April 29, 2011
Occasionally, as happens during other moments, Ozzie puts his electronic foot in his mouth. And Major League Baseball let him know Friday that it is definitely paying attention to what he says.
Guillen, who is scheduled to serve his suspension during games against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday and Saturday, was also fined an undisclosed amount. This is the first punishment for tweeting in league history.
To catch you up, Guillen argued with umpire Todd Tichenor about balls and strikes, got thrown out of the game and then shortly thereafter, presumably from the visitor's clubhouse, tweeted the following:
"This one going to cost me a lot money this is patetic" [sic]
... and then:
"Today a tough guy show up a yankee stadium"
Not only did Ozzie go out of line in calling out an umpire, he apparently violated several facets of the league's social media regulations, including tweeting during a game. It might sound bourgeois, but it's not unreasonable for a league to ban things like tweeting during a game. It's also common sense that a manager — even one who has been kicked out — should avoid social media while his team plays.
Of course it has been noted that MLB is perfectly OK with intrusive in-game interviews in the dugout, when its TV networks have a modicum of control over what is said by the manager or coach. (Those wastes of time ought to be banned, too.)
But Ozzie on his own, in cyberspace, when anything might (and will) come out of his mouth? Danger!
Jack Moore of NotGraphs has compiled a list of people suspended for two games by MLB for various offenses. It shows, at the very least, a lack of consistency on the league's part.
And yet, Ozzie probably would have been suspended for at least a game for referring to the ump as "a tough guy," regardless of method or timing. And, even if Ozzie right about MLB having a problem with umpires missing calls and being jerks about it, that's another set of tweets altogether.
Ozzie won't get discouraged by the suspension and fine. He'll keep tweeting his mind.
And it will be appreciated — at least by us.