New manager John Farrell tells Blue Jays to stay off Twitter

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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.

No lease extension, but Orioles and governor tout partnership

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The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.