(BaseballStL) — Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez's twitter account went viral on Tuesday when it was discovered he had "favorited" a number of pornographic photos and links. Manager Mike Matheny said the team and Martinez were embarrassed by the report posted on Deadspin.com. Matheny has warned the players that a mistake on social media is one fraction of a second from being sent all over the world. Martinez learned that the hard way.
Martinez, a 22-year-old right-hander competing for a spot in the starting rotation this spring, says his twitter account was hacked. "There was a confusion. My Twitter account was hacked," he told ESPNdeportes.com's Enrique Rojas. "It's my Twitter account and I understand what people are talking about and I should be responsible, but I want you to know that I do not have time to be doing that kind of thing.
"I talked to my teammates, the manager, the general manager. Everybody understood that I was a victim. My agent helped me, and everyone was aware that I did nothing wrong. One must be aware that there are people out there willing to hurt me."
It's understandable that Martinez, or any other twitter user for that matter, might not have realized their "favorites" are viewable by any of their twitter followers. With twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, texting and various other social media platforms available it's quite possible, and even likely, that players don't understand all the intricacies of every site. They need to be extremely careful about what they post. It may be time for the Cardinals to employ a full time social media expert to help members of the organization navigate through the minefield of potential problems they could encounter with one misguided click of the "send" button.
Cardinals minor leaguer Tyler Melling caused a ruckus last October during the World Series when he sent a tweet about a Red Sox pitcher. "Jon Lester using a little Vaseline inside the glove tonight?" Melling tweeted during game one of the series. Melling included a screen capture from the telecast showing a green substance on Lester's glove. The Cardinals wanted nothing to do with the controversy, and made Melling delete the tweet.
Problems with social media are likely to get worse before they get better. The Cardinals, and every other college and pro sports organization, could face many more embarrassing moments if they don't take major steps to educate their players on the finer points of expressing themselves on the internet.