It’s been a pretty crazy week for the Blue Jays, their fan base and ownership. The Jays made arguably the biggest trade in franchise history on Tuesday afternoon, just one day after Rogers Media president Keith Pelley stated the following at a PrimeTime Sports & Entertainment conference panel discussion
“fundamentally what has changed in last 3-4 years and will continue to change how we operate as broadcasters and how we operate as team owners is social media… social media can make something fashionable or not. As well as winning.”
Did Pelley’s comments serve as a hint that big things were on the horizon? That perhaps the Jays were poised to take over the AL East not only in the standings but in terms of total followers and retweets? Are they planning to out-spend AND out-trend the Red Sox, Yankees, Rays, and Orioles? Did they acquire these Marlins just for the HBO cred and hashtagabilitiy?
Stoeten, Drew and a slew of other baseball writers with knowledge and insight may have the answers for on-field performance questions but I’m here to help you understand how to connect to the new guys, what to expect from the media, and how to react when they finally debut in Toronto.
Web presence: While no official Major League Baseball player Josh Johnson twitter profiles appear to exist, you can rest assured that about 1,000 other Josh Johnson’s are on twitter for you to follow.
Value Over Replacement Youtube search: Again, no footage of actual baseball Josh Johnson is really riveting unless slowmo bullpen warmups set to Linkin Park are your bag. However, if totally rad stuff is your thing than I suggest you check out the 1:00 mark of the following video.
Just ripping some blues guitar while hucking some kickflips. The whole thing smacks of effort.
Things Buck & Pat will say repeatedly about him: “This guy is a workhorse.”, “He keeps the ball down.”, “Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow can learn a lot from a guy like this.”
Things drunk guys will yell at him during games: “LETS GO JOJO!”
Possible red flags: Seems incredibly boring. Being upstaged on Youtube by a guy who’s nickname is “Shortbus”
Appropriate Opening Day Rogers Centre crowd response: Heavy clapping, whistles, vocal cheers like “YEAH!” and “ALRIGHT!”
Web presence: Emilio tweets with great frequency as @Elboni_1
— Emilio bonifacio (@Elboni_1) October 28, 2012
The majority of the tweets appear to be in Spanish, but Emilio is verified and definitely excited to be using social media.
Value Over Replacement Youtube search: During his time with the Marlins, Bonifacio created a sort of signature move of holding his index and middle finger to his eye in the shape of a V, meaning “Lo viste” which translates to “See that?” Apparently it caught on like wildfire in the clubhouse and throughout whatever constitutes the Marlins fanbase.
Things Buck & Pat will say repeatedly about him: “This guy is fast“, “He can really run“, “He plays all over the diamond, that makes him a great teammate“
Things drunk guys will yell at him during games: “EMILIOOOOOOOOOOO”
Possible red flags: Did you SEE the ‘Lo Viste’ thing? Messages around the eyes in Spanish? Not going down that road again.
Appropriate Opening Day Rogers Centre crowd response: Whatever reception you gave Rajai Davis for his first game.
Web Presence: Ol’ John Boy has a twitter account! He launched it in 2011 after leaving the Toronto Blue Jays. He was clearly impressed with how tech-savvy and hip and ahead of the curve the young Jays were on the social media front and signed up as @14Buckshot
He doesn’t seem to use it much and almost never posts an original thought. Also he really seems to find Logan Morrison hilarious.
Value Over Replacement Youtube search: Nothing of even remote value comes up starring actual baseball player John Buck, but one of the worst rap mixtapes I’ve ever heard falls in to our lap nicely here.
Things Buck & Pat will say repeatedly about him: “He’s capable of hitting home runs.”, “Here’s a veteran guy, knows the game, knows how to play baseball at a high level.”, “He’s got pop in his bat.”, “He was an All-Star with the Blue Jays in 2010.”
Things drunk guys will yell at him during games: “BUCK FUTTER“, “HIT TWENTY HOMERS YET?”
Possible red flags: Seems to enjoy hunting and Logan Morrison
Appropriate Opening Day Rogers Centre crowd response: The same reception you’d give a returning Alex Gonzalez.
Can you say no, no? — Mark Buehrle (@mbFiftySix) July 23, 2009
Value Over Replacement Youtube search: He had a bike built by the guys from American Chopper!
Buehrle really shows some character in the episode, saying things like “What?” and standing emotionless while looking at the motorcycle that I’m guessing he’s never ever going to ride.
Things Buck & Pat will say repeatedly about him: “This guy just knows how to pitch.“, “This is a guy who knows how to win baseball games.”, “Lots of things to be learned, sitting on the bench talking with a veteran like that.”
Things drunk guys will yell at him during games: “LETS GO BURR-LEE“, “THERE GOES THE PERFECT GAME”
Appropriate Opening Day Rogers Centre crowd response: Warm but not thunderous applause. The type that says we appreciate who he is but we remember that he knows AJ Pierzynski.
Web presence: Jose’s Facebook account is just a wikipedia page and while Reyes himself has no current twitter account that I can find, there is a now year-old parody account being done by @DoucheJoseReyes that has about 700 followers.
That’s a pretty good example of the tweets you can expect from the account, and I’m pretty sure #ReyesBabes are going to exist for real
Value Over Replacement Youtube search: This is where Reyes really shines. The Youtube category hurts a lot of baseball players because MLB is pretty good at taking down videos with game footage in it. Luckily, there’s nothing they can do to take down the official rap video for No Hay Amigo.
Just Jose Reyes riding around shining and spitting autotuned flame. It’s hard for anyone in any league to top that. It’s Tony Parker territory. And if long-toss pr0n is more your thing, Jose even has private offseason workout videos.
Things Buck & Pat will say repeatedly about him: ”Boy it looks like he’s havin’ fun, doesn’t it?“, “He loves to get that uniform dirty.”, “He sure can run“, “This guy is a ballplayer.”
Things drunk guys will yell at him during games: ”HO-ZAY, HOZAY HOZAY HOZAY, HOOOO-ZAYYYY HO-ZAY“, “Grow-your dreads-back! Clap Clap ClapClapClap”
Possible red flags: No twitter account? Really? So… like… what, are we going to have to relay our twitter messages to him through Bautista or something? That seems a little weird. Somebody in Jays PR can handle running a Jose Reyes twitter account for a few months, can’t they?
Appropriate Opening Day Rogers Centre crowd response: A slowly building rumble that doubles as a realization that the trade actually happened and that the entire season is ahead of us, a warm summer full of possibility and what might be. After he takes the first pitch (a ball), a nice mix of the murmur of people elbowing their friends and saying “This is the guy” and a small ‘Jo-se Rey-yes clap-clap clapclapclap’ chant should suffice.