That's pretty much how I feel after the previously announced contest. I just started the thing on a whim, but then it got a little pub from my friends at Walkoff Walk, On The DL Podcast, Big League Stew, The Star (oooh international intrigue!), and Deadspin. In the end 18 Twitterers documented more than 180 tweets from baseball writers. The highest scoring tweet was found by Rob Iracane of Walkoff Walk and was courtesy of Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times with an admirably shameless display of In-N-Out love. Take note other beats: you may like In-N-Out, but you will never touch Baker's passion for the west coast chain.
So who won the contest? It was Mike Meech of the Phillies blog The Fightins. Meech won through shear volume of RTs. Whether it was a legitimate food tweet or whether it was utter crap, Meech threw it my way. After I weeded out the reaches and the blogger entries he tried to sneak through, Meech still earned a very impressive 279 points. The next in line was nathaniel_g, who started very strong, but couldn't keep up with Meech's seemingly endless supply of hungry baseball writer quips. If you would like to see all the results, or see how I scored every food tweet, go here.
I know what you're asking: what have we learned through this experience? First, the line between blogger and beat writer or columnist is razor thin if existent at all. I didn't include tweets from the guys at the the Yahoo! blog Big League Stew, because of their blog status, even though it's the bloggers' full time jobs. I didn't include tweets from Jonah Keri even though he has some new paper credentials under his belt. I did include tweets from former newspaper writers that lost their jobs due to the crumbling of the newspaper industry, like ctrent. It's hard and futile to make the distinction.
I also learned that most of the beat writers that "participated" in this contest accepted the good-natured ribbing (mmmmm . . . ribs) as it was intended. Guys like Evan Grant and Matthew Leach kept the contest fun and sometimes made the scoring difficult. There was only one instance where, I suspect, a writer deleted his tweet after it was RT'd.
Thank you to everyone that participated and/or promoted the contest. I didn't do this contest as some ploy to get readers or followers on Twitter (as could be concluded from my minimal promotion of it, especially the last few weeks), but that was one of the happy results. A special thanks to Iracane from WoW for all the advice and enthusiasm for the project.
Since the contest finally ended, it means the baseball season has begun. The Yankees lost their first game and the Cardinals won. The season is already shaping up well.