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New manager John Farrell tells Blue Jays to stay off Twitter

Feb 23, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

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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.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    Spectacular? Really? More interesting than the musings of Luke Scott? I will never know as I see no benefit to following anyone on Twitter.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    “Twitter is no different, it’s just newer.”

    I totally disagree with you here. There is no “cooling off” period when using Twitter, and no “takebacks” either. You can’t usually get yourself into more trouble in an interview because they are controlled by producers and media people for the team. Sure, if you are at a bar and interacting with fans, you could get into a more physical problem, but there’s usually a bouncer or some other type of security to handle that. In the case of Twitter it is a player and his computer and that’s it. You can delete what you wrote, but it can always be found. And it is VERY FAST. Type something in now and you have thousands of people seeing it and retweeting it before you can say “Oh sh*t…I think that came out wrong!!!”

    • scatterbrian - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:44 PM

      I don’t think questions answered into a recorder at your locker after a game are any different. There aren’t takebacks there, and even less “cooling off” with respect to the game that was just played.

      In fact, I think the exact opposite of what you’re saying is true. With Twitter, you have to type what you’re thinking then post it. There are two actions involved when conveying something via Twitter. In a post-game interview, all you have to do is say something. It’s not like we can say things out loud and hit “delete” if we don’t like it.

  3. scatterbrian - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM

    Nice Seinfeld ref

  4. cur68 - Feb 23, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    They grown-ass men. If they wanna Twit, that’s up to them. Why does Farrell need to even need to say this to them? He sounds like my old man; “hickory was good enough for me on the golf course. Don’t see why you need these graphite things. You’ll only get into more trouble…” and on and on. Twitter allows people to connect to baseball and entertainers in general. It puts bums in seats. The trade off for inadvertent meanings and the bad press are interests in the game, reaching a younger audience, and increasing attendance because of course now that you’re interested the young millionaire you’ve been Twittering with you’ll go see him at the game, right? That’s how my teenage daughter feels about it, and that’s why she’s even heard of one R. Romero and wants to go see him play ball. Personally, I want a word with that boy…

  5. Thomas Pinzone - Feb 23, 2011 at 6:04 PM

    I can’t wait until baseball starts and then there won’t be anytime for writers to report a non-story like a manager strongly suggesting his players don’t use social media.

  6. fuggles7 - Feb 24, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    I see both J.P. Arencibia and Ricky Romero are ignoring his advice today.

  7. Old Gator - Feb 24, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Twttr causes brn dmag

  8. rapmusicmademedoit - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM

    the constitution say’s they can tweet, that’s good enough for me

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