The internet was abuzz on Tuesday night about a new hot-button baseball story, and this time, the statheads and traditionalists actually agree! So you know it must be something terrible.
In fact, it is. Word has come down that MLB is putting the kibosh on MLB beat writers from Tweeting anything that is not baseball related. In addition, the league, reportedly, is stressing to players to be a little more careful with what they tweet. In other words, don't do it.
From Aaron Gleeman Hardball Talk:
Multiple sources have confirmed to me that Major League Baseball is cracking down on Twitter usage, ordering MLB.com writers to cease tweeting about all non-baseball topics and scolding players for their Twitter usage in general.An issue, per Gleeman, is that MLB has an aggregator for each team, and clogging that feed with non baseball talk, while giving each writer a personality that could help build their following, doesn't help their faceless "every cog in the machine is equal" infrastructure. Gleeman updated this story today with a post that MLB is denying any such constraint on its beat writers. Conspiracy!
As someone who has every MLB.com beat writer and several MLB players in my Twitter feed, this is very unfortunate and strikes me as a massive overreaction. Allowing the writers and players to show a bit of personality and interact with fans/readers was a positive thing and certainly caused me to become a fan of those who did it well.
But what is considered a "baseball tweet" anyway? Meech from The Fightins asked MLBeat writer (patent pending) Todd Zolecki that question. Well, sort of:
Does that mean no more Yacht Rock tweets from @ToddZolecki? NOOOOOOOOO!Zolecki replied that fans of those tweets shouldn’t worry one bit:
@meechone Yacht Rock is the smooth music of summer. It is baseball. America, baseball and Michael McDonald!The man's not wrong. I do think he forgot apple pie in there somewhere. Maybe I just ruined the joke.
Of course, the other issue, astutely introduced by Rob Iracane of Walk off Walk, is that MLB can't trust their players to not get in trouble on the internet, some of which may stem, most recently, from A's pitcher Brad Ziegler's reply about boycotting sporting events in Arizona to protest immigration legislation:
Ziegler was expressing his thoughts on the boycott of the Diamondbacks by opponents of Arizona's wacky new immigration law, and he's welcome to his opinion, no matter how non-committal it is. Ziegler seems to be avoiding the controversy well by not taking sides, and after all, the whole ordeal is technically baseball-related anyway.And that may be the out for everyone. Keep it to baseball, which can be everything from balls and strikes to this summer to whether or not fans should show up at the stadium. Or, if there is a God, Yacht Rock updates.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.