I am sure some of you are sick of another article from me that involves Twitter. I just can’t apologize when it has become a place where players, fans and media are all hanging out and engaging each other. After yesterday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chris Perez was irritated with Cleveland Plain Dealer beat reporter Paul Hoynes.
A little background though. Chris Perez had just finished thanking the fans for all their support on what he called the most difficult day of his professional career. Perez’ grandmother passed away and it wouldn’t be surprising if his head wasn’t totally into playing baseball yesterday as he and his family grieve the loss. With that frame of reference in mind, it stands to reason that maybe Perez was a little more sensitive yesterday than normal. I wonder if maybe he will regret that tweet at Paul Hoynes sometime down the road.
As for Paul Hoynes, what can I say? It seems that Indians fans either love Hoynes or they hate him. Not a lot of in-between. Personally, I like the guy. I like the fact that he is sarcastic and sometimes guarded and pessimistic. I think Hoynes could stand some major improvements to his abilities with regard to social media, but I’m guessing that was a mandate by his bosses.
In the end, I won’t pick sides because I like both guys. I will say that maybe calling out the team’s beat reporter isn’t the best idea on a day when you are already sensitive from mourning the loss of a family member. When I am sad and mourning, I am not at my most reasonable and rational. I am guessing the same is true of Chris Perez.
At the same time, the things people say on Twitter aren’t necessarily what they would say out loud and in person. Do you think for a second that Hoynes would talk like that in the locker room within earshot of Chris Perez and the rest of the Tribe players? Well, now because of Twitter Hoynes can not only talk to the fans, but he is also communicating with players who will read that stuff after the game.
So, I think both are kind of right and wrong. It is just a confusing time with relation to media, sports and communications on the Internet. On the one hand, Hoynes is being compelled by his bosses – I am guessing – to broaden his scope of communications with fans using Twitter. The fans get the benefit of hearing some of the things that Hoynes might have only muttered to other media in the press box. At the same time, Perez and his teammates need to have a really thick skin. It comes with the salary that they face high pressure situations on the field and have the world talking about them – both positively and negatively – throughout the season.
This Twitter thing is too big to be put back in a box. Players, fans, media and everyone else are pretty deeply invested in it now. That doesn’t mean that we won’t get better at creating social norms around using it. Hopefully Hoynes and Perez can talk this over in person so that they at least understand where each other is coming from. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. Remember when Shawn Rogers called out Tony Grossi earlier this year for asking “dumb” questions? It won’t be the last, either, I am quite sure.