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...
SEPT 14: #BryanLaHair is batting .257 but that's .227 since May 1 and .204 since July 1. His .390 April is what made him look rosterable.
NOV 21: The release of Bryan LaHair is further proof that the selection process for a mid-season All Star Game is absurd.
...and why Bryan LaHair is now playing in Japan.
SEPT 27: Let's get Glen Waggoner, Alex Patton, John Hunt & John Benson into the FSWA Hall of Fame. Need letters of ref by 9/30.
NOV 21: Finally, Glen Waggoner and John Hunt get nominated for FSWA Hall of Fame. Alex Patton and John Benson still waiting.
DEC 13: Congratulations to the new @fswa Hall of Famers. Another year of waiting for the industry's founders from the baseball side.
DEC 13: How do pioneers like Glen Waggoner and John Hunt watch the @fswa Hall of Fame results from the sidelines for yet another year?
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.
OCT 1: http://BaseballHQ.com poll: 30% of owners of Mike Trout are in 1st place. 55% no lower than 3rd. 75% no lower than 5th.
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.
OCT 3: Why can't this down-to-the wire excitement happen more than once a year? Don't today's short attention spans beg for split season play?
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.
OCT 3: Next March - PLEASE - let's not project 2013 using 2012 as a baseline. Teams CAN improve and decline by dozens of games.
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.
OCT 3: Despite all the arguments, Cabrera's triple crown probably seals the MVP award, given the composition of the voter pool.
NOV 15: My opinion - If the parochial BBWA voters make Miggy MVP, so what. Until we have firm, objective criteria, all awards voting is flawed.
NOV 15: Miggy wins MVP... Makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Lately it seems like people in power just want to return us to the 1950s.
NOV 16: All these #ALMVP debates provide nice column fodder and mega-ad impressions, but I'd still much prefer firm, objective voting criteria.
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...
OCT 24: Had to set my keeper list today and opted not to protect Panda and Lincecum. They are doing this just to make me look stupid.
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.
OCT 29: For those who post NSFW items, don't forget about all of us who work from home. For us, they are DNFW (Desperately Necessary for Work).
Just so you know that not all my tweets are baseball-related.