Athletes gain pipeline to the public

The Twins' Pat Neshek is among a growing group to communicate to fans via blogs.

In recent weeks, we have learned that Pat Neshek has auctioned off one of Michael Cuddyer's gloves and that Gilbert Arenas wants to buy an island. We have seen what Tiger Woods' baby looks like, heard how Curt Schilling faltered against Colorado and digested Mark Cuban's thoughts on his colonoscopy.

The common thread here is that all this knowledge was released by those celebrities on their blogs or websites. Everyone else seems to do it, so why can't the people of sports join the blog party?

Neshek, Arenas, Woods, Schilling and Cuban are part of the growing society of sports insiders who have the intimate details fans crave and don't mind revealing them.

"An athlete's blog only has value if he/she is honest and forthcoming with it," Will Leitch, editor of the popular sports website deadspin.com, wrote in an e-mail. "A PR blog only to sell merchandise and make the athlete look like a hero is a waste of time for all involved. No matter who's writing it, if a blog isn't interesting, people won't come back."

Neshek a trendsetter

Neshek, the Twins' sidearming relief pitcher from Brooklyn Park, has a bookmark-worthy site. He said his website, www.patneshek.com, had around 150,000 hits on it when he was called up to the majors just more than a year ago. A check on Saturday revealed more than 650,000 hits.

He said he merely wanted to start a website as a minor leaguer in 2004 to talk about what goes on behind the scenes and discuss memorabilia -- he's a big collector -- but it has been more than he expected.

"I think it's going to be a big part of the game, and I think a lot more athletes will do it just for the exposure to fan bases," Neshek said. "I think that will generate a lot of interest for that individual athlete and make a name for players. And some may use it as a way to make money, too."

Teammates are thinking about entering the blogosphere. Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer is interested but wonders about the demands on his time. Twins ace Johan Santana is having a site developed with the help of his agent.

"We are going to go beyond just being a baseball player," said Santana, who wasn't sure when his official site would be up and running. "It will be a chance for people to get to know you, have time to chat or let people know what's going on around you."

Some are more active on their sites than others. Neshek posts frequently and provides photos. Arenas, the Washington Wizards scoring machine nicknamed "Agent Zero," has used his blog at www.nba.com to trash-talk to opposing teams and discuss his rehab from knee surgery. Recently he broke news about dumping his trainer: "I had to fire him and kick him to the curb," Arenas wrote.

Memorabilia exchange

Neshek has built his collection of memorabilia through his site. He has auctioned off his equipment, not for money but for certified memorabilia. Teammates saw some of the things he exchanged online and wanted in.

Santana offered a dozen signed baseballs and received 50 balls signed by Hall of Famers, including Nolan Ryan and Satchel Paige. Cuddyer offered one of his gloves on Neshek's site and landed a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan.

"I'm not going to spend money to buy it," Cuddyer said, "but it was cool to be able to make that trade. The guy who traded it was obviously ecstatic to have my glove. It worked out for everybody."

Athletes are providing fans with insights that might not end up in the newspaper. And they are finding out that discussion of even the most mundane matters, such as going shopping, gets responses.

Wal-Mart shoppers

Tigers outfielder Curtis Granderson blogs three times a week and does a Q&A every other week for ESPN.com, and he also has a MySpace page. ESPN has asked him to focus on the lighter side of the game instead of the nuts and bolts of baseball. But even he didn't expect people to respond to the fact that he shops at Wal-Mart.

  • related content

  • Blogs and more blogs

    Monday July 16, 2007

    Some athletes are hands-on with their sites. Others have their representatives provide content. Here are a few to check out.www.38pitches.comBoston...

  • TWINS VS. DETROIT

    Three game series begins today • Today: 7:10 p.m., Metrodome (FSN, 1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is Paul Molitor the best choice to manage Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close