The Tweet Heard Around the (Baseball) World
October 25, 2013
October 25, 2013
Red Sox left-handed pitcher, Jon Lester was on fire Wednesday night, with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings, helping Boston take game one of the World Series.
Soon after the game, however, St. Louis Cardinals minor league pitcher Tyler Melling tweeted a photo of Lester’s glove with the caption, “Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?” referring to the discolored area on Lester’s glove where the thumb and web meet, captured in the photo of the Fox broadcast.
Shortly after, a video surfaced on Vine which shows Lester touching the discolored area before reaching into his glove before a pitch, with the caption “I don’t know what Lester reaches for in 7th.” The clip spread like wildfire throughout social media channels, sparking a major controversy.
Major League Baseball, however, refused to buy into the skepticism based on the social media posts.
“We cannot draw any conclusions from this video,” MLB senior vice president of public relations Pat Courtney said in a statement. “There were no complaints from the Cardinals and the umpires never detected anything indicating a foreign substance throughout the game.”
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak responded with a similar sentiment, saying, “As far as I'm concerned it's a nonissue. It's something that arose in social media and not from our players or manager or our coaching staff. To me it does not represent a concern.”
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny expressed his displeasure of the controversy, saying in a press conference, “I have to tell you, I hate that our organization is involved at all.”
The tweet has since been deleted from Melling’s account, but the accusation of Lester using Vaseline on the ball catapulted the minor-leaguer in the spotlight- surely this isn’t how Melling dreamed of becoming a household name.
From a professional standpoint, let this be a lesson to always be aware of your audience before you press “Tweet,” especially when you are part of an organization which happens to be involved in the most watched baseball series of the year.