Real life commitments and calamities keep me away from Tropicana Field and even catching Rays games on television far more often than I would like. Thank goodness for Twitter.
In a pinch, Twitter is a great resource for instant live game situations and score updates. You don’t have the lag time you get with almost every Gamecast you find on the web, and somehow, despite the limitation of 140 characters, people still find a way to offer insightful (and often hilarious) commentary. Here is our list of the best Tweeple (Tweeting people) you should follow, in three categories.
Rays Newsbreakers – This is the group I look to when I want real news and analysis, either about what’s going on with a game, something surrounding the team or both. Although many of these people are also very entertaining (Michael Weber is not afraid to engage in back-and-forth dialogue with opposing fans and often re-Tweets the best…and worst…of those exchanges), they consider Tweeting the Rays to be pretty serious business.
Sample Tweet: "Niemann's HR/FB rate was league average entering the game. So much for the downward plane being a potential deflation device." – r_j_anderson
- @m_weber – Michael Weber, the 5pm news producer at WTSP TV (he Tweets independently of the station)
- @pattycox – Patty Cox, Managing Editor of the St. Petersburg Times and tampabay.com
- @RaysIndex – Cork Gaines, an independent blogger
- @RaysUpdates – Fabio McLovin (something tells me that’s an alias), live Tweets of nearly every at bat of nearly every game
- @r_j_anderson – R.J. Anderson, blogger with DraysBay (http://www.draysbay.com/)
- @TBO_Rays – Tampa Tribune’s Rays feed
- @SPTimesRays - Marc Topkin's feed
Rays minor league affiliates – These are all official team accounts. Many of their Tweets deal with upcoming bobblehead and fireworks promotions but they do cover game action and Rays prospects performances. The Durham Bulls are especially comprehensive.
Sample Tweet: "The #Gades get another 2 runs, both unearned, as Steve Tinoco hit a 2-RBI triple! 9-1 going into the 7th. @NYPennLeague" - HVRenegades
- @PrincetonRays – Princeton Rays (Appalachian League, Rookie)
- @HVRenegades – Hudson Valley Renegades (NY Penn League, short A)
- @BGHotRods – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League, low A)
- @StoneCrabs – Charlotte Stone Crabs (Florida State League, high A)
- @BiscuitBaseball – Montgomery Biscuits (Southern League, AA)
- @DurhamBulls - Durham Bulls (International League, AAA)
The Real Rays – Our heroes, the Tampa Bay Rays themselves. While most of what you’ll get here is run through the PR department’s filter (assuming all of it doesn’t originate from there in the first place), it’s still kind of interesting and fun to interact.
Sample Tweet: "Season is going great, really excited about how the team is coming together." – Evan3Longoria
- @CarlCrawford_ - All Star Leftfielder Carl Crawford, certified authentic
- @DAVIDprice14 – All Star Starting Pitcher David Price. This account is NOT certified authentic. Not yet, anyway. Whoever is Tweeting seems legit, but I’m keeping a wary eye on it for now.
- @Evan3Longoria – All Star Third Baseman Evan Longoria, certified authentic
- @RaysBaseball – The official Twitter account of the Tampa Bay Rays
- @RaysJoeMaddon – Manager Joe Maddon, certified authentic
- @TheRealBJUpton – Centerfielder B.J. Upton. There was an imposter on Twitter about a year ago that was pretty pathetic. He would Tweet things like, “I skinned my knee” after games where Upton slid into second. Lame. This account, however, is certified authentic.
- @THE_REAL_QUIS – Marquis Fleming, a pitcher with the Charlotte Stone Crabs
If you recommend any other Rays-related twitter accounts we should be following, let us know in the comments!