Following Major League Baseball at the team level is simply not enough. We need more; we want to know what is going on at the individual level, where the drama really happens, which means we need Twitter.
With spring training well underway and the regular season quickly approaching, this seems to be a great time to identify the top 10 MLB players who contribute something interesting, meaningful or even controversial to Twitter. Those who made the list were included because they are funny, insightful, controversial, or a combination of all three.
Without further adieu, here are your top 10 MLB personalities to follow on Twitter during the 2012 season:
#10 – Nick Swisher, Right Fielder, New York Yankees
@NickSwisher: 3 years ago today I joined twitter! Memories…. Haha – Jan. 20, 2012
Nick Swisher bears watching because he’s a character and a kid at heart. He’s known for locker-room antics, and has proven over the last few years that he brings more than just baseball talent and a strong arm to his team. Furthermore, his contract with the Yankees is up for renewal this year, so there could be some drama ahead.
#9 – Sergio Romo, Relief Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
@SergioRomo54: Amen! Gonna get my ice cube on all day! Ha RT @nymphette415: Today is gonna be a great day… – March 2, 2012
Why follow Sergio Romo? For one thing, he’s an awesome relief pitcher who is returning to the field after a year of being on and off the disabled list. More important, though, he is an upbeat, life-loving guy who almost always has something positive to say to his friends, teammates, and fans.
#8 – Matt Kemp, Center Fielder, Los Angeles Dodgers
@TheRealMattKemp: hahaha a bunch of Brewers fans are saying @TheRealMattKemp “copied” beast mode from them. what a joke. http://lockerz.com/s/189965582  — March 5, 2012
Matt Kemp is one of the sport’s most hard working, dedicated athletes. His manager, Don Mattingly, has pointed this out during a few interviews and considers Kemp to be one of his team’s primary motivators. Also, Kemp can usually be counted on to say something funny on his Twitter account.
#7 – Joel Hanrahan, Relief Pitcher, Pittsburgh Pirates
@hanrahan52: How many days in a row is too many to wear the same pair of jeans? – Feb. 24, 2012
The 2011 season proved to be Joel Hanrahan’s breakout season, with an astounding 1.83 ERA and 40 saves. Thanks to such a successful run in 2011 and the fact that he just signed a new 1-year, $4.1 million deal with the Pirates, Hanrahan should cruise into the 2012 season as a very happy man. Given his talent and the humor he unfailingly applies to his Twitter account, Joel Hanrahan is worth following.
#6 – Jarrod Parker, Pitcher, Oakland Athletics
@JarrodBParker: #ArizonaDrivers Every red light isn’t the green flag at Talladaga #LightnFiresNBurninTires #ShakeNBack – March 2, 2012
Jarrod Parker is one of the “new guys” who has yet to have a chance to truly prove his talent in the big leagues. He was very active on Twitter while playing for the Diamondbacks in 2011, and can probably be counted on to do the same now that he has been traded to the Athletics. As a promising newcomer who always gives fans something interesting to read on Twitter, he is a guy worth watching.
#5 – Dirk Hayhurst, Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays
@TheGarfoose: Quick survey: have you ever met a person who wears black t-shirts depicting wolves howling at the moon who is not awkward? – March 5, 2012
Why follow Dirk Hayhurst? It’s quite simple: Not only is he a talented athlete, he is a New York Times bestselling author with two books to his name so far. He is a creative guy who always has something witty to say and does so quite often through his Twitter account. Perhaps most important, however, is that any man who draws a “Garfoose” (a combination between a giraffe and moose) along with his autograph should be followed for a variety of reasons.
#4 – Tim Lincecum, Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
@timlincecum: Thanks everybody for the support, doing my best to keep up, ready to kick off the 2012 season…THANKS again, you guys are rad! – March 2, 2012
You should follow Tim Lincecum for several reasons. First, he recently joined the Twitter community, so you can still get in on the “ground floor.” Also, any guy who is a proven athlete (two-time winner of the Cy Young Award), a World Series winner (2010) AND is known as “The Freak” should be good for a lot of interesting Twitter activity.
#3 – John Axford, Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers
@JohnAxford: Take 70’s baseball + me + @thereasonrock + a ton of mustaches + Canadian @SteamWhistle Beer = AN AWESOME MUSIC VIDEO COMING SOON! – Feb. 27, 2012
John Axford is another pitcher who had a very impressive break-out season in 2011. He pitched in 74 games, pulled off 46 saves, and achieved a mind-shattering 1.95 ERA. Obviously, Jon Axford has found his stride with the Brewers and is on his way up. It doesn’t hurt that he is one of baseball’s more interesting characters and sports facial hair that earned him the 2011 Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year Award by the American Mustache Institute. You can see why you should be following this guy on Twitter.
#2 – Nyjer Morgan, Outfielder, Milwaukee Brewers
@TheRealTPlush: Game on!!! First game of the 2012 season & it start 2day Nation!!!! Beautiful Day in the world of Plush!!! Aahh!!! Wrecking Crew is Back!!! – March 3, 2012
Nyjer Morgan is a talented athlete who has proven over the years that he likes controversial antics as much as he likes baseball. To help prove this, he even adopted an alter ego he calls “Tony Plush.” Do you really need any more of a reason than that?
#1 – Brian Wilson, Pitcher, San Francisco Giants
@brianwilson38: Happy Birthday, Larry Bird. Today is the only day Chuck Norris takes second place at life! – Dec. 7, 2011
If Dos Equis were to ever be in need of a new “most interesting man in the world,” Brian Wilson would probably be their first call. Also known as “The Beard” thanks to his prominent facial hair, Wilson is one of baseball’s more interesting characters. Not only his he extremely talented as a pitcher, he can be counted on to say something hilarious on a regular basis. Case in point: During an appearance on
“Lopez Tonight,” Wilson stated, “Chuck Norris has been known to throw a 100 mph fastball. I’ve been known to throw Chuck Norris at 100 mph.”