Twitter and athletes - a good idea?

We here at BCB have been entertained and informed by Seth McClung’s Twitter account, but his sometimes blunt complaints and lack of faith in his return to Milwaukee next season make me wonder if he’s digging his own grave.

Though most of his tweets have been the sort of mundane things you’d read about your friends, and his occasional glimpses into the clubhouse are cool – it’s the tweets expressing disappointment in his lack of appearances after coming off the DL and his lack of confidence that have to make you wonder how they plays with his bosses.

Seth holds the only MLB verified Twitter account on the Brewers.

Another Twitterer asked Seth if the Brewers had rules regarding players’ use of Twitter, to which he responded:

@Poonix idk, i am going to try to not say much that would upset them though.8:51 PM Sep 20th from web in reply to Poonix

Though they don’t seem to have a specific code of conduct for handling social media, one has to wonder if it’s something they’ll draw up over the off-season. Both Ryan Braun and Fielder blogged via MLB.com and now Seth’s Twitter account seem to mean that the Brewers can’t ignore social media and how it will affect their players and fans.

Here’s a small sample of some of Seth’s tweets over the past few weeks:

@Petersauce thanks it was a long road back, worked real hard and training staff was great!! Now, to get machA to put me in a game!! lol!!9:17 AM Sep 20th from Tweetie in reply to Petersauce

I wish I could have pitched @ home 1 more time, I feel robbed of pitching infront of the best fans in the world. I hope I am back next year5:09 PM Sep 27th from Tweetie

Day game, hope2 get some sleep, I have to always be ready@ all times! Set up to fail? MayB but if your prepaired Ur N control of your fate!11:02 PM Sep 30th from Tweetie

U know that saying, the writing is on the wall? I think I can make out more than just letters concerning me.12:51 AM Oct 1st from Tweetie

Do these sorts of remarks hurt his chances? Are they appropriate?

When asked about it, McClung told Brewers beat writer Adam McCalvy and other members of the media, "It can be interpreted any way you want. I'm not complaining, I'm not trying to make trouble. I'm just frustrated. I don't mean to talk about it in the media, but I'm honest with myself and it's hard to watch situations come up in which I've performed exceedingly well in the past, and get passed over. Now we're going on nine days since I've pitched last. I'm not saying I'm better than anybody else, I just think it's my turn. Beyond that, I really don't want to talk about it in the media." 

When players like Ryan Braun have been crucial of management to members of the media, it’s caused a stir among fans and the reactions have varied.

With his Tweets, Seth is also criticizing, though in a more passive-aggressive, though somewhat less publicized way.

Why have they not caused the same sort of stir? Should they?

May I also take this a step further? In my opinion, past player complaints to the media have not gone over well with management.

Take Doug Melvin’s "deputy" reaction to Braun’s mid-season pitching complaints.

Once Bill Hall went public with his grumblings about playing time, he seemed to paint himself into a corner. The impression I got was that management told him that he was complaining about playing time but had refused being sent down to the minors in order to get at-bats and improve and they asked him to answer for that. When he was stuck, he accepted the designation. 

Maybe that’s not how it went – but I sure get the sense that Doug Melvin doesn’t take kindly to that sort of thing and players have to be careful about the sort of hole they dig.

What do you think? Am I reading too much into it, or do you, like me, cringe a little every time you read another of Seth’s Tweets, feeling like he’s just putting more of himself in the grave?

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