“Ball Four” author and 16-year MLB vet Jim Bouton touched a number of topics with The Sporting News’ Jesse Spector, including but not limited to Bouton’s baseball and writing careers. At one point, Bouton suggests a less-than-100%-focused player might have a unique perspective on the game within/beyond the game (“you’re going to end up with a mediocre pitcher who could basically be a sportswriter,”), though it would seem he’s not convinced social media is an adequate launching pad (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
SN: I think we see that a little bit on Twitter, and I think of a guy like Brandon McCarthy, who has found a good following doing that. Is that one of the benefits, that we get to see almost as it happens — and Dirk Hayhurst wrote his books — why is it always pitchers?
JB: Well, they’re not playing every day. They’ve got a lot of time to think. The other thing is, just because somebody’s got a tweet machine, it doesn’t mean it’s gonna be — who cares? You know what I mean? It’s got to be interesting observations, not just here’s what I did. Here’s not only what I did, here’s why it’s important, or here’s why it’s interesting, or here’s why this is funny. You can’t just go through your day tweeting stuff that’s not worth anything.
SN: I think that’s why a guy like McCarthy connects with people.
JB: What’s he saying? Give me an average tweet.
SN: “When discussing ‘pimping’ homers, it’s best to remember the phrase ‘who cares?’ ”
JB: He’s got some self-awareness.
SN: I think that’s what’s resonating with people.
JB: Could you fill a book with tweets?
SN: Probably not, though somebody will eventually try to do it.
JB: Why would that be a good idea or not be a good idea?
SN: It’s not a good idea because the tweet itself is limited by space — it would be like notes for a book. It’s still possible to connect with people that way, and I think it shows that you’re a regular guy.
JB: Is that the best we can do, that a regular guy has a thought?