MLB reviewing Ozzie Guillen tweets
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball is stepping into the social media fray after Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sent out Twitter messages on his personal account moments after getting ejected Wednesday night.
Senior vice president of baseball operations Peter Woodfork confirmed Thursday that MLB has not had to deal with a player, coach or manager sending out social media messages while a game was still in play, and there is no standard policy on how to discipline the action.
MLB's rules state that all social media messages -- Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc. -- must stop 30 minutes prior to the first pitch. Messages can resume after the game at the individual club's discretion. Getting ejected from a game does not exempt an individual from those rules.
Guillen's case is being reviewed by the staff that is headed by new executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre. Joe Garagiola Jr., who is directly responsible for on-field discipline, is expected to decide what punishment, if any, is handed down.
"I expect them to call me, I expect them to send me a letter, I expect them to send me the fine," Guillen said before Thursday's game. "Like I say, I've been through this for eight years, and I expect to see what they have to say. How much is the money? I will pay the money."
Guillen was ejected in the first inning of Wednesday's game against the New York Yankees by home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor. Guillen was arguing a called third strike on White Sox cleanup hitter Paul Konerko.
Before play had even resumed in the bottom of the first inning, Guillen sent out his first Twitter message that read: "This one is going to cost me a lot of money this is patetic [sic]."
Not long after that, a second message appeared on his Twitter account. That one read: "Today a tough guy show up at yankee stadium." He presumably was referring to Tichenor.
Guillen was asked if he ever plans on sending out Twitter messages during a game again.
"I hope I stay in the game," Guillen said. "If people don't think I want to be in the game, they're crazy. When I get kicked out of the game, I let my team down ... big time. Any manager who gets kicked out of the game, no matter what the reason is, protecting the players, be upset about something, you let the team down."
If discipline is indeed handed down against Guillen, it won't necessarily establish a precedent. MLB is not interested in creating a one-size-fits-all punishment when it comes to social media violations, according to Woodfork.
All violations will be decided on a case-by-case basis. If somebody sends an innocuous tweet about the weather, for instance, it would be treated differently from one that was critical of on-field staff.
Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.
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