Pence: Twitter connects players, fans
Phillies outfielder understands social media's many benefits
What first got me active in Twitter is the idea that I, as a pro athlete, can connect directly with fans rather easily.
There are many ways to look at it. It does allow fans the chance to blast you, especially when you are about to get into a particular city -- before I joined the Phillies midseason, Philadelphia comes to mind. As an Astro, I felt they liked to make up a lot of rumors and try to stir it up, but to me that makes baseball a lot more fun.
A lot of times I will use Twitter to get recommendations on different places to eat while we are on the road. You can learn a lot, and it is a great way to connect with all types of people.
One of the times I don't like to go on Twitter is when things aren't going well with my team. I guess I am just not in the mood then. It isn't the best time, in my opinion, to go online when you are taking a whooping.
But I also like to go on Twitter and discuss things other than baseball. I love food and eating breakfast, in particular. I like to walk around each city we visit and find a different place to eat breakfast. I probably tweet once or twice a day.
I personally follow many people on Twitter. I follow many baseball players and other people in the public eye, such as Ray Rice, who was my running back in fantasy football. I also follow Charlie Sheen.
When it comes to baseball, I follow LoMo -- Logan Morrison of the Marlins. I follow his teammate Gaby Sanchez, and I follow C.J. Wilson. Another guy I follow is Ian Stewart, and I guess I really should follow Brandon Phillips because he does tweet a lot. He's funny and a little crazy, too.
I also tweeted during the Home Run Derby as part of the 2011 All-Star Game. I was excited about that event because of the way the ball travels in Chase Field.
In the offseason, I seem to have more time for it. I love to play fantasy football, and Twitter is perfect for that.
I guess there is always a part of me that is a little concerned when it comes to Twitter. I tend to be rather conservative. Once you put it out there, it is out there for good. You have to be careful. I think the more I tweet, the more I can let go and let people know how I feel. There is a danger though. It can come back and bite you.
I do get a little ribbing from my teammates for tweeting. In Houston, some of the younger guys were starting to jump on board more. I think more of the old-school guys will remain that way. They didn't have social media when they were younger, so they stay away from it.
I just don't see Geoff Blum or Carlos Lee doing it, but I think it is here for the long haul. Just look at all the young guys in the Minor Leagues doing it. That is a pretty good indicator in my opinion.
All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence started 2011 with the Astros before getting traded to Philadelphia midseason. Follow Hunter on Twitter -- @HunterPence3.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.