MLB Opening Day: 10 must-follow twitter accounts
The 2017 Major League Baseball season kicked off in earnest on Sunday, marking the start of another gruelling 162-game campaign.
For those looking to take an interest in the sport for the first time, Sports Gazette has listed 10 must-follow accounts for all baseball fans.
1. Ken Rosenthal
There's rarely a day that goes by when Ken Rosenthal isn't breaking a story from across the Major Leagues. Armed with a bevy of insider sources, Rosenthal's stature within the game belies his lack of height in the clubhouse - he remains the very best in the game at breaking news.
2. Jon Heyman
The yang to Rosenthal's ying, Heyman makes up the other half of baseball's finest news-breaking duo. Rarely wrong when it comes to trades and signings, Heyman's only weakness is his bizarre refusal to use punctuation or capitalisation correctly in his tweets, presumably a by-product of his speed in revealing the latest MLB happenings.
Ryan Hanigan signs minors deal with rockies— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 28, 2017
3. Jeff Passan
Unlike Rosenthal and Heyman, Passan does not ply his trade in the news-breaking department, although he has been known to drop some tidbits of information in his time too. Penning a column for Yahoo Sports, as well as a groundbreaking book researching pitcher injuries named 'The Arm', Passan has become one of baseball's finest writers. One of his best pieces to date looked back at the career of the late Cuban pitcher Jose Fernandez.
4. Jeff Sullivan
Where Passan may be unparalleled in his ability to produce brilliant baseball prose, his counterpart Jeff Sullivan continues to be the finest in baseball when it comes to analysis. His data-driven approach to the sport is humanised with his terrific use of images and GIFs whilst there are few writers in sport who can match his humour. His twitter is, for the most part, no different.
I get that at the darkest moments reality can feel crushing but I refuse to believe any major league baseball player is ever out of options— Jeff Sullivan (@based_ball) March 14, 2017
5. MLB Trade Rumors
The best account in the game for collating news, stories and rumours in one place, this website rarely breaks news itself but provides extremely quick updates once news has broken. From major trades to minor roster moves, nothing slips through the radar of this account which makes it the one-stop option for fans seeking the day's news.
6. Mark Simon
Baseball prides itself on boasting an extraordinary number of statistics from the crucial metrics to the quirky oddities. If you're a fan of the latter, Mark Simon of ESPN is the perfect man to follow. A long-time Mets fan, he is one of the very best at creating pitcher and batter 'hot zone' graphics and has become a must-follow for those interested in the dark art of pitch framing.
7. Cespedes Family BBQ
A blog and podcast run by two college students that is dedicated to Cuban star Cespedes, this account provides the most entertainment value of any on this list. Topics range from newsworthy to bizarre but always provide a laugh.
I love how baseball can be played with stuff in your pockets. Imagine basketball players with their pockets full. pic.twitter.com/JO3MNgGZMP— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) August 10, 2015
8. Mike Petriello
A writer for MLB.com, Petriello is at the forefront of the 'statcast' revolution, using advanced statistics including batters exit velocities and pitcher spin rates to explain success or forecast performances. He and colleague Daren Willman are must follows for anyone who enjoys the smaller phenomenons of baseball.
Noah Syndergaard just threw the fastest opening day first pitch ever recorded... 98.3 MPH🔥🔥🔥 (Previous record Garrett Richards 97 MPH, 2016)— Daren Willman (@darenw) April 3, 2017
9. MLB UK
Unveiled only weeks ago, this exciting account marks the start of Major League Baseball's venture into British waters in advance of a possible series taking place this side of the Atlantic in the coming seasons. For the time being, they produce mostly video content but interact well with British fans and should be an exciting account to follow in the coming months.
10. Bat Flips and Nerds
Another account designed for the British fan, this is a blog and podcast run by a few hardcore fans and it has generated an increasingly dedicated following. With interviews ranging from the leading figures in grassroots British baseball to celebrity super-fans like Colin Murray to some of the Major League's current stars, for UK-based fans looking for some other baseball nuts to interact with this account is second to none.