Players on Facebook

I’ve been steadily growing my group of friends on Facebook. I’ve always considered it a more adult version of MySpace, and find it a kess formal way to network in with all the other Saber guys and gals out there, as well as the relatives and scattered friends from school.

They have a feature “People You May Know” which is a list of folks who have a lot fo friends in common with you. This morning, among the long list, are three writers from Baseball Prospectus (two of whom haven’t approved previous friend requests from me – but it’s not Will Carroll, he’s real cool and is already on my fiends list). There’s also two players – Matt Antonelli and Colby Rasmus, and back in September, I saw David Price’s name.

Here’s my dilemma – I didn’t send Price a friend request, even before the World Series. It felt too much like jumping on a bandwagon. Also, what happens if I develop social relationships with players, even if it’s only online, and then it comes time to right an article that says they suck on the field? It would be cool to say I’m their friend, but at the same time I worry it would interfere with my objectivity.



9 Responses to Players on Facebook

  1. How many of these Facebook pages of players are really them? I know David Price’s is real since I’m his friend and his pictures are all private that only he would have. But unless you actually become their friend, it would be difficult to tell which is a fake.

  2. Brian Cartwright says:

    Valid question. I assume they are real, but will keep up the radar. First thing, they are refereed because they are a friend of a friend, and Facebook will give you a list of the friends in common. For both Antonelli and Rasmus, we share Will Carroll of BP and Mike Lynch of Seamheads, among others. And, I would think a minor leaguer is less likely to be impersonated than say A-Rod.
    When I was researching my minor league player file, I had a guy born in the UK, but went to high school and college in Georgia. I wrote to him on Facebook and he said he wished to be listed as British, not American, as he played on the British National Team.

  3. Dan Novick says:

    My guess would be 90% of college students have a facebook account. If you friend someone like right around the draft, chances are it’s a real person. I do that all the time.
    But as far as developing a personal relationship with them, I don’t think I’ve ever done more than just friend them and leave it at that. Eric might have some insight after developing a relationship with Max Scherzer.

  4. Brian Cartwright says:

    Not saying I would develop a relationship…but say a player is on my friends list, and I share a link to my StatSpeak article which says “so and so sucks, he should be released” – I shared the link so that others in the writing community can see my work, not necessarily that the players themselves will be pointed to my comments.
    If they see it just by going to StatSpeak, that’s probably fine, but I find it uncomfortable to refer them as a “friend” and then potentially be critical (there are lots of players to be critical about)

  5. Pizza Cutter says:

    I specifically stay away from sending friend requests to players, although I had the same couple of guys pop up in my “People you might know.” I stayed away more for pragmatic reasons than anything. I have “friended” plenty of other Saber-writers (and some just general baseball bloggers whose work I like) whom I will likely never meet for professional networking, and I have contacted a few of them here and there. However, I don’t really have anything to say to a player. I suppose I could add David Price, but then what? Hey David, wanna hang out?

  6. Dan Novick says:

    Ah, I see what you mean Brian. I guess that’s a decision you have to make for yourself–there’s no clearcut right or wrong answer. Look at this page I just searched for on facebook:
    (not a completely serious search, it’s just kinda funny)

  7. Pizza, what’s your real name? You could very well be my Facebook friend and I wouldn’t even know it. I’m friends with all the typical baseball bloggers, so it’s possible.

  8. Brian Cartwright says:

    Mike, I checked your friends list, and Pizza isn’t there

  9. Eric Seidman says:

    Oddly enough, my relatonship with Max Scherzer developed through an Arizona newspaper writer, who hooked us up so I could do some studies for him. It doesn’t affect my objectivity yet, but then again, Max hasn’t done anything substantial on the field yet.
    I do think it would be weird, though, if he started to struggle and I went to write an article calling for the DBacks to demote him or something. On one hand, I have never met the guy or anything, but we talk through e-mail and such, and I can definitely see it being potentially awkward.

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