According to a New York Times article, Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell benched third baseman Pablo Sandoval in Thursday’s match-up against the Atlanta Braves after using his Instagram account during a Wednesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Braves.
To me, being benched for something like this could be a half-decent April Fool’s joke. But since it’s June 18th, it’s real.
Boston has been having stricter clubhouse rules when there were reports after the 2011 season of starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse instead of watching the game from the dugout.
In Wednesday’s game, Sandoval says he had returned to the clubhouse to use the washroom, and according to an ESPN article, he had clicked “like” on a woman’s Instagram photographs, and this activity was first noticed by a blogger representing Bartstool Sports.
He liked two photographs on an Instagram account called @diva_legacy, who has a little over 1,400 followers on Instagram – but it should be a confidence boost for her that a MLB player will risk getting caught doing some mid-game flirting. It is a bit silly on Sandoval’s part, as well, however.
For the social incident, he apologized to his manager and general manager Ben Cherington and teammates, for a situation that to me, isn’t a huge deal. It’s a rule in the Major Leagues that players are prohibited from using electronic equipment during the period starting 30 minutes before a game and ending with the game’s conclusion, according to the New York Times article published earlier today.
Manager John Farrell is currently unsure whether or not the MLB will discipline the 2012 World Series MVP, but the team won’t be suspending or fining their all-star.
It’s a bit of an unfortunate position for both Sandoval and the team, but Sandoval definitely brought the impulsive decision onto himself, citing that he has learned from the mistake.
It’s probably such an automatic thing for everyone that he probably didn’t even think twice about the consequences, because really and truly, should it be an action that does come with consequence? It’s reportedly a known rule throughout baseball.
The Red Sox currently have a 28-39 record and find themselves last in the AL East and have lost eight of their last nine games.
Sandoval is currently hitting .452 over his last eight games, and is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, but was replaced in the line-up by rookie Travis Shaw.
Sandoval insists that this is the first and last time something like this will happen during a game. Hopefully he doesn’t become a luddite out of fear of being caught again. Personally, I don’t think it’s a good rule – it strikes me as silly more than anything, and it just seems that Sandoval should not have put his team in this position – because they’ll need everyone being on the top of their game to get back to winning. As a Jays fan, I love seeing how poorly they are doing – so this is a bit of a good fortune.
Currently, Sandoval’s absence from the line-up isn’t a big deal – as the Red Sox are currently winning their away game 4-0 against the Atlanta Braves in the top of the sixth inning, even though Sandoval’s replacement is currently 0 for 3 for the night at the plate.