting, creative, and often brazenly ridiculous industry on a daily basis.

Show me what you’ve got!

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

Seats and Tweets and the Combination Thereof

Got a lot on the docket today, starting with an intriguing ticket offer from the Timber Rattlers of Appleton, Wisconsin: The team is offering complimentary ducats to the 400 “displaced Super Bowl attendees” who bought tickets to the game but were unable to watch due to a seating snafu.

The “Super Second Chance” offer is really only applicable to 399 fans, as Timber Rattlers box office manager Ryan Moede was among the “displaced.”

Hopefully the aggrieved individuals in question take advantage of the offer, as it could be the first step toward overcoming the unimaginable trauma they were forced to endure.

But those lucky enough to actually have seats at sporting events now have incentive to tell the world. At least if said seats are located within Waterfront Park in Trenton.

tweetyrseat.jpg

The Trenton Thunder announced their “Tweet Your Seat” promotion yesterday, an initiative that comes equipped with its own URL (tweetyourseat.net). On game days, fans can “Tweet Their Seats” for a chance to win a gift card to the nearby Nassau Inn. Declares the organization: 

Include your seat location, tag BOTH the Trenton Thunder and Nassau Inn in your tweet or status update and use the hashtag”#TweetYourSeat”.

We’ll pick one winner and deliver the gift card to their seat during the game! We’ll also post the winner’s name and/or twitter handle on this page….The contest opens at 10am on every game day and runs right up until the first pitch of the game.

This is the first time I’ve seen such a promo in the Minors, but I highly doubt it will be the last. It can easily be adapted to any market, and should help teams build social media followings for both themselves and the sponsor.

Moving from hi-tech to low, details regarding the 16th Annual Rickwood Classic were announced yesterday. The host Birmingham Barons will take on the Chattanooga Lookouts, with both teams wearing 1961-era uniforms. Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry will be the VIP Guest of Honor.

As you’ll no doubt recall, Rickwood Field is the oldest stadium in all of professional baseball. Last year, the Classic was named the top promotion in all of Minor League Baseball.

Thumbnail image for Rickwood_oldest sign.JPG

I’m not sure what the weather’s like in Alabama right now, but in Northwest Arkansas things have been unprecedentedly frigid. Check out Arvest Ballpark, home of the Naturals:

arvest_pano.JPG

“No doubt about it,” writes Naturals marketing and public relations manager Frank Novak. “I think the people of Northwest Arkansas are ready for some baseball.”

Arvest_pano2.JPG

Yesterday, the people of Earth were ready for love, and Minor League mascots across the land helped to deliver some. This picture shows Bernie of the Inland Empire 66ers with some new friends he made.

bernie.JPG
And, of course, the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor did his thing as well.Very disappointing to hear that Rodrigo the Ostrich didn’t fit in the car.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com
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