1st-ever Indians Twitter Power Rankings

Funny things can happen to a baseball writer on a Monday in January. While Mrs. MLB is downstairs keeping up with the Kardashians, and MLBastian Jr. is down a for a nap, and all’s quiet on the Hot Stove front, strange ideas can float through a ball scribe’s head.

Ideas like compiling Twitter Power Rankings for Indians players. It seemed like a good break from the “Fausto Carmona” mess at the very least.

The idea really was spawned from the photo here, showing ESPN’s Steve Berthiaume holding up a “Bullpen Mafia” shirt on set. The shirt was sent to him by Indians reliever Vinnie Pestano, who has been on fire all winter on his Twitter account. Pestano seemed a lock to hold the top spot among current Tribe tweeters.

I thought about trying to devise some sort of formula involving number of followers or average tweets per day or something, but then I just decided I’d rank them however I wanted. In the end, I had to ask myself the same question that Maximus once bellowed: “Are you not entertained?”

The Indians are well represented with more than 30 players (if you count Minor Leaguers) on Twitter. For my rankings, I decided that Major Leaguers should get more consideration than Minor Leaguers (hey, you gotta climb the ranks, even on Twitter). That said, if a Minor League is entertaining enough (see: LeVon Washington), exceptions can be made.

Without further ado, let’s get to the list.

Indians Player Twitter Power Rankings (Week of Jan. 23-29)

1. @VinnieP52 (Vinnie Pestano), 10,900 followers: The man has been on a roll on this winter, offering humorous dating advice, his take on movies and other funny observations. He’s been known to throw in the occasional Twit Pic and recently started giving away “Bullpen Mafia” shirts. His impressive and hilarious Twitter avatar was also created this winter, which helped his case. A shoo-in for the top seed in the first rankings.

2. @TheJK_Kid (Jason Kipnis), 15,845 followers: The Indians second baseman isn’t shy about his love for his hometown, Chicago. He regularly tweets about the Chicago Bulls, but always in good fun. Kipnis is a young up-and-comer on the field and has been embracing Cleveland’s fans on Twitter, especially this winter. He’s thrown some good one-liners out there throughout the offseason, too.

3. @ChrisPerez54 (Chris Perez), 29,961 followers: Cleveland’s original King of Twitter and lead man in the bullpen, CP has seen a sudden increase in competition from the wave of teammates joining Twitter. Perez isn’t afraid to speak his mind on his page and he’s been reliable for offering a “Song of the Day” each day. CP could easily regain the top spot, but the work of Pestano and Kipnis this winter knocks him down to No. 3.

4. @tcrowe4 (Trevor Crowe), 9,271 followers: Crowe has been a consistent tweeter since joining the site, offering his take on a variety of topics. He’s big on interacting with the fans. That was especially evident last year as he worked his way back to the field from injury. He cracks the top 5 for now due to consistency.

5. @thethree8 (Joe Smith), 7,420 followers: Smith might not tweet like crazy, but when he does he’ll probably have you laughing. Have to respect that comedic timing. Funny comments that go along with twit pics are definitely his stength.

Sixth Man Award:

@L_wash (LeVon Washington), 1,176 followers: IN HONOR OF HIS ACCOUNT, I WILL COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. HE ONCE TWEETED THAT HE TWEETS IN ALL CAPS CUZ HE THINKS IN ALL CAPS. THE CREATOR OF #WASHTIME, LEVON HAS UPPED HIS TWITTER GAME TO THE POINT WHERE HE’S COMPETING WITH THE BIG LEAGUERS. 2012 MIGHT BE #WASHTIME. OTHER INDIANS TWEETERS BE WARNED!

Honorable mention (in no particular order): Ubaldo Jimenez (@UbaldoJimenez22), Frank Herrmann (@FrankHerrmann56), Jack Hannahan (@JackHannahan9), Lou Marson (@LouMar6), Tony Sipp (@SippTony), Shelley Duncan (@shelldunc).

Others (in no particular order): David Huff (@theREALdavehuff),  Thomas Neal (@TDaddyNeal), Rob Bryson (@RBryson21), Nick Bartolone (@NickBartolone), Matt Pagnozzi (@MattPagnozzi), Corey Kluber (@CKluber), Tony Wolters (@TonyWolters), Cole Cook (@C_M_Cook), Tim Fedroff (@fedheems), Jerrud Sabourin (@J_Sabo), Eric Berger (@EBerger18), Cody Allen (@CodyAllen28), Scott Barnes (@ScottyB_38), Beau Mills (@BMills504), Luke Carlin (@CarlinsCorner), Nick Weglarz (@Wegz33), Zach McAllister (@ZMac34), Nick Hagadone (@NHagadone).

And then there’s @RaffyPerez53, which might be the most fitting account on this list.

For a larger grouping of Indians-related tweeters, including manager Manny Acta and team president Mark Shapiro, be sure to check out my Cleveland Indians List on Twitter. All the links to the tweeters listed above can be found on there.

Have already had some early reponse to my rankings, which were posted on Twitter prior to this post. Chris Perez said, “How many times were the NY Giants number 1, or even 2, this season?” Pestano added, “im perfectly fine tweeting with a bullseye on my back, gotta stay on top.”

Washington first responded with, “i feel honored to be part of the power rankings.” Then he added “TWEET GAME MICHEAL JORDAN IN SPACE JAM.. #WashTime” and “TWEET GAME ALBERT PUJOLS WITH A 2-0 COUNT.. #WashTime” and “TWEET GAME GERARD BUTLER IN 300 THE MOVIE.. #WashTime.”

Not sure these rankings will be weekly. They’ll probably be more sporadic. Will probably plan on updating the rankings as I see fit right around the time Spring Training begins.

In the meantime, CLICK HERE for the latest Indians Inbox from Indians.com.

~JB

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