NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For two decades, ESPN’s Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech has kept the Major League Baseball universe informed.
These days, the Needham, Mass. native and Ithaca graduate is delivering more news than ever — in 140 characters or less.
Front Row caught up with Karl at the 2012 Baseball Winter Meetings here, where he is anchoring ESPN’s SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight coverage, to talk about the Twitterverse, as he sees it.
He also talks about “The Frank the Tank (roadtrip) saga,” that Ravech labels “one of my great Twitter experiences.”
*as of December 3, 2012
How has Twitter changed your job?
It’s another way to connect with the viewer. I remember the night Osama Bin Laden was killed, and we were on air with Sunday Night Baseball in Philadelphia, and seeing the followers pile up when we all tweeted about it. That’s when I realized what Twitter can be. There’s instant feedback, which can be valuable and help you succeed on TV. I think as long as you have information correct, it’s a great tool.
What do you hope fans gain from following you?
I hope they understand my opinions and perspective. As long as they enjoy it and they get out of it what I intend, which is for them to be entertained and informed, it’s a win.
Who is your favorite person to follow on Twitter?
I like following Baseball Tonight analyst Mark Mulder, who only tweets about his golf game. To me, Mulder lives in a fantasy world, so I like to live vicariously through him. He always tweets about the trophies he just won, or him with his kids, or him and his family in an exotic location. I like to live vicariously through him, because he does not live a real life.
What is your most memorable Twitter exchange?
The Frank the Tank saga. In October, we drove from the World Series in Detroit all the way home to Connecticut. The evolution of, and the relationship with, Frank the Tank happened on Twitter. The followers were seemingly enraptured with the identity of Frank the Tank. We unveiled Frank over 14 hours by showing images like his hand or a sliver of his face in the rearview mirror. And, I’ll be honest, myself, Curt Schilling and researcher Justin Havens did this to keep ourselves entertained. It was one of my great Twitter experiences.