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12 Jul

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MLB Uses Twitter in Attempt to Improve Home Run Derby Experience

July 12, 2011 | By | No Comments

Last night’s Major League Baseball Home Run Derby featured live Tweeting from some of the players who were participating in the event.  As a social media nerd, I instantly got excited and had to watch the contest after finding out they were trying to add Twitter to the mix.

Players who used twitter during the event included David Ortiz (@davidortiz), Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19), Matt Kemp (@TheRealMattKemp), and Robinson Cano (@RobinsonCano).  Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson even got involved in the action; which was mostly people using Twitter to bash the Derby.

The derby took a pain-staking 3 hours and 5 minutes to complete and saw another fan fall from the stands trying to catch a ball. Adrian Gonzalez was ousted at the end after a beastly performance (32 home runs) by Yankee Robinson Cano.  The highlight of the night was a fan jumping into the pool trying to catch a home run ball (see below).

It was cool to see players Tweet how they felt like Jose Bautista, “Can’t deny it, the nerves got to me a bit! lets hope for a miracle so i can advance! was a lot of fun though!”  Fans must have enjoyed seeing David Ortiz Tweet, “We’re kicking some butt as a team so we can help some kids. That’s all that matters,” just a few days after apologizing for an on-field tussle.  The event still lacked the excitement that most people expected and the fans did not shy from sharing their opinions on Twitter.

Image Courtesy of ESPN

The main problem with the promotion of Twitter by Major League Baseball during the Home Run Derby was that the fans used the network to completely insult the event and people involved.  Chris Berman the ESPN announcer was even slammed for his performance.  The online conversations stayed negative all night.

This should not discourage the league from using social media to promote events, but they should refine how they use it.  Why weren’t all of the players participating and watching the event in person tweeting?   How can fans interact with players that aren’t tweeting? What did you think of the Twitter involvement and Home Run Derby as an event?

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