Tonight is Social Media Night at Citifield, home of the New York Mets. And, while some of the beleaguered team’s diehard fans on Twitter and Facebook seem excited to participate at the ballpark event, the true value of social media as an immediate communications channel may be lost on the team, and other Major League Baseball clubs. Baseball fans up and down the East Coast – where an impending hurricane is expected to hit this weekend – want to know whether or not games will be rescheduled.
“Things annoying me: The @Mets keeping silent on Saturday and Sunday’s games with the oncoming hurricane. #hastixforSaturday #Mets,” wrote @JenConnic on Twitter today. Facebook fans also asked about this weekend’s games against division rival Atlanta Braves. However, the team’s social media handlers seemed less than responsive, talking up tonight’s social media event on Twitter and Facebook.
“For Social Media Night info and tix…. We hope to meet and see you all later,” noted the team. Other tweets touted pre-game appearances at the event of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and second baseman Justin Turner.
Several MLB teams have held social media nights to get digital followers to show up at games, including the St. Louis Cardinals, which gave away “Tweet Me in St. Louis” t-shirts in conjunction with the team’s first 2011 Social Media Night. And the Houston Astros have scheduled several dates for the tweetup-style get-togethers throughout the season.
The Baltimore Orioles also have games planned at their home ballpark this weekend against pennant race contestants the New York Yankees. Yet, as people wondered aloud on Twitter whether the team would cancel the games due to the storm, the @Orioles account failed to communicate even that the team is pondering a decision. Instead, plans to honor former Orioles ace pitcher Mike Flanagan, who committed suicide earlier this week, were announced.
“@Orioles r wasting time deciding how to honor Flanagan during games they should be planning to reschedule? #AlwaysInLast Place,” wrote @calwan, who expressed frustration in another Twitter post aimed at the team: “I bought tix so my 8 yo could see a game and need to sell ASAP if you reschedule for school day!”
Meanwhile, in what appeared to be a promotion pushed out across the league, @MLB, along with the Orioles, Mets, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Arizona Diamondbacks all asked fans, “Strangest place you’ve watched a game? Tell us, then enter to win a free year of MLB.TV and watch baseball anywhere.”
New York Mets media relations did not respond to ClickZ’s request to comment regarding Social Media Night.