Five years ago, if you wanted to peak into the everyday life of an MLB baseball player at all hours of the day and night, it required that you engage in activities that were very likely to get you slapped with a restraining order. Now, thanks to Twitter, you creepers can climb down from the tree and toss the binoculars, because stalking your favorite baseball player has been made 100% legal. In fact, it's even encouraged.
Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez recently took up tweeting, and since he signed up on Twitter last month, he has been great about giving fans glimpses of his everyday life, answering their questions, and even asking their advice on occasion. You can (and really should) follow Gaby on Twitter here: @gabysanchez15. Tell him FishStripes sent you.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with Gaby about his tweets, what he's been doing to prep for Spring Training, and of course, the upcoming Marlins season. Here's what he had to say:
FishStripes: We were excited when you finally joined Twitter last month. What prompted you to join, and what do you think about "tweeting" as a way to interact with your fans?
Gaby: The main reason I joined twitter was to interact with the fans. Last year I saw some guys on the team tweeting with their fans and having fun with it. So in the off season I decided to join the twitter world to talk with the fans and give them a little insight to what goes on with me on a day-to-day basis. I will say that I never knew twitter would be so much fun.
Quite a few of your teammates are on Twitter now. Is it a little competitive between you all as far as who has the most followers?
Not for me. I don't think twitter should be used as a numbers game to see who can get more people to follow them. I think twitter is about chatting with fans. Plus, those guys got a head start, haha.
As of right now you have around 1,700 followers. When you reach a landmark number of followers, are you going to go with the trend of doing a big giveaway? If so, what will you give away?
I will do some giveaways for the twitter fans that follow me. Might be some signed pictures, balls, bats, and maybe jerseys depending on the number.
Besides @FishStripes, who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
I like following the guys on the team like Stanton, Lomo, Petey.
As fun as Twitter is, you're about to get down to business since Spring Training starts next month. Is it a different feeling for you this year going into Spring Training, since you're not competing for a starting position? Is there less pressure?
It is a lot less pressure going into spring training, not because of the competition but because I have a full season as a starter under my belt. I still have to go out there and do my job.
Are there any specific areas of your game that you’ve been focusing on improving this off-season? One of the big things I'm working on this off-season is strength and stamina. Of course I work on defense and offense, but I felt myself get tired the last month of the season and I don't want that to happen again. I want my body to be physically prepared for the long season.
Last year you hit mainly second in the lineup, and some third. This season you’ll be hitting further down in the order, fifth or sixth. Will the move to the "RBI" portion of the order cause you to change your approach at the plate?
No, I keep my same approach when I'm hitting no matter where it is in the lineup. I try and stay gap to gap and hopefully this year I'll be able to hit some more home runs.
The team made some pretty significant changes in the off-season. What do you think about the changes, and the Marlins chances in 2011?
I think we are going to have a great team. Looks like we are going to have a strong lineup 1-8. In fact, even our pitchers rake on occasion. Everyone knows we have one of the best starting pitching staffs in baseball. The trade has given the bullpen some great arms. I feel like what we did this offseason has given us a great chance to compete and win in 2011.
Thanks, Gaby, and good luck this season!