This year I have become more interested in baseball than in past years. I have a fantasy team, a Facebook NatsWorld fan page, I keep up with my Twitter account following mostly baseball news, I have the MLB Gameday for iPhone, as well as an MLB subscription (thanks to my brother!). My wife even yells at me for having the game on the TV, MLB audio on my iPhone and a chat room open, simultaneously.
While these avenues collectively have changed my baseball watching experience, the biggest surprise this year has been my participation in the world of chat room. Initially, I found MASN’s Ben Goessling’s In Game Thread as a way to keep track of Stephen Strasburg’s games since some were not televised. But after a few games I really got hooked. Ben is very accessible, even emailing with Nats fans and asking their opinions on how to improve the fans’ experience throughout the season. He welcomes everyone and is extremely patient with the newcomers who tend to ask the same questions over and over again.
Even better, Ben has something all baseball fans would love to have: access to the players, managers and owners for interviews! Since most of us are not fortunate enough to have full-time baseball gigs, the chat room is the next best thing, allowing fans open access to Ben’s experience working for MASN, his deep knowledge of baseball and the ins and outs of the Nationals in general.
Got a question? Ben has the answer, or at least the resources to find the answer.
Want to vent? The chat room welcomes all opinions.
Are you a Phillies fan who lives in DC (chances are pretty good that you might be)? Then the chat room is even the place for you.
The “regulars” of the chat room are from various places, have various jobs, but are all sincere Nats fans. The depth of discussion ranges from which uniforms we like best to which player has the best BA on day games since 2008 and everything in between. Several of the folks in the chat room have become Facebook friends who follow one another’s blogs, and Ben even set up a few meet and greets at Nationals Park before the games. After a long day of work, there is something familiar and refreshing about signing into the chat room, seeing familiar user names, and talking about baseball for a few hours.
So the next time you hear about the Nats fan base being sub-par, just remember that there are rabid fans out there, our number is growing, and we now have a place to congregate.