[Update 04/13: Added a handful of major league player accounts and some team stadium staff.]
[Update 02/24: Added a large number of additional minor league accounts and a couple more team personnel.]
[Update 02/23: I have confirmed that the account we had listed for Cardinals Farm Director John Vuch was not accurate and it has been deleted.
Added Team Fredbird and one of its members.]
With Spring Training moving into full swing, I thought it was time to update the ole’ Twitter Guide. Some of you may remember the original, from 2010 – and as you’ve come to expect from the internet, Twitter has changed wildly since then (both in users and function). As such, here is my primer on Twitter – I cannot stress enough that these are opinions and is not necessarily indicative of how everyone should or will use Twitter, so take them at that value – along with an extensive list of baseball folks to follow, both Cardinals-related and national.
As a further disclaimer, this guide is intended as a jumping off point for someone unfamiliar with, or looking to expand their use of, Twitter. I think it’s a great list, I follow all of the people on this list, but it is by no means intended to be a all-encompassing, definitive list of people you should be following or behaviors you should adopt when using Twitter. Please use it/them as merely recommendations and opinion. If you read this and think you should be on the list of folks to follow or want to recommend someone else, just let me know in the comments below – or better yet, let folks know yourself in the comments below.
One further note – you may see tweets from some of the below Twitter accounts will use profanity or post links to items that contain profanity. Again, I advise you to use your own filter when deciding if this is acceptable to you or not.
BASICS (you long time Tweeps can probably skip this part…)
Imagine that you could send a text message, and anyone who thought you regularly had interesting things to say could read it. Instead of sending that text directly to your friend, you’re sending it out into the world for anyone “subscribed” to you to read. Sometimes they’ll reply to you, sometimes they won’t. In the meantime, you can gain a new wealth of information by getting messages from folks you don’t even know. There’s obviously more to it than that, but that’s kind of Twitter in a nutshell.
Twitter is a fantastic service for those of us anxious to get all of the information we can possibly stand to read and get it immediately. There are also many ways to filter this information to have it presented to you in just the manner you wish to read it.
The more folks you follow on Twitter, the more chatter you will see on your main feed. That can be good or bad depending on your capability to consume lots of information, sometimes a lot of it being meaningless for your purposes. You will also realize that some folks tweet a lot more often than others. The important thing to remember is you have control over what you do and don’t see, using several methods.
The first is simply by only following the people you want to read tweets from. It is no longer considered necessary etiquette to follow anyone who’s following you. As Twitter gained popularity, it simply became silly for those popular folks with lots of followers to follow everyone back. So again, maintain your follower list to only receive updates from those you choose. My following list is approaching 700 folks and it’s a lot to keep up with sometimes, and I’m constantly adding and removing names from that list. I find that number manageable for me in the manner that I use the Twitter service – others are able to keep up with much more in the way they use it. No number of people on your following list is right or wrong, it’s all about what you can keep up with and what you want to get out of following those folks. Obviously the more you follow, the more information you can gather, but there’s more chaff too – so it’s about your ability to dissect and digest what streams across your screen.
You can also use any one of various Twitter client programs to filter out what you’re reading. For instance, I use the program TweetDeck on my desktop, which allows me to filter the people I’m following into columns so I am certain to see the tweets I want to see. (Please note I’m still using an older version of TweetDeck, because I prefer it to what I have read about the new one – so I still have columns, if you install it new today, you’d be creating lists within Twitter.) I have a column for folks who tweet mostly about the Cardinals, I have a search column that follows the #stlcards hashtag (more on that later), I have a column for writers and bloggers of other baseball teams and just ball in general, and then a sort of catch-all column for everything else. By doing this, I am able to stay current with a lot of tweets – because if you’re not on the website, or using a desktop client, or a phone client, you will inevitably miss tweets and the more folks you follow pushes those tweets out of your stream. I use EchoFon on my mobile device, another utility I’ve become quite comfortable with. There are so many clients available (including Twitter’s own) for different platforms, I strongly recommend you try several until you find the one you are most comfortable with and has the features (yes, some have different features – I use HootSuite on my mobile to schedule “future” Tweets, but EchoFon for regular mobile use) you want to use.
Ultimately, the best way to build your relationships on Twitter is to start by following a base that you are certain you like – the beat writers, national media, your favorite blogs, etc – and then start exploring. Some Twitter users avoid following players – both major and minor league – like the plague, and each for their own reason. The players are not all baseball all the time, and some are not talking about baseball at all. Naturally, same goes for the writers and bloggers – they won’t always be on topic of baseball, you’ll see a wide range of topics being discussed. Again, this is the beauty of Twitter, allowing you to decide for yourself what you’d like to read. Twitter allows you to view the users that are following you or anyone else, and you can also view who they are following. Follow that? I’ve found plenty of folks that I follow and interact with by clicking through others’ follower lists.
The best recommendation for anyone on Twitter is to have something to say that is valuable to someone, and that you believe in. If you are adding value to the medium, others will follow you to read what you have to write. When other users are interested in what you have to say and they follow you, you are left with a larger pool and more engaging relationships with which to interact.
ADVICE FROM TWITTER USERS
I posed this question to my Twitter followers – “What one piece of advice would you give or feature would you point out to a new user of Twitter? IOW, what does a new user need to know?”
Thankfully, my excellent followers came up with great responses. Some serious, some not – that’s what you’ll get on Twitter.
@RangersExpress: If your goal is to gain followers, you lose. If your goal is to build relationships, then you understand the point.
@Nate_Grimm: The best way to gain a ton of followers is to ask your favorite (read: any) celebrity or athlete for a RT.
[Ed. note - This is actually a widely-mocked action. See similar tweet below. Nate's joking... I think.]
@MattSebek: Tony Softli is a real person.
[Ed. note - You just can't put a price on this type of information - and it's free!]
@PunkOnDeck: Don’t just talk into the abyss. Follow interesting people.
@scottperdue: Follow @BattingStanceG.
[Ed. note - Here is another great example of your value/reputation on Twitter carrying cachet - Batting Stance Guy gets recommended in a random "how would you use Twitter" question.]
@C70: Agree with @RangersExpress. And to make sure if you tweet it, you mean it and are willing to deal with consequences.
@C70: And follow a lot of people. You may get a lot of repetition, but you can also get a lot of great nuggets.
@gr33nazn: #Take #it #easy #on #the #hashtags #like #douchecanoe.
[Ed. note - More on hashtags below.]
@boxcar_fritz: Regular people are much more creative and entertaining to follow than famous people.
@Biscuit55: Don’t beg athletes/celebrities for RT’s. It’s dumb and adds nothing to Twitter.
@flavius217: that virtually every pro athlete is excruciatingly boring and not worth following.
Great information, all of that. And the humor is representative of what you’ll see on Twitter – the answers don’t all have to be serious to be valuable. I expect Sebek to be funny, and he followed through here. (Congrats, Matt.) You’ll also note the strong opinions on how Twitter should and shouldn’t be used – there are “accepted practices” and there are the practices each person applies for their own use. Each person has to “find their own way” on Twitter, if you will, but all of the opinions above are valuable, in my opinion.
And, consider the posting of these answers as my endorsement to follow all of the above.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW?
- If you see the letters RT (retweet) MT (modified tweet) or HT (hat tip) with an @user behind it anywhere in a tweet, that means someone has basically repeated what the original @user said. There are multiple methods of re-tweeting: using Twitter’s native function, which straight repeats the message in your timeline; you can copy and paste the original message and add your own comments with it (many Twitter clients have their own function for this, without having to copy and paste); sometimes adding your comments to a re-tweet results in going over 140 characters, requiring deleting a word or letter or two from the original tweet – you’ll sometimes see these marked as MT; and hat tips are typically seen when passing along a link or giving someone credit for motivating you to tweet, etc.One additional note about retweeting and passing along information from others – always ensure that you are providing proper credit. Straight re-tweets are safe because they are clearly re-posted from someone else. But if someone posts a link that you enjoy and wish to share with your followers, and you choose to retweet their post with your thoughts on it – remove small words that don’t add value to the tweet, make sure that the original message still gets across, but always ensure that the original poster receives credit for the original tweet. There are many folks that struggle with this (or don’t even try, because they think they don’t have to) and it can be a challenge in only 140 characters, but I think it is critical for a communication medium that is intended to foster somewhat intimate relationships between users that have to choose to communicate with each other. Be nice. These actions are critical in Twitter just as attribution is in writing – give credit where credit is due.
- You’ll see folks add hashtags to their posts, like the #stlcards one I mentioned above. These are a way for folks to easily “file” tweets, often during an event or referencing a particular common subject. Hashtags are another great way to find other folks talking about the same things you are, but you may not be following those particular users. The #stlcards hashtag is a great example. Many Cardinal fans will tag their tweets during games or about the team and players with #stlcards, meaning you can search for that tag and view an unlimited amount of tweets on that subject without following an unlimited number of people to see what they all have to say. I watched the #stlcards column in my TweetDeck client after the Cardinals won Game Seven of the World Series and it looked like the numbers on a gas pump – just one after the other after the other, scrolling the list and too fast to keep up. Cardinal Nation has a strong presence on Twitter.As mentioned above by Dennis, there is such a thing as too many hashtags. Ideally, they should be a descriptor of sorts, or as I wrote above, a filing system of sorts – it is tagging your Tweet as being about a certain subject or containing that subject. As with pretty much everything else on Twitter, your mileage may vary, and you have to be comfortable with the way you use it.
- #ff – another hashtag – this one is for Follow Friday. You’ll often see users make a #ff list of other users they think are worth pointing out to their followers to add to their feed. Follow that? Ok, good.
- You can make your tweets private in your account settings, effectively blocking others from following/viewing your posts without your permission. Other users must make a specific request to you asking for you to allow them to follow your tweets. Many find this useful to control dissemination of what they are posting and primarily to keep certain folks from following them for one reason or another.
- Twitter can be used as a sort of RSS feed, if you’re so inclined. Most writers and blogs now will send links out on their Twitter accounts, so if you’re following the Twitter account for your regular reading list, it may well be able to replace your RSS reader (or at least augment it) while you also gain any additional insights and/or side notes from the person by following their Tweets.
There is no shortage of just plain Cardinal fans on Twitter, eager to gather up as many tweets from the beat guys or us bloggers at every turn. They’re not typically interested in sitting down to write at a blog, but the 140 character blips on Twitter are just enough to get their point across. This is an area of Twitter that is definitely variable, and your mileage will wildly vary. Many of these folks spend a lot of time talking about the Cardinals, but just as much talking about the guy who cut them off on the interstate, or other sports, or how much Budweiser they drank the night before. This is where you can again apply your own personal filters for what you want to read regularly and what you don’t.
And with that, the list. Again, these are folks that I follow, related to both the Cardinals and baseball in general – you may or may not find value in following them, but here is the list nonetheless:
[Ed. note: The majority of these accounts have been verified either by Twitter or by interaction with other confirmed accounts. Many of the team personnel accounts have never posted and are not verified by Twitter, but I have posted them based upon the folks following them and who they are following - they are consistent in same followers/following across the board. In other words, multiple accounts I know are real are following the others, which leads me to believe they are legit. I will obviously edit as necessary if one or more are proven to be not the person I have listed.]
@carlosbeltran15 – Carlos Beltran, outfielder
@DanielDescalso – Daniel Descalso, infielder
@dfreese23 – David Freese, third baseman
@ESanchez52 – Eduardo Sanchez, relief pitcher
@JCRome16 – J.C. Romero, relief pitcher
@JMotte30 – Jason Motte, closer
@jonjayU – Jon Jay, outfielder
@kingchambers_8 – Adron Chambers, outfielder
@KomoBeatz – Erik Komatsu, outfielder (chosen in this year’s Rule 5 draft)
@MattCarp13 – Matt Carpenter, infielder
@mattholliday7 – Matt Holliday, left fielder
@vicma93 – Victor Marte, relief pitcher
@Yadimolina04 – Yadier Molina, catcher
Cardinals Staff and Personnel
@Cardinals – team’s official account
@billdewitt3 – Bill DeWitt III, President
@JohnMozeliakGM – John Mozeliak, General Manager
@mjg0611 – Mike Girsch, Assistant General Manager
@chriscorrea – Chris Correa, Baseball Development Analyst
@wilsonpickett – Mike Jorgensen, Professional Scout
@zullgood – Chuck Fick, Professional Scout
@rwatermon – Ron Watermon, Director, Public Relations and Civic Affairs
@stlbirdbrian – Brian Bartow, Director, Media Relations
@TunesSTL – Chris Tunno, Media Relations Specialist
@MattSlater23 – Matt Slater, Special Assistant to the GM
@TonyTouch9 = Tony Ferreira, Baseball Operations Assistant
@271828182845 – Dan Kantrovitz, Director of Amateur Scouting
@jastlcards – Joe Almaraz, Scouting (Cross-checker)
@MLBlood41 – Matt Blood, Area Scout
@nbrannon – Nick Brannon, Area Scout
@wicktwosix – Aaron Krawiec, Area Scout
@swancal – Matt Swanson, Area Scout
@JeffIshii – Jeff Ishii, Area Scout
@PeteSTLC – Pete Prinzi, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator
@CindyRichards40 – Cindy Richards, Manager, Stadium Operations Department
@AMoore0509 – Ashly Moore, Guest Services Assistant, Stadium Operations Department
@mollymrad – Molly Radcliffe, Coordinator, Fan Development
@DwayneHilton – Dwayne Hilton, Stadium Organist
@scottrovak – Scott Rovak, Team Photographer
@jhaukap – Jared Haukap, Daktronics operator
@heykayadams – Kay Adams, In-Game Host
@damonoliver – Damon Oliver, Stadium Audio and Music
@stluman – John Ulett, Busch Stadium Announcer
@djtodd70 – Todd Thomas, THAT ONE GUY
@TeamFredbird – Team Fredbird official account
@Taradise22 – member of Team Fredbird
@CardinalsCare – Community Outreach Foundation
@chrisduncan11 – Chris Duncan (could also be listed in the media section)
@JEdmonds15 – Jim Edmonds
@krob15 – Kerry Robinson (also a scout for the Cardinals)
@LouBrock1 – Lou Brock
@markmulder20 – Mark Mulder
@raylankford1 – Ray Lankford
@stanthemaninc – Stan Musial Inc (Stan’s grandson Brian Schwarze does the tweeting)
@STLWizard – Ozzie Smith
@TonyLaRussa – Tony La Russa
@TyJ19 – Tyler Johnson (hasn’t been active on Twitter for a bit)
Cardinal Minor Leagues
[Ed. note - Players are listed with their last team from 2011.]
* @memphisredbirds – team’s official account
* @Sgf_Cardinals – each of the above says it is the team’s official account
@AaronLuna9 – Aaron Luna
@cswag8 – Chris Swauger
@JermaineCurtis – Jermaine Curtis
@jggarcia12 – Jose Garcia
@Joe_Kelly22 – Joe Kelly
@JordanSwagerty – Jordan Swagerty
@Ngreeny23 – Nick Greenwood
@TrevRosenthal – Trevor Rosenthal
* @PBCardinals – team’s official account
@4Butler4 – Keith Butler
@AlanAhmady – Alan Ahmady
@Danielcalhoun – Daniel Calhoun
@jesseLsimpson – Jesse Simpson
@MCReid42 – Chase Reid
@neek_vas7 – Niko Vasquez
@RobertStock6 – Robert Stock
@Tsunamy27 – Carlos Martinez
@Tyler_Lyons – Tyler Lyons
@Xavier_Scruggs – Xavier Scruggs
* @QCRiverBandits – team’s official account
@BaseballLifer – Oscar Taveras
@codystanley21 – Cody Stanley
@colinwalsh13 – Colin Walsh
@dannybibona – Daniel Bibona
@DrewBenes – Drew Benes
@jkeener7 – Jonathan Keener
@JoeyBergman – Joey Bergman
@jrodri29 – Jonathan Rodriguez
@Kleinburger27 – Geoffrey Klein
@KoltenWong – Kolten Wong
@Maness_43 – Seth Maness
@PackyElkins – Patrick Elkins
@vicsanchez88 – Victor Sanchez
* @BataviaMuckdogs – team’s official account
@CaseYRasmuS – Jordan Rasmus (Casey)
@DannyMiranda40 – Danny Miranda
@Gwittels10 – Garrett Wittels
@kevinwjacob – Kevin Jacob
@NickMartini26 – Nick Martini
@pdaugherty39 – Patrick Daugherty
@philipthebases – Philip Cerreto
@PlayPatt_22 – Jeremy Patton
@SpringNasty – Cody Springer
* @JC_Cardinals – team’s official account
@BrandonDCreath – Brandon Creath
@Chriscos21 – Chris Costantino
@dansubmarino101 – Heath Wyatt
@davidbergin247 – David Bergin
@DWashington52 – David Washington
@Haldy25 – Kyle Hald
@Jeff_Nadeau19 – Jeff Nadeau
@JoshLucas15 – Joshua Lucas
@Happy_Feet_28 – Logan Billbrough
@KolbyByrd – Kolby Byrd
@Matt_Williams11 – Matt Williams
@nickdenada – Nick Gillung
@s_ramos9 – Steven Ramos
@SimplySouthern3 – Neal Pritchard
@Tilson4 – Charlie Tilson
@Tmart206 – Trevor Martin
@tmilly20 – Tyler Mills
@trahmatulla – Tyler Rahmatulla
@TylerMelling – Tyler Melling
@TyrellJenkins14 – Tyrell Jenkins
* GCL Cardinals
@BigAEhrlich – Adam Ehrlich
@cbrand17 – Cole Brand
@DanteBryant92 – Tony Bryant
@iam_ProAthlete – Corderious Dodd
@Lancejeffries5 – Lance Jeffries
@Stuivailala – Samuel Tuivailala
@TUNENEBLOKE – Arturo Toribio
* DSL Cardinals
* Cardinals hold rights
@Cardinals15 – Mitch Harris (currently serving in the U.S. Navy)
[Big cap tip to Brian Walton's The Cardinal Nation Blog both for his list of organizational players on Twitter that was used to confirm the list of guys I was already following, as well as the organizational matrices that helped place these guys into their various teams.]
Various Minor League Staff
@RedbirdsGM – Ben Weiss, Memphis General Manager
@_jordan_marie_ – Jordan Johnson, Memphis Media Relations Manager
@swingtraining – Jeff Albert, Palm Beach Hitting Coach
@p_rafferty – Patrick Rafferty, Quad Cities Media Relations
@Ridgeroader – Scott Werling, Quad Cities PA Announcer
@matthewcoller – Matthew Coller, Batavia Play-by-Play
@mvp1074 – Patrick Cramer, Johnson City Clubhouse Manager
@jobelcoco27 – Jobel Jimenez, Dominican Summer League Hitting Coach
Local Media (including Cards minors)
@101espn – 101.1 ESPN St. Louis
@Ackerman1120 – Tom Ackerman, KMOX
@B_Walton – Brian Walton, Scout.com
@BFeldman – Brian Feldman, News 4
@BJRains – B.J. Rains, Fox Sports Midwest
@bwiese16 – Brendan Wiese, KFNS
@CardsNationShow – KSDK Cardinals programming
@CharlieMarlow3 – Charlie Marlow, Fox 2
@cmshhummel – Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch (unfortunately, the Commish never really took to Twitter)
@DavidMWilhelm – David Wilhelm, Belleville News-Democrat
@dgoold – Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
@FSMidwest – Fox Sports Midwest
@jbacott – Josh Bacott, KFNS.com – Joe Sports Fan
@JoeStrauss – Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
@JohnMarecek – John Marecek, FREE AGENT (not willing to negotiate in-season)
@karybooherNL – Kary Booher, Springfield News-Leader
@KMOXSports – KMOX 1120 AM
@LangoschMLB – Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com Cards Beat
@MattSebek – Matt Sebek, KFNS.com – Joe Sports Fan
@miklasz – Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
@rbfallstromAP – R.B. Fallstrom, AP (St. Louis)
@RickyH49 – Rick Horton, Fox Sports Midwest (also a former Cardinal)
@RobRains – Rob Rains, STL Sports Page
@sbatt79 – Steve Batterson, Quad-City Times
@stkerrick – Shawn Kerrick, Scout.com
@StullySTL – Brian Stull, 101 ESPN
@TPCasey101 – Tom Casey, 101 ESPN
@WTSpringer – Willie Springer, KMOX
@ben_lindbergh – Ben Lindbergh, Baseball Prospectus
@bigleaguestew, Yahoo! baseball blog
@BNightengale – Bob Nightengale, USA Today
@BoogSciambi – Jon Sciambi, ESPN
@Buck – Joe Buck, FOX Sports
@ChristinaKahrl – Christina Kahrl, ESPN.com
@craigcalcaterra – Craig Calcaterra, NBCSports.com
@DKnobler – Danny Knobler, CBSSports.com
@drewsilv – Drew Silva, NBCSports.com (and he’s a Cards fan!)
@dschoenfield – David Schoenfield, ESPN.com Sweet Spot
@DShulman_ESPN – Dan Shulman, ESPN
@espn_sweet_spot – ESPN Sweet Spot blog
@GoStevenGoldman – Steven Goldman, Editor-in-Chief of Baseball Prospectus
@HardballTalk – NBCSports.com baseball blog
@jaysonst – Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
@JeffPassan – Jeff Passan, FOXSports.com
@joe_sheehan – Joe Sheehan, The Joe Sheehan Newsletter
@JonHeymanCBS – Jon Heyman, CBSSports.com
@jonmorosi – Jon Morosi, FOXSports.com
@JPosnanski – Joe Posnanski, Sports Illustrated
@keithlaw – Keith Law, ESPN.com
@Ken_Rosenthal – Ken Rosenthal, FOXSports.com
@Kevin_Goldstein – Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus
@KevinKaduk – Kevin Kaduk, Yahoo! Sports
@MatthewHLeach – Matthew Leach, MLB.com (but we still call him our own)
@MikeFerrinSXM – Mike Ferrin, Sirius/XM
@MLBNetwork – MLB Network official account
@MLBONFOX – FOX Sports Baseball
@pgammo – Peter Gammons, MLB Network
@robneyer – Rob Neyer, SB Nation
@ScottMCBS – Scott Miller, CBSSports.com
@TBrownYahoo – Tim Brown, Yahoo! Sports
@williamfleitch – Will Leitch, New York Magazine (formerly of Deadspin, HUGE Cardinals fan)
@MLB – MLB official account
@MLBDraft – MLB Draft official account
@WorldSeries – Hey, didn’t the Cardinals just win one of these?
@MinorLeagues – MiLB official account
@baseballpro – Baseball Prospectus
@baseball_ref – Baseball-Reference
@fangraphs – Fangraphs
Pitchers Hit Eighth – our team!
@aprfool79 – Josh
@daynperry – Dayn
@gr33nazn – Dennis
@HitTheCutoff – Andrew
@PitchersHit8th – Nick
@utdcardbloggers – United Cardinal Bloggers, our fun association of Cardinal bloggers
[Ed. note - We're not the only ones tracking this kind of thing, check these out too! And let me know of any others you find or know of.]
If you’re still here at this point, I hope you found value in reading this and in utilizing the list above. I’ll strive to keep it updated going forward so you can come back here and check in for more folks to follow and engage.
Thanks, as always, for reading.