Isn’t technology grand?
Social Media and its first cousin, the Internet, have impacted sports time and time again, most recently with the New York Mets. Baseball’s traditional also-rans have seen two recent hires stained by the innovation that might also be termed Revenge of the Nerds.
And right in the middle of it is longtime respected front office official, Sandy Alderson.
Now serving his second term in charge of the Mets front office, Alderson was responsible for hiring Mickey Calloway to manage the Mets and then Jared Porter as general manager. They both ran afoul of Facebook and Twitter and paid the price.
Calloway spent two forgetful years as Mets manager, highlighted by having his team bat out of order which is ordinarily a Little League accident. This may have been caused because he was distracted by activities not related to baseball.
According to five women quoted in an article in The Athletic, Calloway paid less attention to hits, runs and errors, than he did in sending them suggestive material and allegedly pursuing them. This is frowned upon in baseball circles and resulted in Calloway being suspended from his current job as pitching coach of the Angels.
Porter wasn’t suspended. He was fired by the Mets when reports surfaced that he had pursued a female reporter some years ago and had sent her provocative material including 67 e-mails, You would think that when she ignored the first dozen or so, it meant she wasn’t interested. Porter, however, persisted and when the story surfaced, he was gone.
Social media has struck down others.
Curt Schilling loved the medium and used it to broadcast his ultra-right wing views and dislike for baseball writers while he was working for ESPN. His attacks became too much for the network which suggested he go to work somewhere else.
This did not quiet him and after endorsing the Jan, 6 attack on the nations’ capitol, Schilling learned that he was 16 votes short of being elected to the Hall of Fame. Perhaps the writers who left him off their ballots were employing the Hall’s voting requirement that a player’s character be considered by the voter.
Schilling threw a hissy fit after his near miss and demanded that he be removed from the ballot next year, his final year of eligibility with the writers. He prefers to take his chances with one of the Hall’s myriad era committees.
That would be a backdoor induction. Come to think of it, that would probably be more appropriate for him.