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Ron Shandler: What you've been missing on Twitter
By Ron Shandler
Last August, I hopped back onto the Twitter grid after a long absence. When I first signed up, I had no idea what I was doing and abandoned the effort after getting followed by a bunch of lingerie models. When I came back, there were still 43 people who had been following me during the three years that I was gone. Talk about exercising excruciating patience.
I've been tweeting on and off now for nearly five months and have recently passed the 1,000 mark in followers. If you are on Twitter, you can find me @RonShandler.
If you are not on Twitter, it provides a wealth of information though it is an exercise in discipline. The more people you follow, the longer your timeline will be. I'm following about 160 people right now and can get about 100 tweets per hour at peak times. But a little bit of discipline goes a long way to avoid having it overtake your attention.
I typically do not tweet about any real-time events (though that's typically where the real value lies). My tweets are mostly random brain flakes, opinions and occasional rants. To give you a sense of what you've been missing by not being one of my followers, here are some of my twittering highlights over the past few months...
...and why Bryan LaHair is now playing in Japan.
It's a head-scratcher, frankly. In the three years that the Hall of Fame has been in existence, the Fantasy Sports Writers Association continues to vote in the Albert Pujols-caliber writers while leaving the Babe Ruths on the outside. How can you adequately evaluate today's writers if the industry's pioneers are not given their due?
I've been grumbling about the voting process since Year #1's results and even after I was inducted in Year #2. It doesn't change anything. I suppose they got tired of listening to me and invited me to be a board member this year. I'll be sitting in on my first board meeting next week and hope to have my voice heard.
This is a survey we run every year and the results are always the same. Each year's big surprise performer has a disproportionate impact on league standings.
This is one of last season's new bandwagons that I will continue to write about. It is nearly impossible to accurately project playing time over six months. I played in several one-month leagues last year and they provide a different, yet fascinating, type of challenge. A slight loss in skills projectability is easily offset by the greater accuracy in projecting at-bats and innings. Standings are more fun to follow each day, and as the tweet noted, you get to experience that down-to-the-wire excitement SIX TIMES.
You are going to be reading more and more about this over the coming weeks, not only about teams but about players as well. 2012 is not a point of reference for 2013. 2013 starts as a blank slate.
An easy call on October 3, in retrospect. In talking about awards voting in general, it is becoming more and more evident that the composition of the voter pool means everything. That applies to the FSWA above, and more below...
If you forgot... On October 24, Pablo Sandoval went 4-for-4 with three home runs and Tim Lincecum struck out five in 2 1/3 hitless relief innings. At the time, it was aggravating, but with the benefit of time, I remind myself that good decisions are not made from knee-jerk responses to a single game's performance.
Just so you know that not all my tweets are baseball-related.
This tightly edited audio clip generated a bunch of response from various sources. I stand behind it and will be talking more about it all spring.
Not too many people know that Nate Silver's baseball writing career began as a Scoresheet Baseball columnist for us back in the late 1990s while he was a student at the University of Chicago. Al Melchior, currently at CBSSports, picked up that column shortly afterwards. Another former writer, Craig Kronzer, chimed in as well.
Joe Sheehan tweeted this right after the Blue-Jays-Marlins 12-player trade. It is so true. Though, if not bored, there is certainly a need to ferret down to reveal the real goals of any deal. I'd say that 95% of all fantasy trades can be equitable with just four players.
It is always a sad day for me to see a long-time company close up shop. Before all the major media sites swallowed up the commissioner service business, All Star Stats, USA Stats and TQ Stats were the industry stalwarts. TQ was eventually bought out by Fanball, which then went under. USA was bought out by All Star, and now they're all gone.
Just like we are encouraged to patronize independent entrepreneurs in all industries, we should do likewise here. OnRoto.com is the reincarnation of TQ Stats and very worthy. Also many positive comments about Fantrax and Custom Stat.
Just a reminder...
I was annoyed how quickly baseball writers were to pass judgment on the Will Myers trade and thrash Royals' management. We don't know who Myers is going to turn into.
There have been several analyses that have come out refuting this. Using the actual distances of Hamilton's home runs in Texas overlaid with Anaheim park dimensions, it appears that the fall-off might not be as severe. However, his actual performance at Angel Stadium - rather than speculating on what might be - seems the stronger argument.
I have been thinking about the Hall of Fame a lot lately. And while the topic is not specifically fantasy-relevant, I think there are potential solutions that can draw on the lessons of fantasy baseball. I need to organize my thoughts, but I think I am going to be writing more about this during the summer.
Oh, it's starting. Get ready....
If you are on Twitter, follow me @RonShandler. Let's see how my follower count soars after this note...
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