John Farrell isn’t banning anyone from using Twitter for now, but the Blue Jays’ new manager said yesterday that he’ll “advise” players to avoid social networking because “they set themselves up for another distraction.”
Farrell explained to John Lott of the National Post that the Blue Jays informed all players about the “pitfalls” of social networking, saying “they’ve got to be careful.”
Here’s more from Farrell, who spent the past five years as the Red Sox’s pitching coach:
We’re not going to say they can’t do it. But I think they’ve got to be careful. If they’re going to engage in it, then they really need to be able to follow through on some of the things that might be put out there. I think there’s also some falseness to some of the accounts that might exist. I’m not going to say it’s identity theft, but there’s certainly people that pose to be others that could be serving as an imposter-type vantage point that is out there. So they’ve got to be aware of all these things.
He’s right about the impostors, of course, but professional athletes can easily have their accounts verified by Twitter to remove any doubt about their identity. As for needing to be careful what players post on Twitter, that’s certainly true. However, it’s also true about what they say during radio interviews or how they look when fans stop them at a bar to snap a picture, or any number of other situations in which using good judgment is important for a public figure. Twitter is no different, it’s just newer.
Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, and J.P. Arencibia are among the Blue Jays players on Twitter and MLB recently published a list of nearly 300 verified player accounts, so Ferrell is likely fighting an uphill battle unless he decides to enact a ban. And he shouldn’t, because Blue Jays fans no doubt enjoy following their favorite players and presumably most grown men with high-profile jobs can help themselves from posting anything too salacious just because they can.
Incidentally, there are no impostors involved in my Twitter account. It’s real and it’s spectacular.