Keith Hernandez
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Keith Hernandez plans to be more active on Twitter than ever before and this is great news for New York Mets fans. But he needs to follow these simple rules to avoid getting himself in trouble.

Twitter has changed the way sports fans interact with teams, players, and broadcasters. The advent of social media gives celebrities another way to communicate with fans, but it comes with its perils. New York Mets former All-Star first baseman and current broadcaster, Keith Hernandez has vowed to be more active on Twitter this season, but he must be careful.

So, Keith—I know you’re reading this—I personally volunteer to be your social media advisor until you get the hang of it. If you’re wondering whether or not I’m qualified, I can assure you I am. Between the two of us, we have approximately 30,000 Twitter followers. If you average that out then I basically have 15,000 followers. In other words, I’m highly qualified for the job.

Here are four simple rules to follow to make sure you have the best Twitter experience possible.

1. RTs =/= Endorsements

This isn’t the most important rule, but it clocks in at number one because it’s something you’re already struggling with. You retweeted a Keith Olbermann tweet that was awfully critical of MLB’s Mets-Phillies telecast via Facebook. That’s not a problem in itself. People retweet interesting things that they may not necessarily agree with all the time. But sometimes you might get a reaction out of people for your retweets.

Oh no! Hernandez hates the MLB! Hernandez hates the broadcasters calling the game on Facebook! This is so controversial!

Oh—wait—what? Olbermann’s views are not yours? For someone not well versed in the Twittersphere, this is a fairly honest mistake. One second you’re thinking, “That’s an interesting point.” Next thing you know you have a bunch of people yelling at you in your mentions.

The real tip here—just put a little disclaimer in your bio that says “RTs do not equal endorsements.” That way anytime you retweet something and people jump down your throat you can always fall back on RT’s =/= endorsement.

2. More Cat Tweets

This one should be a routine ground ball for you. The internet loves cats for whatever reason and you have Hadji. @KeithPurrnandez is an awesome handle for the feline and there are endless opportunities for great tweets here. Puns are awesome. More cats and more puns will lead to more likes and retweets. This is an easy one, but I should warn you that if Hadji ever gets more followers than you, I may have to become his personal social media advisor instead.

3. Don’t Feed The Trolls

This is a big one. DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. I REPEAT: DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. Engaging with your audience is a good thing, but you have to be wary of people trying to pull you into something you don’t want to be involved in. Sometimes the trolls are just trying to bait you into saying something you shouldn’t. Other times they’re trying to set you up so they can dunk on you. Excuse the basketball reference—please wait one moment while I insert the proper baseball reference. Ah yes, here we are. Other times they’re trying to bust you in on the hands early in the count so they can punch you out with a backdoor slider with two strikes. For example:

They’re out there and they’re trying to dunk on—erm—fool you with a backdoor slider. Some trolls are funny, some are strange, and others are downright nasty. Of course, engage with your followers, but be wary of trolls.

4. Tweet Responsibly

It’s only natural to kick your feet up, relax, and have a nice cold Budweiser from time to time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. We know it’s always important to drink responsibly—but tweeting responsibly while simultaneously drinking responsibly can be a difficult thing to do.

Trust me, I’ve been there before. You’ve had one or two and you start to loosen up. Your phone is just sitting in your pocket begging you to fire off that clever tweet you’ve been workshopping in your head. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it later. My advice: the second you crack open a cold one, forget you even have a Twitter. It’s for the best.

Billy Raftery said it best.

I think this first meeting went extremely well. I’m looking forward to taking over as your top social media advisor. I’ll be working diligently to get you the “blue checkmark” and I won’t sleep until that is complete.

Follow Danny Small on TWITTER

NY/NJ hoops reporter (NBA/NCAA) & sports betting writer for XL Media. Never had the makings of a varsity athlete.