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September 8, 2017

Short Relief

Helpful Life Tips

by Zack Moser, Matt Sussman and Mary Craig


So You’re Thinking of Tweeting

By: Zack Moser

Congratulations! You’ve reached the highest level of professional baseball in North America, and you’re no doubt very excited to play under the lights and in front of the crowds at the country’s storied ballparks. Many great privileges come with the title of major leaguer: fame, fortune, endorsement opportunities, and bobbleheads that bastardize your likeness. However, there are just as many responsibilities. Kids look up to you. Fantasy nerds depend on you. Grown humans scour your social media feeds for insight into your personal life, for some reason.

It’s the latter that we will address today, with a beginner’s guide to being a MLB star on Twitter. The MLBPA has prepared this short guide for conduct on social media. Please note the following guidelines:

1. You might only get one shot. Make it count.

When you get called into the manager’s office as a minor leaguer, your heart inevitably begins racing. It’s your opportunity to show your skills with the big club! When this opportunity presents itself, you’ll want to be prepared. Sometimes a pitcher hangs a breaking ball, and you’ve been sitting breaking ball; well, that’s when you “shoot your shot,” as the saying goes.

2. Be grateful for that shot, lest it be taken away.


Many new major leaguers find themselves merely taking a swig of a cup of coffee. Regardless of performance, circumstances often dictate roster decisions that can leave you on the outside looking in. If you find yourself in that unenviable position, you’ll want to consider your words carefully. Perhaps post an ERA better than eight before engaging with the rabble in the proverbial peanut gallery.

3. Never slide headfirst.

Many young big leaguers are a tad overzealous in their first experiences on a major league diamond. The temptation to create action on the field is strong and understandable—one wants to make an immediate impact. Sliding headfirst can lead to injured thumbs and broken spirits, however, and so it is wise to take a more tactful path. Repeated attempts at ill-advised slides can be embarrassing for all involved, and result in sprained fingers and dislocated pride.

These guidelines are fairly straightforward, and are designed to set you up for the greatest success possible in MLB. Unfortunately, they are not foolproof. There are many pitfalls and pratfalls to which ballplayers are prone, and sometimes even supernatural beings can interfere in the great series of tubes we call “the internet.” Keep these in mind, though, and you’ll be off to a fine start as a major leaguer on social media.


The Hunger Fed October

By: Matt Sussman

The irresistible BoJack Horseman voice actor has a point. Players have long meddled with culinary affairs at moments when their appetite should have been for the old ball game, especially when it mattered. Some of the more memorable food faux pas:

1907 World Series: Ty Cobb was a noted crank when on the field, but most of this antagonism stemmed from a poor appetite. Manager Hughie Jennings nourished Cobb with a meal of biscuits and canned pork before each game, not making the connection, and a loose-belted Cobb proceeded to hit .200 with one extra-base hit in the four-game sweep.

1956 World Series, Game 5: The Brooklyn Dodgers’ team attendant, stricken with the mumps, could not gather any lunch for the team, who was then forced to eat nothing but Milk Duds lying around.

1985 World Series, Game 6: Umpire Don Denkinger caught Terry Pendleton chowing down on some pop rocks during the first inning and confiscated the rest of his packets. Curious, he took a taste of them in the ninth and if you can withstand its new-age bursting flavor, then everything looks safe to you.

2001 ALDS, Game 3: Jeremy Giambi consumed like three hot pockets somewhere around the sixth inning. The clubhouse lacked a microwave, so one can only assume they were cooked purely through in-game body heat.

2003, NLCS, Game 6: Contrary to popular belief, Steve Bartman was not listening to the game itself but his favorite smooth jazz station, which during the eighth inning was airing an advertisement for a free hoagie if you brought in a foul ball that you recently caught.

2006 World Series: Five errors by the pitching staff, which of course does not include Mike Ilitch serving crazy bread to the pitchers with an insufficient napkin stack.

2016 AL Wild Card Game: Look, Zach Britton had planned these dinner reservations months in advance when they were in first place. Had he thought the team was going to get in the Wild Card game, he would have reconsidered. But have you had Cheesecake Factory before?

2017 NLDS: From everything I’ve read, it’s going to involve Cody Bellinger and avocado toast.


Barking at the Park

By: Mary Craig

My family has a very large dog whose formal name, Tiny Tim, is often discarded in favor of the affectionate titles “stupid” and “moron.” Though he fits perfectly with us, he frequently seems out of place—in relation to other dogs, small spaces, and the world in general. Despite initial appearances, he is far more terrified of most living things than they are of him, except for bees, which he loves perhaps because of the pain they bring him.

In many ways, he is a prototypical dog: he becomes far too enthralled with his own tail, he’s terrified of thunderstorms, he only lays outside on the hottest days of the year, and his time is occupied by long stretches of inactivity broken up by flurries of action that leave one either deliriously happy or completely exasperated.

But in many more ways, Tim is his own unique being who eschews logic at every turn. He sleeps with his head under pieces of furniture so that he always bumps it when waking up, he cannot handle the sight of bicycles or busses, and his version of fetch is watching the ball come to a complete stop and then laying down beside it.

When people first witnessed the magnificence that is Tim, they often reacted with a perfect mix of wonderment and fear, then told us that would not be the dog they would have picked out. Indeed, it wasn’t the dog we had picked out, either. He was far more docile and agreeable when we picked him from the shelter, but by the time we discovered his true nature, it was far too late. He had already affixed himself to the family.

And over time, he has become family. His idiosyncrasies no longer seem that puzzling. Of course he gets lost going through doorways and can devour drinking glasses without repercussions. This all makes sense. It all accords with his nature, and if only those confused by it all spent more time with him, they would come to understand it. They would learn to love him as we do.

Of course, he still drives us insane at times, and there is not a week that passes wherein we don’t threaten to send him to the glue factory, but he’s with us for good. And he’s better than we could have ever imagined.

So while it is unlikely we would ever take him to a Bark at the Park—though he is less rambunctious in his old age, he is not one to pass up free food—it is hard to say that on some level he doesn’t belong at a baseball game.


Zack Moser is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Zack's other articles. You can contact Zack by clicking here
Matt Sussman is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Matt's other articles. You can contact Matt by clicking here
Mary Craig is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Mary's other articles. You can contact Mary by clicking here

Related Content:  Twitter,  Dogs,  Comestibles

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