Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Best Sports Writers on Twitter

If you had told me two years ago that Twitter would be an essential medium for sports coverage I would have laughed at you. The only reason I even joined Twitter was to ask Chris Johnson to learn how to speak English when he posted this gem after losing to Peyton in the MVP ballot. A lot has changed since then. What originally began as a way for people to let others know what they were doing has now morphed into the place to go for up to the minute sports news, rumors, and commentary. ESPN requires all of their writers/analysts to be on Twitter and to post on it frequently, so basically everything that goes up on ESPN.com is posted first on Twitter.  Combine that with the ability to interact with the writers themselves and you have a clear winner. If only I had thought of it.

On that note, I have compiled a short ranking of sports writers that you should follow on Twitter.

Keith Law
(ESPN Bio) 
Keith Law joined ESPN.com in June 2006 as the lead baseball analyst for Scouts Inc., covering the majors, minors and amateurs. He appears regularly across the ESPN family of networks, providing analysis on all baseball topics.
Before joining ESPN, Law spent 4½ years with the Toronto Blue Jays as a special assistant to the general manager, and was previously a writer for Baseball Prospectus. He graduated from Harvard College and holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.
Personally, I think Keith Law is the best writer/analyst in sports today. He’s the head of ESPN’s Scouts Inc, so he obviously spends a lot of time on prospects, but he also provides unrivaled big league analysis.
Baseball is going through a shift in thinking as the creation, understanding, and use of advanced statistics is dramatically changing the way players are evaluated. Part of the new age of MLB writers, Law is a major proponent of this advanced statistical analysis and isn’t afraid to take on the old school way of thinking. This in itself makes Law a must read for any baseball fan interested in truly understanding the game.
What separates Keith Law from your normal sports writer is his quick wit and snark. If you want to challenge Law on a subject you better bring your A-game or you will be smacked down. There’s a lot to be said for a writer whose ESPN chats provide tons of comedic value, to go along with the obvious informational value, and Law is by far the best at showcasing that mix. This also applies to his Twitter account. Whether it be owning people who ask stupid questions or posting snarky commentary on MLB games in real time, Keith Law is a fantastic follow.
The only drawback is that Law’s articles are mainly on ESPN Insider, but let’s be honest, any sports fan should fork over the dough for Insider ASAP.

Gregg Doyel

CBS Bio (Sums him up perfectly)

What is there to say about Mr. Doyel? He is a breath of fresh air in the world of scared sports writers. Unlike his hesitant counterparts in the industry, Doyel will take on any sports figure (including fellow writers) that  he deems deserving of criticism. Whether he is going after Jay Mariotti for being a woman beater and overall scum bag, Urban Meyer for running a program without any true penalties for breaking the law, or Pete Thamel of the NYT for his lack of journalistic integrity displayed in his articles on Eric Bledsoe and Enes Kanter, Doyel always brings the goods.

The best part about following Doyel on Twitter is his interaction with followers. This past Saturday, I was sitting in Commonwealth Stadium watching UK fumble their way to a loss against UGA when I read a reference to a bench clearing incident in the NLCS. Not being able to find any of the details, I sent Doyel a tweet to see if he could explain what happened. A couple minutes later I had a response detailing the entire incident.

Then there was the Colts Chiefs game where Peyton was playing horribly. After the fourth or fifth errant pass, I’m searching my phone and using Twitter to see if anyone had any insight on what was wrong. I saw Doyel mention that he thought Peyton had hurt his shoulder on one of the many hits he had taken by the KC defense, and naturally, I wanted to find out more. True to form, Doyel went through everything he had seen and we discussed the possible causes ranging from a shoulder injury to drunkenness. This is a national sports writer we are talking about, and it’s pretty damn impressive.

Bill Simmons

If you don’t know who Bill Simmons is, please end your hibernation and go to ESPN.com and read all of his recent articles. Thank me later

On Twitter he is good for plenty of humor. Odds of ever communicating with him are worse than winning the lottery, though. 

Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen

These guys don’t write that many articles, but following them on Twitter is a must for any NFL fan. They are the most connected guys in the sport, and they break news every day of the season.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to point out that on Doyel's bio, he has a link to Stratford high school. It shows how he was all state, therefore declaring his athleticism. after spending 4 and a half years in Macon and knowing enough about Stratford, and all the other all white schools, I am not impressed. However, most of Doyel's columns are great