Less Terrible is a Cubs DNA feature where one of our staffers picks two hated MLB personalities and tries to decide which one is less terrible. This column literally started on a dare as a way to give you, dear reader, a chuckle and a way to vent with us. This installment takes a look at arguably the two worst social media accounts in all of Major League Baseball, #AtBrewers and #AtCardinals. Will either be deemed less terrible? Let's find out!
Social media is an important part of modern sports fan engagement, especially since it's a very public way to convey the team's attitude and culture to a younger audience. A few Major League Baseball teams do an exceptional job with their online presence, with #AtRockies, #AtReds, #AtIndians and #AtMarlins sitting on top of the heap. And, of course, you know that I think the gold standard of MLB social media excellence is the incredible #AtCubs, who perfectly blend humor, wit, snark and fan interaction to make their accounts the perfect online fan experience. Not bad for a bunch of interns.
The Cubs are even letting interns manage the team now. SMH.
That's why it's so painful reading the likes of #AtBrewers and #AtCardinals. What makes them so bad? Well, that's what we're here to discuss so we can try and determine if either of them is worthy of a follow at all. And remember, I always consider three questions when it comes to parsing out who is less terrible: 1) How does their awfulness directly relate to the Cubs? 2) How terrible are they in a general sense? And 3) Has anything good ever resulted from their general badness? Let's ratio the heck out of these bad boys!
Question 3: Has either of these accounts ever done anything good, like, ever?
Yes, you read that correctly--we're starting with question 3, simply because it's easiest. No social media account for a major sports team is 100% no good, do nothing all the time, and these two are no exception. Don't believe me? I mean, they both do their fair share of community service/charity promotions:
And they'll wish you happy holidays or post cute pictures of animals. You know... standard, inoffensive stuff.
But wait... what's that, #AtBrewers? Maybe I said "inoffensive" too soon, because when the team was recently promoting a "Yeli Claus" bobblehead available from their team store in a series of tweets, they made a very unfortunate misstep:
Question 1: Which one of these knuckleheads is a bigger pain in the tush for poor #AtCubs?
Twitter accounts, especially, are prone to doing some back and forth on the interwebs, particularly when teams are playing each other in big, impactful series during pennant races and the like. Some teams are more prone to initiating such exchanges than others--for example, #AtCubs rarely, uh, pokes the bear in this way because... I mean, why bother? Other teams like the Brewers are always poking at their opponents like annoying little gnats. The Cubs are a favorite target of #AtBrewers which is understandable, what with their raging case of Little Brother Syndrome and all. You might even call the team behind #AtBrewers trolls. I would. I have. I mean, just look at this.
I've never been able to figure out why a team's social media account would go after an opponent's fan base, rather than keeping it on the field unless they're specifically trolling for replies. Does someone need some extra attention?
The Cardinals, on the other hand, are pretty... well, honestly they're pretty boring. I didn't want to go there, but it's just the truth. Once in a while they'll get in a little back and forth with the Cubs, and even then it's pretty vanilla.
Boring as it may be, though, I'll take a vanilla snark exchange over a mean-spirited troll any day of the week.
Question 2: How do these squads do with the rest of the interwebs?
I know I chalked #AtBrewers' mean-spiritedness up to Little Brother Syndrome, but it might not shock you to know that their mean girl tendencies don't stop with their rivals in Chicago. Oftentimes, it's completely unprovoked and, like the Yeli Claus tweet, ill advised.
Recall that the Brewers acquired Yelich from the Marlins in a trade prior to the 2018 season, so #AtBrewers was unnecessarily rubbing the trade into the faces of poor, hapless Marlins fans. Mind you, if you look at the replies you'll see scores of pictures of the Marlins' World Series rings, which... #AtBrewers asked for that. I LOL'd reading back through them, in fact, because #AtBrewers' mean girl tweets usually backfire on them. So, I mean, keep doing them, #AtBrewers! It's fun!
#AtCardinals mostly just trolls themselves with ill-timed tweets that paint a rosier picture of the team than might actually be a reality.
The team was on a 6-4 streak at the time. Bless. And boring. But at least the account doesn't feel like it's run by Heather Duke, so that's something. They also have the habit of just... disappearing when they lose. Looking for a wrap-up score at the end of a Cardinals loss? #AtCardinals will have nothing for you, because I guess if you pretend it didn't happen then it doesn't count in the standings. Which is hilarious, so at least they're entertaining in a pathetic way.
What we've learned from this little exercise is that while #AtCardinals is as boring as the city of St. Louis itself, at least it doesn't feel like it's run by someone trying to be a member of The Plastics. In other words, #AtBrewers is the worst, and it's not much of a contest.