By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) I’m an idiot. You knew that already, but maybe not for this reason—I thought I could be a nice guy on Twitter and have that be appreciated.
If you’re not aware already, I’m pretty active with the rest of the kids on the Twitter thing. It’s a remarkable slice of the human condition, that Twitter. It also has the Kardashians.
My reasons for Twitter presence are positive ones. Receiving and transmitting important information, such as the latest sports trades, OMG JAY AND KRISTIN HAD THEIR BABY THEY NEED TO NAME IT HALAS OR PAYTON BUT NOT PEYTON, or a photo of an especially weird-looking customer at the restaurant where I work. Receiving (mostly good) and transmitting (mostly bad) jokes. Offering nonmailbag-worthy help to the world. I like to help, and I think most of my followers know I’m nothing if not a really good guy.
There’s the conversational aspect of it, but that can get dangerous if you’re having a discussion with a stranger. Also, as I found out Tuesday night, if it’s with a super cool pro athlete.
Remember Ian Stewart? Stewart is sort of a Chicago Cubs third baseman (.201/.292/.335—that’s Valbuena production for almost five times the price!), but he hasn’t played since mid June and is out for the rest of the season because of a wrist thing.
Stewart’s pesky wrist has not stopped him from being a bit of a Twitter hero, though. There’s something endearing and usually pretty cool about a pro athlete who is nice enough to do a Q&A with fans, and I guess he is willing to go into the breach most nights.
I don’t follow Stewart, but during Tuesday night’s thrilling Cubs/Padres game beat writer Paul Sullivan tipped me off to Stewart’s “tweetathon”. So, bored like Sully, I ventured over to Stewart’s page because I’m always interested to see how the rich and famous deal with us unwashed.
What first struck me was, damn, this guy seems to reply to everybody that interacts with him. How noble. Most celebrities on Twitter will answer particularly interesting or funny questions/comments, but Stewart goes whole hog. How cool of him.
Ian Stewart is a great guy.
I noticed lots of the typical cretin stuff that Stewart is a good enough sport to deal with. “Tyler Colvin (for whom he was traded) is better than you” and “U suck” sort of stuff mostly. He responds to so much of it (and there’s probably really vile stuff he ignores, if I know my internet hater patterns).
Then I come across this from him:
Poor guy, I think. A guy so willing to take slings and arrows from so many idiot strangers certainly deserves to get thrown a bone once in a while, right?
Hey, that’s where I can help! Again, I like helping people, especially if it doesn’t involving actually moving much. I was going to be Ian Stewart’s clown question cure.
Following politics is a hobby of mine. I like to be informed beyond “everything red, white, and blue is the best in the world,” which I think puts me in the minority in this country. So few pro athletes are openly political, which is an understandable personal choice. PR is such a huge part of sports and individual paid endorsements that it could be financially stupid for an athlete to throw support behind a particular candidate or party. I get that.
I had remembered reading that most pro ballplayers were Republican, though most aren’t very open about it. Something like that, the intersection of sports and politics, has long piqued my curiosity, especially amid a presidential race in which we find this country.
Since Stewart was being inundated with clown questions, the opportunity to add something a bit more cosmopolitan that he seemed to be craving to his night and likely that of his followers seemed ripe. I just love being able to interject some sophisticated conversation into what otherwise appears to be a shallow gene pool.
Talking politics is obviously touchy, nowhere more so than the internet. Knowing this, I framed my question as best I could in the 140-character limit in a way that suggested no bias on my end nor called for any on Stewart’s. I was genuinely curious about the thoughts of someone on the inside of the game concerning something so tangible to the general public.
So I tweeted him the question and sat back waiting for his response and subsequent graciousness toward me for saving him from the swamp of stupid in which he found himself stranded. This was going to be great. “Oh, wow, and actually intelligent question,” I imagined Stewart thinking as my tweet glowed at him. “Thank you, sir, for being my saving grace of the Twitterverse. I am going to give this question the thought and effort and respect it deserves. This man is not some troglodyte calling me a homo or saying the Cubs should have never traded for me. This is the tweet for which I’ve pined all evening!”
It was going to be what Ralphie imagined Miss Shields’ reaction would be upon reading his theme in A Christmas Story. Man, I’m such a good guy.
After a few minutes, Stewart responded. Oh, happy day! An actual intelligent conversation with a Major Leaguer that will be whoa whoa whoa huh?
But I… What the….? I was trying to help!
Ian Stewart is not a great guy.
So it was too much for you to politely decline to answer the question. “I’d rather not go there, thanks” would have been a bit less dbaggish, but okay. Use a beaten-to-death meme from another player instead of forming a reply with any substance.
I see that Bible quote in your Twitter bio. Nice that He gave you the strength to belittle me like that.
Do you even know who I am? I won a damn contest to have a job answering clown questions. “What pro athlete would be the best pizza delivery guy?” “Why are there two streams when I go pee?” “HEY, YOUR A GINGER DO YOU HAVE A SOLE LOLZ!!!”
Clown question? I feed off clown questions!
I guess I should have known from most of Stewart’s spelling and grammar that I was setting a ball right on a tee for him to insult me, even if he’s shown just a one-in-five chance of hitting a ball. That’s my fault.
But the joke’s on him, though, since I don’t let stuff like this bother me.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.