What started out as a sound baseball play in the middle of a hotly contested division game has quickly degenerated into Texas Rangers right-hander Matt Garza hurling out insults at Eric Sogard and his wife, Kaycee Sogard, on Twitter.
The silliness started during the seventh inning of Oakland's 4-2 victory on Saturday afternoon. With a runner on third and one out, Sogard executed a perfect squeeze bunt to give the A's their insurance run. Given the close score and the timing in the game, it was a smart play to run to add an extra run. For those same reasons it was also a clean play since the A's weren't taking liberties or running up the score. Yet Garza took great exception to the play, possibly because he felt Oakland was taking advantage of his struggles defensively, and more specifically his strange inability to make quality throws while not on the pitcher's mound.
Prior to Sogard's bunt, Coco Crisp led off the game with a bunt single. There was at least one other bunt attempt in the game that went foul, so it seems the A's did have a strategy to put the ball on the ground and make Garza field it. The surest way to do that is bunting. On this play though, Garza actually reacted well and was in good position to field the ball and complete the out, so it's also possible he felt like Oakland took the cheap route to another run. Whatever the case, Garza expressed his displeasure with a profanity-laced tirade as he walked to the dugout between innings.
It was definitely a strange reaction, but little did we know how strange it would get later in the evening. We start with Garza's quote on the incident following the game.
Matt Garza on words with Eric Sogard after seventh-inning squeeze: "I asked him if there were any good places to eat in Oakland."
— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) August 3, 2013
That might lead one to believe Garza was ready to move on, but instead he went on quite a Twitter rant (on a locked account) that was mostly directed at Kaycee Sogard, Eric Sogard's wife, after something she said or tweeted apparently caught his attention.
Here are a series of his tweets courtesy of Twitter user Mike Taddow (@taddmike).
By the way, just in case you're questioning whether or not that truly was Matt Garza, this tweet, circa 2012, from former Rays teammate David Price verifies that the account belongs to Garza.
— David Price (@DAVIDprice14) April 30, 2012
Not that he'd try to, but there's no hiding behind those ugly comments now.
Also, it's not the first time Garza has gone off the deep end on Twitter. Back in April, he started calling out fake Cubs fans for their negativity, so there's definitely history of a temper that takes a good long while to cool off.
I'm fine with a player showing their passion and even expressing frustration in the face of adversity, but the line was absolutely crossed here. There's a reason they say to leave it all on the field, and under no circumstances should family members be dragged in. At this point it appears Matt Garza still has a lot to learn about playing professional baseball, and it goes well beyond learning how to field his position.
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Remember when Alex Rodriguez was likeable?
• Sources: MLB spurned A-Rod's attempt to open dialogue
• Two Rockies minor leaguers charged with rape