Matheny on Martinez’s twitter account: “He’s embarassed and we’re embarassed.”
A day after Deadspin, a sports website that posts commentary on various sports issues and athletes, posted a list of pornographic images that showed up on the Twitter feed of Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez, manager Mike Matheny addressed players in a morning meeting about the need to be vigilant about their use of social media.
Matheny also met individually with the young pitcher Tuesday morning to discuss the issue. In speaking to a reporter from MLB.com and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch before workouts, Matheny described the situation as an embarrassment to both Martinez and the organization.
“It’s part of being a professional athlete,” Matheny said. “We’re not looking for any sympathy from anybody, but anything that you do right now is one fraction of a second away from being all over the world. There has never been a time in history like this. It heightens our message. It heightens our urgency to make sure that we’re diligent and we’re disciplined to educate and to make aware that when something like this happens, it’s going to be an embarrassment to you and when something like this happens, it’s going to be an embarrassment to us. He’s embarrassed, and we’re embarrassed.
“The details of it, I’m not going to necessarily get into. But I am going to say that he acknowledges however it did happen, it was never his intention for it to happen that way, as far as it able to be broadcasted. He’s confused on how that exactly happened. Nonetheless, it did. And he’s willing to stand up and figure out how he’s got to move forward.”
The organization learned of the inappropriate images on Monday, before Deadspin published its story. Matheny said that by the time he was made aware of the situation, Martinez had already left the complex. The Cardinals reached out to Martinez and his agent, and at some point on Monday, the tweets were deleted from Martinez’s page.
Prior to Tuesday’s team meeting, the topic of social media had been addressed two other times by Matheny in morning meetings.
“[We need to] just make sure that they realize that the stuff that doesn’t get to the entire world, there’s very little chance that it’s not going to come past my desk,” Matheny said. “Not that that should be something I’m trying intimidate them on, but [they need to] realize we’re paying close attention. We don’t want distractions. We’re going to do everything we can to help you guys, but you have to help yourself. You guys have to be on point all the time. If you let your guard down for a second, it’s going to be a distraction to you as you’re out here trying to compete, and it’s going to be a distraction for us as we try to do what we’re trying to do.”
The Cardinals have not asked Martinez to completely take down his Twitter page.
“My concern is I’m not trying to shove my morality down anybody’s throat,” Matheny said. “I’m making that very clear. But I also need these guys to understand that it’s not just me that they need to be concerned about. There are a bunch of young eyes that absolutely admire these guys and watch everything that they do. And realize, is this something that you want your kids to see? Is this something that you want to be known for? And is this how you want to be remembered?
“I think the days of Charles Barkley saying, ‘I’m not supposed to be a role model,’ that’s gone. If that’s what you want to do, you should have been a computer programmer sitting in your flipflops at home somewhere. We are, like it or not, role models. And that’s the danger when this hits the area that it hits. There are a lot of young eyes that love the St. Louis Cardinals and our players and could be easily influenced.
“I think we all agree, regardless of where your moral compass points, those sort of things that we’re talking about right now are not the sort of things that we want our kids in. Once again, that’s just part of the embarrassment that goes on there. He gets it. Yesterday was not a good day for him.”
More on this story to come on cardinals.com later today.
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