Beat writers love to eat. You know it, I know it, the guys at Walkoff Walk know it. But until the advent of Twitter, we never had to get every grisly detail of their comestible life. The prime time to witness the public gluttony is Spring Training. It's simple math: time * light work load - wife + smorgasboard = pig out.
There are a couple ways to deal with this. You could stop following these beat writers, but that's impractical. Most of them do good jobs at keeping us degenerates up-to-date on the health of our teams' stars or the prospects that we lust over. Another way to deal with this phenomenon is to embrace it and that's exactly what I'm going to do, and I want you to join in.
For every tweet by a beat writer (from a newspaper, TV, Radio, or MLB writer. NO BLOGGERS), you can earn points. Starting on February 8 and ending April 3, any food related tweet that your RT will be worth points. The winner will receive a $25 iTunes Gift Card.
-- The first person to retweet a beat writer's food related tweet with "@punkondeck" will receive points for that tweet.
-- Once a tweet has been sent to me via Twitter, that tweet is dead and can no longer be scored.
-- For this contest, a beat writer is anyone that writes about baseball for a newspaper, radio, or television. Writers for individual teams will also count. Independent blogger tweets will not count for various technical and practical reasons.
-- The writer must be at Spring Training.
-- Scoring will be judged by me. Because of the nature of the contest, there is a bit of unavoidable subjectivity involved in scoring. I am the judge and will try to score tweets in the most fair manner possible.
-- Tweet mentions food among other things. e.g. "Saw F. Hernandez in a bullpen session. He looked good. Much like my grilled ruben." 2 points
-- Tweet is exclusively about food. e.g. "Hit the In-n-Out. So good." 4 points
-- Tweet goes into detail about what food they are eating. e.g. "Nice breakfast in bed. OJ, corned beef & hash, topped off with a Krispy Kreme" 1 point per food (or drink) item
-- Tweet goes into taste detail/turns into food porn. e.g. "Found this quaint little Italian place that Lasorda rec'd. The savory tort was delightful despite the over dependence on rosemary." OR "The wraps on the team provided buffet were as soggy as my cinnamon bun this morning." 3 points
-- Tweet references drinking alcoholic beverages. e.g. "Going back to the room. Don't bother me and Mr. Beam." 2 points
--Just thought of this but it's important because it's likely to happen: a writer posts a photo of food or drink. 6 points
As you could probably tell, there is some gray area in this game and a lot of tweets could be worth multiple points. I'm the ultimate decider on these things, so if you decide to participate, please cut me a little slack if you think you were shortchanged on points. For an example of how I will score take this early entry from St. Louis Post-Dispatch Beat Writer Joe Strauss:
The tweet isn't exclusively about food (although it's close). That's 2 points. He then gets specific about what and where: Pyro's Grille (1 point), original (1 point), chicken (1 point), curry mustard (1 point) tomato (1 point), and yellow rice (1 point). If this were tweeted between Feb. 8-April 3, it would have been worth a total of 8 points.
Remember: make sure you retweet the entry with @punkondeck, otherwise I won't see it.
If you have any questions about the contest or have an idea on how to improve the scoring system, please get in touch with me by leaving a comment or sending me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you. Let's have some fun because it's almost baseball season.