Breaking Balls: All aTwitter about Brandon McCarthy
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Brandon McCarthy is a professional baseball player. Brandon McCarthy has never won a Cy Young Award. Brandon McCarthy has never pitched for my favorite team. Brandon McCarthy has never even been an All-Star.
So, then, just why is it that Brandon McCarthy is my favorite baseball player?
I don’t know if you’ve gotten the telegram, but social networking is taking over the world. With Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest and Instagram all out there connecting people in places that would have seemed incredible just a few years ago. Remote locations like Russia or Australia or even Seattle are no match for the power of social networking.
Each of the different networking platforms provides a unique experience for its inhabitants. Facebook helps bring people together who have been apart for decades or who have grown too busy to go out regularly or who saw your profile pic and thought you were cute.
Instagram lets you connect with people you know and don’t know who share their experiences with pictures of pets, food and manicures. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but on Instagram you’ll find that the thousand words are usually just synonyms for crap.
Pinterest is one of the more recent arrivals in the social networking community and, despite having it explained to me twice, I still don’t understand … how someone would care at all about it. Yeah, yeah, I get it! You “pin” pictures to “interest” boards. Very clever. I’ll pass.
And then there’s Twitter. It’s the fastest-growing of all the social networks, recently moving past 100,000,000 users worldwide. “Twitterers” have a cozy 140-character limit to talk about their breakfast or make a political statement or mention an encounter with a homeless person. You can “follow” almost any other user and, best of all, when someone “follows” you, you don’t have to follow them as well.
Twitter has become the social network of choice for celebrities of all shapes, sizes and merit. Actors, actresses, writers, directors, reality TV stars and athletes – all in various stages of their careers. In most cases, what a celebrity posts on Twitter is actually something that celebrity personally entered. And what makes Twitter even more fascinating is that after a celebrity posts something, you can respond to that celebrity. He or she may ignore you, but the chances are pretty good they saw what you said to them.
This is unprecedented access for fans. Yes, Alec Baldwin, tell me about your flight to L.A. Yes, Kim Kardashian, I want to hear all about how “busy” you’ve been. Yes, Lady Gaga, I have to know about that amazing burrito you ate.
Some Twitterers use the 140 characters only to make witty comments, jokes, puns or what have you. Stand-up comedians and writers really excel at this. And that’s how I found Brandon McCarthy. “Found” seems weird. Maybe “discovered” or “met.” No, how about “came across”? Yeah. Less weird.
On Twitter, I follow almost exclusively people writing funny “tweets.” One day, I was reading through my timeline and someone had re-tweeted something Brandon posted. And it was funny. Really funny.
I checked out the rest of his tweets and they were mostly really quite funny. I don’t mean funny compared to other athletes who generally tweet inconsequential nonsense riddled with awful grammar, barbaric spelling and non-existent punctuation. Brandon’s tweets were comedian-level funny.
Don’t get me wrong. I have spelling, grammar and punctuation missteps. The other day I spelled “butt” as “but” and not a day has not gone by that I haven’t thought about it.
So, I started following Brandon last year. Okay, “following” sounds weird, too. Very stalker-y. But that’s what it’s called, so let’s just go with that, and I’ll trust that you don’t think I’m involved in any sort of stalking or stalking-related activity.
When I started following Brandon, he was on the Athletics, but team allegiances don’t apply when it comes to humor. Humor matters when it comes to humor.
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