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Cubs suspend Ian Stewart indefinitely without pay

Jun 11, 2013, 6:49 PM EDT

ian stewart getty Getty Images

It’s not a good idea to question your boss on Twitter.

As first relayed by beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs have suspended Ian Stewart indefinitely without pay for breaking the loyalty clause in his contract during his Twitter rant late Monday night about the organization.

“Probably never,” the third baseman wrote when a Twitter follower asked him when he was going to be promoted back to the major leagues. “The Cubs are done with me,” Stewart continued. “There [sic] going to let me rott [sic] in AAA all season and then non tender me after. … I think (manager Dale Sveum) doesn’t like me and he’s running the show.”

All of those tweets, by the way, are still up on Stewart’s personal Twitter feed. He did apologize this afternoon in a series of new tweets, but that was just before his suspension was officially announced.

Stewart is batting just .164/.279/.345 with 43 strikeouts in 39 games this season at Triple-A.

  1. baseballici0us - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Union grievance filed in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

    • raysfan1 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      Didn’t think minor leaguers were eligible for union protection.

      • dlf9 - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        Players on the 40 man roster are members of the bargaining unit. Not that I think this means that either there is a legit grievance or MLBPA will go to bat on this issue, but they could.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:21 PM

        If he’s on the 40 man he does i believe. Not sure if he’s on their 40 man though.

      • jwbiii - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM

        He was outrighted on May 8, so no.

  2. shawon0meter - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    I figured his twitter would get him into trouble at some point. Anybody who follows him knows he’s been into some weird arguments with obvious trolls on there.

  3. historiophiliac - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:55 PM

    I did NOT see that coming.

    /s

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      That’s because it was dressed in camo shorts and you missed it. ;-)

  4. mdpickles - Jun 11, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    “Stewart is batting just .164/.279/.345 with 43 strikeouts in 39 games this season at Triple-A.”

    SHeesh, I would think his Triple A manager is done with him too. A garden gnome would put better numbers than that.

    • Caught Looking - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:06 PM

      http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/collegefanfare_2262_10585325924

      • mc1439 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM

        Seriously fuck your name

    • heyblueyoustink - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      That’s a bit unfair, I mean have you ever had to deal with the strike zone of a garden gnome?

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:51 PM

        Eddie Gaedel is offended.

    • Jonny 5 - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      http://assets.bizjournals.com/story_image/845451.jpg?v=1

      But just barely…….

  5. thebadguyswon - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Twitter is a joke.

    • bigmeechy74 - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM

      Yeah it sucks getting up to date news. And following who you want whether it be comedians that say funny stuff or baseball writers etc. What a joke

      • thebadguyswon - Jun 12, 2013 at 11:40 AM

        I’m sure you love it.

  6. heyblueyoustink - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Rule of thumb: Never talk about work on social media! Any kind of anything to do with work.

    • baseballici0us - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      So Drew, Craig, Gleeman, D.J, and Bill should stop Twitter? They would die! Especially Bill and Gleeman…lol

  7. tonyricemajorharris - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Shouldn’t even be in Triple A. Lucky to be in pro ball at all…

  8. maximusprime107 - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    Maybe if you didn’t suck so much you would be back in the majors

  9. Anoesis - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    How foolish of him to offer his truthful take on the situation. If he’d called Sveum names or posted something slanderous about the organization I could see a suspension. Stewart likely should have kept his tweet shut, but a suspension because of this? The skin’s pretty thin at the top, along with the air. Back up the whaaambulance, the suits are butt-hurt.

    • jeffbbf - Jun 11, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      And what inside knowledge do you have that would lead you to believe the information he tweeted is true? It couldn’t possibly be sour grapes because he’s pissed he’s still in AAA? It couldn’t be that he’s just another in a long line of douchebags who think they deserve special treatment even though they haven’t earned it, could it?

      • HitsDingers - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM

        It’s not that his tweet was true, but that it’s truly his assessment of the situation. No one’s denying his douchebaggery, but you can’t seriously believe that those comments warrant a suspension without pay. He basically said he’s not playing because they don’t like him rather than owning his problems. Anoesis is right, the team is being thin-skinned to a greater degree than Stewart is in violation of any loyalty clause.

    • larryboodry - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      @Anoesis…They didn’t suspend him for what he said, they suspended him for whining about having a job despite hitting .164 in Triple A.

      • Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        Which would. even by your definition, be suspending him for what he said.

    • chiguy79 - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

      Had nothing to do with thin skin at the top, it was just a valid reason (loyalty clause) for them to save some of the $2M they’re paying him to “rott away” in AAA. As a Cubs fan, I hope they can keep this indefinite suspension going for the rest of the season.

      • Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:29 AM

        So making a poor personnel decision by giving Stewart $2M to play (poorly) in the minors excuses suspending the guy for exercising his 1st amendment rights? I was going to launch into a long-winded explanation as to why that’s several grades of stupid and petty way below Stewart’s tweet, but then I saw the “As a Cubs fan” part of your post and realized I’d be talking to a brick wall in center.

    • samu0034 - Jun 12, 2013 at 4:09 AM

      I think it’s fair though to question what it was about anything Stewart said that was actually disloyal. He said he thought his bosses didn’t like him, and that his time with the organization was through after this season. He didn’t complain that it was unfair, he didn’t badmouth the organization or his bosses, he just lamented that he probably wasn’t going to get called up because he thinks the manager doesn’t like him. This isn’t to say that Stewart shouldn’t have kept his mouth shut, or that the organization shouldn’t sit down with him and ask him to keep things like this in-house, but I don’t quite think it’s fair to characterize his actions as “disloyal”.

    • Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      You guys crack me up. Thanks for the laughs. This is a classic example of using the excuse of “disloyalty” to invoke heavy-handed censorship. Why not just let the guy go? You know, fire him like a real employer with a little gumption would do?

      Without bothering to do any research whatsoever into Stewart’s contract situation (as I couldn’t care less) I’d have to say the team is taking this tack because they can’t get rid of him in any other way. Stewart’s tweet was childish, the team’s reaction was even more immature.

      Why give any credibility to Stewart’s claims with a response? Spin that any way you like, but the team made themselves look more childish than a tweeter, if that’s possible. In situations like this silence does not give assent, it simply shows that Stewart’s tantrum is best left alone. But, hey, it’s the Cubs, adult behavior not guaranteed.

  10. riverace19 - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:09 PM

    Biggest jackass of 2013. Maybe you shouldn’t suck if you want to play

  11. tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

    You know what happens when you are terrible at your chosen profession?

    People stop paying you to do it.

    Unless you’re a politician. HI-YOOO!

  12. 13arod - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    why not relese him

    • chiguy79 - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

      They’ve got $2M invested in him this season. No reason to release him since he’s got options and can be kept in AAA when they have to pay him either way.

      • Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        I believe you have, rather unwittingly, just given everyone the very obvious (to the rest of us) reason the Cubs have chosen this overly harsh “reason” to suspend. A rather serpentine and disingenuous way for management to admit they screwed the pooch in signing this guy to a multi-million dollar contract.

      • chiguy79 - Jun 12, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        @Anoesis – I fully agree it was a stupid decision to pay Stewart league minimum, let alone the $2M (that’s an entirely different discussion), but when their options are A) ignore it and show other players in the organization that if they decide to use social media stupidly, nothing will happen; B) Release him and be on the hook for the $2M anyways; or C) Keep him in the slim hopes that he may figure out how to use the bat again until the end of the season, C is the best option. If Stewart hates it so much, why doesn’t he just quit the organization and give up on the money? There are many worse things in the world than getting paid multiple millions of dollars for a AAA team, ask anyone you know if they’d take that deal over what they already do and you’ll get a yes from 99% of them.

  13. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    This guy is a career .232 hitter with just a little pop. Exactly why does he think he belongs in the Majors?

    • Anoesis - Jun 12, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      I may be way off base on this, but because a big-league team (such as it is) told him precisely that and then inked him to a fat contract to prove it?

  14. vincentbojackson - Jun 11, 2013 at 8:56 PM

    Never a good career plan to play the “play me or trade me” card when you sitting in the minor leagues.

    • jwbiii - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:34 PM

      Especially if you’re playing poorly in the minors.

  15. smackingfools - Jun 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    Leave the comments up and don’t apologize for speaking out. Maybe one day America will have freedom of speech again.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      Repeating for those who slept through high school: The US Constitution (and I suspect also the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) protects your right to peacefully speak out against government policies and actions. You cannot be prosecuted for such speech, provided your speech does not include threats to cause harm to the President nor incites people to violence or to overthrow duly elected governments. BUT, private employers may legally insist on various limitations on your speech as a condition of employment, and this is not a new development.

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:38 PM

        No. That’s not what Freedom of Speech means at all.

        I have been well educated by the posters at PFT to the fact that me calling Tebow “annoying” is violating both his freedom of speech and his freedom of religion.

        Sounds like someone needs to go back to BOVINE UNIVERSITY.

      • historiophiliac - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:17 PM

        You’re welcome, tfbf:

      • tfbuckfutter - Jun 11, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        So much violations of the first amendment.

        It makes Grover Cleveland Alexander roll over in his grave.

        (So happy I made it to Ryan Phillipe telling Sarah Silverman to….quiet down before he did something unpleasant to her cranium….that was such a great movie.)

    • sabatimus - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:39 AM

      Yet ANOTHER incorrectly used 1st Amendment citation. Given your handle, maybe you should smack yourself?

  16. albertmn - Jun 11, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    He sounds like an idiot and making your boss mad is never wise. But, is whining really an offense worthy of suspension?

  17. sabatimus - Jun 12, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Given that attitude (along with those stats), he’s lucky to be in pro ball at all.

  18. insidefastball - Jun 12, 2013 at 3:01 AM

    I am sure his .164 avg in AAA had nothing to do with Stewart being left to rot. He’s been awful for the Cubs in recent years.

  19. stevequinn - Jun 12, 2013 at 6:55 AM

    It’s the Cubs. Par for the course.

  20. nbjays - Jun 12, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Tweeter 2.0

    It’s called Twitter because when you are a twit and post something stupid, it shows the whole world you are a twit.

  21. jimmyt - Jun 12, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    “Probably never”? I thought someone asked him when the Cubs would win a World Series.

  22. 22jfortner - Sep 26, 2013 at 6:44 AM

    why suspend someone indefenetly

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