As some of you may know, I’m a noted Twitter user/abuser. It is where I spend most of my time and where I get most of my news. It’s quick, simple, easy to use. And I probably use it too much. But that’s not what this is about. This is not an intervention. It’s more of a "get some thoughts out-tervention."
As Padres fans, we will follow what the Padres have to say. We follow not only the Padres account, but people affiliated with the Padres.
We also follow the individual Padres. We get a glimpse at who they are. What they like. What they don’t like. Sometimes more than we ever wanted to know aka "The Panda Express Incident." We rush to follow Mark Kotsay just so he could tweet once.
Twitter opens a door that for decades before was almost closed to the fans. We couldn’t connect with our favorite players in a medium like this. You had to go to an autograph session or say a few words through a chain link fence. Today we are only a click away from telling them what we think.
"Tough break out there, man. Get ‘em next time."
"Great job throwing out Hamilton, Rene!"
"Forever TOOTBLAN. #TradeBait"
Regular people can just tweet whatever is on their mind at them. Things they wouldn’t say to their face. And that’s the downside of a medium like Twitter. You say what you want from behind the screen. Therefore, these players aren’t your typical Twitter users. They’re not people who use it to get something off their chest. Not people who might be spoiling movies for the rest of us. Not people who livetweet random television shows for no reason whatsoever. They’re professional athletes with a career in mind, not really their followers. So, when they leave our team, forced or not, what do we do about it? We follow still. We keep them in our timelines. But why?
We followed Huston Street for #SpyOnCarlos. Why are we still his followers today? He’s gone. I still follow players like Anthony Bass and Jesus Guzman. Bass is an Astro. Guzman was an Astro too, but now he's going to Japan to play for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. Yet, I still follow.
How about Donn Roach? He just recently left the Padres for Chicago.
I follow Chris Robinson. He had 12 at-bats for the Padres in September 2013 then retired from baseball. Yet I still follow. Is it because I wrote an article about him and the strange significance/coincidence of his 1st career home run? Is it because I liked his story?
· 29 years old.
· Spent time in 5 different organizations
· Becomes the 18,136th player in MLB history to play in the league.
· Records his first hit in his 6th AB by hitting a 3-run HR.
· Designated for assignment the day after the season ends, becomes a free agent in November.
· Retires from baseball soon after.
Why do I follow?
Why do I hold on for so long?
Is it the fear of letting go? They’re gone, but I still keep them around.
We still keep them around.
And all they’re doing is showing us what a great time they’re having somewhere else. With someone else.
"Hey, check out my new jersey and my new locker and my new best friends.
#NewHome #FeelsRight #FinallyHappy."
Maybe it’s time I unfollow them. Unfollow Huston Street. Unfollow Bass. Guzman. Robinson.
Well, not Robinson.
Over the past year, I’ve unfollowed former Padres like Brad Brach (who no longer has a Twitter, it seems), Brad Boxberger, and Miles Mikolas and always felt a bit weird about it. Like I was abandoning them. Why? They don’t know me. They don’t know I left. They’re just players.
Yet they’re people too. People like us. People trying to make a living. And we respect that. We wake up every day like they do. Go through the day. The night. Twitter is our connection to them. Our connection to people that we may never meet. Is that why we still follow? That human connection that Twitter grants us. Sort of.
I’m sure that if Cody Decker were traded to another organization, you’d still follow. You enjoy the entertainment from his non-stop comedic tweeting. But, what about Tommy Medica? Casey Kelly? Robbie Erlin? Cory Spangenburg? Austin Hedges? If they were ever traded to another team, would you still want to follow them?
Will you still follow them?
So, are you like me? Do you ever wonder why you follow an athlete that has left your team? What are you going to do about? Are you going to just keep following them or is it time to let go? Or was this all just a bunch of crazy ramblings from someone who should have stuck to the 140 character world? That’s up to you to decide.