12th of May | Story

One tweet at a time


STOCKTON, California | Not many professional athletes share every waking moment with a legion of followers. Even fewer baseball players thumb their way through their days and nights. Few do it to the extreme that Stockton Ports outfielder Rashun Dixon does, documenting highs and lows for family, friends, fans and the rest of the online world to read, one tweet at a time.

8 a.m. im up at 8 to work a kids camp..

12:45 p.m. time for a power nap #winning

1:37 p.m. this is the shirt im rocking today instagr.am/p/KieCzfxdJ4/

While the organization has no official social media rules, Dixon says, the A’s have told him several times to watch his language and choice of topics — umpires, religion and politics are the three he says the players get lectured about during spring training. 

3:20 p.m. out of the shower..standing in the living room naked..didnt realize the people from the tennis court could see me..

3:41 p.m. make sure you brush and floss every day instagr.am/p/KisK5dxdCB/

11:38 p.m. 13th straight worst day of my life

11:47 p.m. and some a— wants to park in the drive thru..

Dixon has been Tweeting since 2010 under the handle @Sir_Peanut, a moniker that might have originated from a childhood nickname given to him because his head was so much larger than his body. He says he tweets 50 or more times some days — and, yes, during an off day earlier this month, he sent out 39 tweets and a retweet — mainly when the Ports have a long bus ride or he’s bored in a hotel room. He tweets from his iPhone, his iPad, his iPod, his Macbook, whichever device he has in front of him. He receives 15 to 20 tweets a day in response to something he has typed. The only time he doesn’t tweet is when he’s angry. 

“I use it to interact with fans and just people back home that I don’t get to talk to and see,” Dixon says. 

They’re personal conversations for everyone to read. For now, Dixon is a High-A California League outfielder with some anonymity. But his 1,249 followers — and plenty of other people — are still paying attention to what he has to say, including the Ports and Oakland A’s front office.

While the organization has no official social media rules, Dixon says, the A’s have told him several times to watch his language and choice of topics — umpires, religion and politics are the three he says the players get lectured about during spring training. 

“I proofread mine before I send them,” he says of his messages sent out in 140 characters or less.

Dixon’s teammate Ian Krol knows exactly what can happen when you don’t filter your thoughts before send them out on the web. Had he not suffered an injury last year that ended his season early, Krol would have been suspended for 60 days — or about a week longer than a suspension for a first violation of baseball’s drug policy – for a tweet that used profane language and a gay slur. 

Just last month, he started tweeting under the name @IanKrolTKB (The King is Back). He and the rest of the bullpen decided that if he could throw seven innings while allowing zero or one runs, he could have his Twitter privileges again.

“I retweet a lot of comments that fans say about the Stockton Ports or the A’s or me in general, or our guys,” Krol says. “Me and a bunch of the guys in the clubhouse like to joke around on Twitter, go back and forth about something.

“Say there’s an inside joke going on in the clubhouse, we’ll put it on secretly or in code. Sometimes the fans will figure it out. We all have a lot of fun with it. It’s just a great way to let loose and relax with the guys, too, because baseball is not all serious. You have to have fun sometimes.”

The Ports have a heavy tweeting roster: Right-hander Zach Thornton (@Thortythort30), catcher Max Stassi (@MaxStassi10), first basemen Miles Head (@DroppinHead) and A.J. Kirby-Jones (@mr_miles44), and outfielders Chad Oberacker (@cOberacker), Dusty Robinson (@Drob1427) and Josh Whitaker (@JWhit25) all tweet. Whether they become RockHounds or River Cats or A’s, their social media persona will evolve in some way or disappear completely. 

If they catch up to current Midland centerfielder Jeremy Barfield (@Baseclogger), one thing is for certain: they’ll have to work hard to top his outlandish — and sometimes controversial — tweets.


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Time for minor league trivia. Multiple cities, including Stockton, claim they served as Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s inspiration for this fictional town in the classic baseball poem “Casey at the Bat.” (Keep reading for the answer.)

The Ports lost their 13th straight game, 13-2 to the Modesto Nuts, by the largest margin of the season. Righty A.J. Cole allowed 10 hits, two of them homers, and seven runs over four innings. The bullpen provided mixed relief, as Connor Hoehn pitched two shutout innings, Jose Guzman allowed a run over two more innings and Zach Thornton gave up five in the ninth. The Ports scored runs in the first and fifth on singles by Josh Whitaker and Brett Tanos. The Nuts outscored the Ports 31-6 in the three-game series.

Have you ever had a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Banner Island Ballpark sells them, and they are delicious. The lone concessions stand that sells them for $4 each was selling out before the next batch even arrived. And because most foods taste better fried, the same stand sells deep-fried asparagus, a crop that has thrived in the San Joaquin Delta since the 1860s because of the moderate climate and rich soil. Stockton has held an Asparagus Festival every spring since 1986.

Want the answer? Even though the outlook wasn’t brilliant, the town was Mudville and mighty Casey played for the hometown Nine. The Ports play in the Banner Island area of Stockton, which was once known as “Mudville” along the San Joaquin River. Banner Island Ballpark was actually designated a historical site by the Stockton Cultural Heritage Board because of the history surrounding the stadium.

And in random statistical news, the game started seven minutes later than scheduled, the first pitch was a ball, the first batter grounded out to second and Rebecca Sosa sang the “Star-Spangled Banner” in 1 minute and 40.2 seconds. We ate burritos cut in half and tortille chips, tehn filled up on truffle and sea salt Ghirardelli chocolates that remained from a promotion earlier in the week. 

Carolyn@AMinorLeagueSeason.com ♦ @CarolynLaWell ♦ @AMinorLgSeason 

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