February 26, 2008
Yanks Consider Banning Player Blogs
Via Lisa Kennelly:
In a rapidly evolving culture where anyone with internet access can share the details of their lives and anyone with a cell phone can post a picture online, the Yankees have to take precautions with the privacy of their players, particularly the younger set.
Currently, there are no regulations for Yankee players regarding blogging, MySpace, or Facebook use. But the Yankees media relations staff has included specific internet training in its players' seminars for two years now, cautioning players about the consequences of an active online habit.
Last season rookie pitcher Tyler Clippard learned that the hard way, when his MySpace page drew thousands of hits after he made his major-league debut. Yankees media relations staff had a quiet word with him, and his page was soon set to private.
"We warn them about putting their private lives in the public arena," GM Brian Cashman said, "because it comes back to haunt you, depending on what you put out there."
And it's entirely possible, said Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo, that in the very near future blogs could be banned for Yankee players. All it takes is one bad incident.
"It's a way to relate to your fans," Zillo said, "but you need to be hyper sensitive to the type of information you're putting out there and understand there can be ramifications."
I wonder what the Yankees consider a "bad incident" to be in a case like this? And, does it just pertain to the player's blog content, or, to that of those leaving comments on his site as well? For example, if someone leaves a link in a comment that leads to a site that's not kid friendly, and some kid ends up there, and then his parent complains to the media, would that register as a "bad incident"? Or, would it just have to be a situation where the player posts something that is an embarrassment to him, the team, or the game?
And, what about the concept of "free speech"? Of course, the Yankees probably have some wording in their player's contracts that cover their right to limit things like blogging, etc.
This is an interesting item developing off the news that Phil Hughes has a blog. And, one worth tracking - to see where it goes.
Posted by WW Staff at February 26, 2008 11:14 AM
The idea of player blogs, is something that makes both the media, and the team nervous.
Can you imagine if a player decides to stop talking to the media, and gives his thoughts, quotes, and everything else on his blog.
Hell, players could give each other friendly interviews. The media could be totally shut out.
Which said media is not going to like, which may lead to negative coverage of said player and said team, causing distractions.
But no Agent is going to be okay with a blog being banned.
I think the "bad incidents" refer to, as you mentioned, "the player posts something that is an embarrassment to him, the team, or the game." Having said that, the Yanks have traditionally been a conservative organization, so it would come as no surprise to me that they would consider banning a blog/webpage/whatever. Call it the "Ball Four" effect.
Anyway in this day and age, I wouldn't find it surprising if more players had webpages, blogs, facebook/myspace/hi5 accts, etc, etc, etc.
Sonny: Albert Belle used to refer reporters to his website.
Phil Hughes is actually a regular on the Beckett.com message boards. He collects his own cards apparently.
There was a topic that people were asking "how hard can you throw" and he simply put 95 mph lol.
And yes it is the real Phil Hughes. He's taken pictures of himself with the website and his profile in the background.
Well, it's pretty obvious what sort of incident they want to avoid. Such as: a player has a party with a bunch of friends and posts the pics on his site, and there's a ton of booze and women and maybe some eagle-eyed reporter notices some ganj in the ashtray. Or he posts some pics of him and friends and he has his arm around a girl who later accuses him of sexual assault. Or, in a smaller way, he says something racially insensitive and the media jumps all over it.
But Phil's blog, so far, as been nothing like that. It's innocuous to the extreme. And honestly, you get the same feeling about him -- he's the last person I would expect to ever find himself in that type of situation.
I remembered on ball player doing it (I guess that was Belle).
I know that one NFL player (I think it was TO, but could be wrong) threatened to do all of his statements, and interviews and everything else only through his website, but that was just venting, but it got reporters nervous.
I imagine that the Yankees are not worried so much about what Phil Hughes might say on his blog. It's the fact that many ballplayers are not as responsible or as considerate as Hughes and would be more likely to say something stupid or embarrassing on their blog. I think they are probably looking at it from a slippery slope perspective. Phil Hughes might have a nice, family friendly blog, but what if people like Jason Giambi or Johnny Damon start saying crazy shit on their blogs?