C.J. Wilson probably violated the MLB Social media policy

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This morning we saw that C.J. Wilson tweeted Mike Napoli’s phone number for all of his followers to see.  Last week we learned about MLB’s new social media policy.  These two things go together.

Paragraph 4 of the social media policy, under the heading “Prohibited Conduct,” lists the following as, well, prohibited conduct:

4. Displaying or transmitting Content that contains confidential or proprietary information of any MLB Entity or its employees or agents, including, for example, financial information, medical information, strategic information, etc.

Is a ballplayer’s personal cell number confidential?  Gosh, I would be inclined to say it is given that these guys are public figures with immense fan followings.  Maybe that provision was aimed at legal information or social security numbers or something, but what’s the point of a good social media policy that doesn’t take reasonable steps to safeguard the privacy of players?  I mean, C.J. Wilson may want his life to be an open book, but Mike Napoli didn’t sign up for that.

If it’s not, technically, confidential, how about we give paragraph 8 of the policy a try? It prohibits:

8. Displaying or transmitting Content that constitutes harassment of an individual or group of individuals, or threatens or advocates the use of violence against an individual or group of individuals.

As Aaron just posted, Napoli does not consider this a harmless prank. He doesn’t even have a close relationship with Wilson. I’m guessing the harassment provision as stated above was imagined more about harassment of private people — say, a ballplayer using his Twitter account to stalk someone or to drum up a hate campaign or something.  But could this apply too?

It certainly would if the phone number Wilson tweeted belonged to John Q. Anonymous.  Does Napoli’s status as a famous ballplayer make it any different?  Before you answer, think about who may get more calls if their number is publicized; a ballplayer, or a regular Joe.  The effect on Napoli may be far worse, actually.

Whatever the case, the policy ends as follows:

Enforcement: A Player who violates this policy may be subject to discipline for just cause by either his Club or the Commissioner in accordance with Article XII of the Basic Agreement.

So, is Wilson gonna get disciplined?  If I was Bud Selig — or whoever he has put in charge of the social media policy — I’d think pretty damn hard about it. Because this seems like bad social media behavior.  And as the first test case of the policy, it’s a great opportunity for Major League Baseball to decide how strong a policy they wish this to be.

Red Sox owner John Henry “haunted” by Tom Yawkey’s racist past, wants to rename Yawkey Way

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The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman reports that Red Sox owner John Henry is “haunted” by the racist past of previous owner Tom Yawkey and wants to rename Yawkey Way, the tw0-block street that runs from Brookline Avenue to Boylston Street.

Earlier this year, the Red Sox renamed an extension of Yawkey Way after David Ortiz.

Yawkey refused to promote black players from the minor leagues during the 1950’s despite exceptional performance. The Red Sox became the last major league team to integrate in 1959 when Pumpsie Green was added to the roster. Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in 1947, called Yawkey “one of the most bigoted guys in baseball.”

This comes days after racial tensions in Charlottesville, VA where protesters and counter-protesters clashed over removing the statue of Robert E. Lee. A member of a white supremacist group drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. While President Trump has done little in the way of disavowing these hate groups, various city leaders have taken the initiative to remove Confederate monuments and the various other ways in which those people have been glorified. Baltimore, for example, removed four Confederate monuments early Wednesday morning.

Renaming Yawkey Way has been a long time coming and with the current political climate, Henry has finally been motivated enough to take action. He said, “I discussed this a number of times with the previous mayoral administration and they did not want to open what they saw as a can of worms. There are a number of buildings and institutions that bear the same name. The sale of the Red Sox by John Harrington helped to fund a number of very good works in the city done by the Yawkey Foundation (we had no control over where any monies were spent). The Yawkey Foundation has done a lot of great things over the years that have nothing to do with our history.”

Henry added, “The Red Sox don’t control the naming or renaming of streets. But for me, personally, the street name has always been a consistent reminder that it is our job to ensure the Red Sox are not just multi-cultural, but stand for as many of the right things in our community as we can – particularly in our African-American community and in the Dominican community that has embraced us so fully. The Red Sox Foundation and other organizations the Sox created such as Home Base have accomplished a lot over the last 15 years, but I am still haunted by what went on here a long time before we arrived.”

Henry says if the decision were entirely up to him, he would dedicate the street to David Ortiz, calling it “David Ortiz Way” or “Big Papi Way.”

Though racism is a problem throughout the U.S., racism has been a particular problem in Boston at least when it comes to baseball. Earlier this year, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had peanuts thrown at him and was called racist slurs by fans at Fenway Park. Red Sox starter David Price said he has been on the receiving end of racist taunts from Boston fans as well. After the Jones incident, other players — including CC Sabathia, Barry Bonds, Mark McLemore, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. — spoke up and said that they had been treated similarly at Fenway Park.

Henry’s sensitivity to the issue is quite understandable. And he deserves kudos for doing the right thing in pushing to rename Yawkey Way, but one has to wonder why this hadn’t been done much, much sooner.

The Cardinals believe they are going to get Rally Cat back soon

Associated Press
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The saga of Rally Cat continues to unfold.

To remind you, Last Wednesday the St. Louis Cardinals were propelled to victory via the magic of the Rally Catn. We were calling it “Rally Kitten” then, but now it’s Rally Cat, as we’ll explain in a moment.

Then, as soon as he appeared, he was gone, lost by the groundskeeper who captured him when he went to go tend to his numerous claw and bite injuries. Then he was found again and given to the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach center! Yay! Now the Cardinals say they’re going to get him back. The Post-Dispatch reports:

The St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach organization has assured us they will be returning our cat to us after a mandatory 10-day quarantine period,” said Ron Watermon, the team’s vice president of communications, who added later that Rally Cat would be “cared for by our team, making the Cardinals Clubhouse his home.”

The Feral Cat Outreach center actually named him Rally Cat. Which, well, fine. But if good, smart people with better taste than them want to start calling him Yadier Meowlina, none of us will stop them.