Major League Baseball released a social media policy on Tuesday, placing some limits on what and when players can share on Twitter and Facebook.
Overall, players, managers and other personnel are encouraged to use social media. Now, however, they are not allowed to post to social media 30 minutes before a game, during a game or until 10 minutes after a game ends. The National Football League has similar rules for players.
Players also are not allowed to question an umpire's call on social media.
On April 29, 2011, then White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen (@OzzieGuillen on Twitter) was ejected from a game. His tweets following that ejection earned him a fine and a two-day suspension. It was the first time an MLB player, coach or manager was punished for using Twitter during a game. Guillen said after the game that he would not stop tweeting, and he hasn't. Just not during games. (On Monday, Guillen, now manager for the Florida Marlins, was ejected from a spring training game against the Red Sox. He didn't tweet about it.)
The rest of the policy, which is part of the collective bargaining agreement reached in November, outlines "don'ts":
- Players must have permission before making statements that could be interpreted as "official," linking to a MLB website, or using copyrighted team logos, names, photos or other material.
- They cannot condone the use of drugs banned by the MLB.
- They cannot post anything sexually explicit, racist or sexist; or anything illegal. They cannot post threats or harass others.
Players who violate the social media policy are subject to discipline from the commissioner.
Six St. Louis Cardinals players post updates on Twitter: Carlos Beltran (@CarlosBeltran15), Daniel Descalso (@DanielDescalso), David Freese (@DFreese23), Matt Holliday (@MattHolliday7), Jon Jay (@JonJayU) and Eduardo Sanchez (@ESanchez52). Many players also have Facebook pages.