Price tweet creates nerd inquisition
ST. PETERSBURG – Tampa Bay ace David Price has often been a hot topic on the social media website Twitter, allowing him to interact with fans about everything from his dog to his outings.
On Saturday night as the Rays left Boston in a 2-0 hole – fresh off a start that saw the defending Cy Young Award winner surrender seven runs in seven innings – Price learned the hard way that sometimes the micro messages of 140 characters have repercussions.
The left-hander tweeted, regarding criticism from TBS studio analysts Dirk Hayhurst and Tom Verducci: “Dirk Hayhurst…COULDNT hack it…Tom Verducci wasn’t even a water boy in high school…but yet they can still bash a player…SAVE IT NERDS”
Naturally, the tweet went viral, garnering more than 1,400 “retweets.”
Price wasn’t available to the media Sunday during the team’s workout session, but Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon weighed in on the situation, also.
“Next spring training when we have our media training, you’re going to see this as a perfect example of what not to do,” Maddon said. “That was my first thought when I heard about all of this.”
The tweet was laced with ironies, though. Though he was only at the school for three years, Price played college baseball at Vanderbilt, a school renowned for its academics.
Verducci, meanwhile, is a well-liked and respected journalist, writing for Sports Illustrated and doing television work for the MLB Network.
Hayhurst played briefly in the major leagues – appearing in 25 games – but the former pitcher played most of his eight seasons in the minors. That’s five more seasons than Maddon played in the Angels farm system as a catcher from 1976-78 before he went into scouting and managing. Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey also played seven seasons in the minors, not reaching the majors at any point in his career.
Maddon also organized a nerd-themed road trip in May 2012 in which Price was among the best dressed.
To Price’s credit, he did send out an apology on Twitter, saying, “Last night got out of hand and I apologize for the things that I said on here…if I offended you I am very sorry for doing so… (hash)thatsnotme.”
It drew praise from Maddon afterwards.
“I don’t want to take one isolated incident and try to make more out of than it actually is,” Maddon said. “I have a lot of faith in David. I think David did the right thing after he did the wrong thing, and I believe in the future you’re going to see better judgment.”
Maddon added he doesn’t foresee instituting future social media rules.
“Sometimes you’ve got to make a mistake in order to come out on the other side and be better for what you do,” Maddon said. “I don’t like legislating anything, actually, when it comes down to personal behavior.”