Major League Baseball (MLB) hit a home run by issuing new social media guidelines, but a player struck out by apparently violating them only a week later—before opening day!
This social media policy memo resulted from the extensive, and successful, collective bargaining meetings this fall. The agreement resulted in the updating of the previous labor agreement, which was reached in 2006 when social media use was not pervasive, and the social media guidelines were pretty much a restriction, advising players and staff not to use electronic communication devices during games and 30 minutes before games, an MLB spokesperson told Mashable.
Mashable writer Sam Laird is reporting that in a letter going out with the policy guidelines, MLB Vice President of Public Relations Pat Courtney stated that the policy was not intended to deter players and staff from “engaging in social media,” especially connected to interacting with fans and promoting charitable work, but to ensure that everyone involved is aware that social media posts are public and not a place for confidential information.
The language states that players who violate the policy may be subject to discipline “for just cause” by their club or the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig. CSNChicago.com reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to handle any grievances that may come out of violations of the policy.
But rules are made to be broken, right? Media reports say that pitcher C.J. Wilson of the Los Angeles Angels tweeted the phone number of Texas Rangers Catcher Mike Napoli, supposedly as a joke, one week after the policy was issued. Wilson has over 116,000 Twitter followers. Napoli was not amused, according to media sources.
MNBCSports.com’s Craig Calcaterra reports that the new guidelines prohibit “displaying or transmitting confidential or proprietary information of any MLB entity [player, coach, etc.], employee, or agent” or “displaying or transmitting content that constitutes harassment,” so it does sound like a violation.
No word yet on any possible punishment for Wilson. CSNChicago reports that disciplinary actions have not yet been finalized or distributed.
When is that first Angels/Rangers game?
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