Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians had a bad day on Monday. He started Game 3 of the ALDS, left with a lead but then saw the Astros pound the heck out of his teammates, eliminating them from playoff contention.
The best way to deal with a bad day is to go for a walk, get some exercise, read a book or do things that disconnect the parts of your brain that cause you to dwell on negativity. The best way to make a bad day worse is to spent a lot of time online on the sort of websites that have a habit of magnifying the bad mood you bring to them. Twitter is great for that. Unfortunately, Clevinger went on Twitter yesterday and had his bad mood magnified.
What he saw was a tweet from last May mocking him and the Indians following a loss to the Astros. It featured an interview Clevinger gave in which he said of the Astros, “we have what they have,” “they’re not that special” and “we’re right there with them,” after which Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” plays over big Astros hits:
The replies to the tweeted video from last May reveal that Clevinger saw it when it was first posted and blocked the poster. Which, fine. Blocking people so you don’t see negativity you don’t want to see is a totally reasonable way to make life less stressful.
He must’ve unblocked the guy at some point, however, because yesterday he saw the video again when it was retweeted by MLB Network studio host Robert Flores.
I’m personally not a big fan of “haha you said a thing five months ago and you were wrong!” tweeting, as it usually robs the old sentiment of context and is often a lame exercise in hindsight, but when you’re a public figure it’s just part of the deal. That notwithstanding, Flores’ sharing of it, since deleted but captured for posterity by Deadspin, was not vicious and did not single Clevinger out. It was just one of those “the internet remains defeated” sentiments, in which Flores was acknowledging that, yeah, the Astros were better than the Indians and this bit of ephemera from months back sorta kinda predicted it. Clever? Eh, on some level, but no matter what you think about it, people do this kind of thing all the time. The best bet is to ignore it and not let it get under your skin.
Clevinger did not ignore it. He went ballistic, calling Flores a “cockroach,” a “teenage girl,” an “idiot,” an “unprofessional child,” and “soft as pudding,” all in a pretty mocking tone. He was particularly mad that an MLB Network person retweeted that video, implying that players expect MLB Network people not to be critical. He also played the “you don’t know what it takes to play the game” card which is a classic appeal-to-authority tactic athletes use to deflect criticism, implying that anything negative said by a non-athlete is, by definition, illegitimate. It’s not unfair to say that Clevinger was ranting and didn’t come off particularly well in doing so.
Flores responded calmly, not pushing back, other than to say that he did not create the video but that he merely shared it. He asked Clevinger to call him so that they could discuss it offline. It went back and forth like that for a while. Eventually it stopped and the tweets were deleted, but remnants of the conversation remain in replies.
Last night, this emerged:
So I guess that’s over. After seeing his earlier tweets, though, Clevinger’s reference to “being groovy” rings a bit hollow as the dude lacked any sort of chill not too long before that.
Just imagine if the original poster had been even more vicious and, instead of “Sounds of Silence,” went with the stronger “Mad World” by Gary Jules? Clevinger may have blew a gasket.