Players enjoy using social media tools
Besides interacting with fans, Ellsbury follows current events
PHILADELPHIA -- It's not only the fans who benefit when baseball players dive into social media.
As the Bruins marched to a championship this month, Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury wasn't in a position to watch one of the Stanely Cup Final games. So he took to Twitter and followed the action there.
"I was reading the game through my Twitter account. That was the only way I knew what was going on through people letting me know," Ellsbury said. "It works both ways."
Thursday marks the second annual Social Media Day, and some of the Red Sox's biggest names have made forays into the burgeoning world. Ellsbury, who has been tweeting since March with the handle @JacobyEllsbury, sees the site as a conduit between himself and the fans.
"Fans come out, support you, and without fans, there wouldn't be a game," the Sox's leadoff man said. "It's important to give back to the fans and let 'em know you appreciate them and cheer for you. Fans will let you know what they're up to, coming to the game congratulate you on different things, a win. ... I think it's just good to have that relationship with fans that come to the game to support you, support the team, support Red Sox Nation."
Ellsbury's teammates Carl Crawford (@CarlCrawford_), David Ortiz (@davidortiz) and Jon Lester (@JLester31) also tweet. Some players have a team approach with tweeting, with some of their representatives also assisting in the effort.
It was through Lester's management at SFX Baseball that he was put in touch with video game developers who wanted the left-hander to contribute not only his name, but his motion to a mobile game. Tweeting is one thing, but gaming takes social media to a new level.
"I guess they were just fans of baseball and called my agent and they asked me if I'd be interested in doing it. Really, at first I wasn't," Lester said. "I'm not a very big video game guy. But meeting the guys, talking to them, they're good guys. That was kind of the interest behind it, being able to work with good people on something. As it went along, I got more interested in it, and it was kind of a cool deal."
The final product, "Hardball Ace," is out now and lets users simulate facing Lester. The experience was a fun one, Lester said, but it hasn't given him a desire to tweet daily, like some baseball stars.
"That stuff is cool, as far as the interaction with fans," Lester said of Twitter. "But as far as me getting on there every day and tweeting about heading to the ballpark, I don't really do it."