(BaseballStL) — The first Cardinal to get national attention in the 2014 season was Carlos Martinez, and it couldn’t have been for a more unfortunate reason.
The young righty ran into trouble when it was discovered his favorites list on Twitter contained scores of pornographic images.
The story broke on Deadspin late afternoon Monday and by that night, the favorites disappeared.
Speaking Tuesday, General Manager John Mozeliak addressed the issue with reporters.
“Clearly that's something an organization never wants to see done,” he said. “People need to understand and be smarter that it's a very large audience.”
Martinez has more than 20,000 followers.
According to the GM, he had not spoken to Martinez as of Tuesday evening, but spoke with his agents immediately after learning of the story.
The Cardinals have a written social medial policy that is shared with players of all levels of the organization. In addition, all players at the MLB level are given a copy of the social media policy put in place by the Commissioner’s Office.
Mozeliak did say there was a chance Martinez was a victim of a hacking or some sort of outside prank, though it didn’t mean the budding star was innocent.
“My understanding is somehow that account was broken into or hacked to get it to the level that happened, but I'm sure where there's smoke there's fire.”
There were similar images favorited as far back as December, but the bulk of the favorites were done in a three day span, with dozens coming in just a few hours on Monday.
“The magnitude of how many favorites were done in the timeframe- it's not a normal pattern,” said Mozeliak. “It's almost like, is it humanly possible? It does lead into to reasonable questions.”
Martinez reportedly met with manager Mike Matheny one-on-one, and the club has said they are embarrassed by the incident.
Mozeliak did say he doesn’t believe Martinez needs to shut down his Twitter account, but he referred to the incident as perhaps a perfect “poster child” moment for teaching younger players the perils of social media on a major stage.
“I don’t think he has to close down, he has to be aware of what he's doing on Twitter and understand that it's more than just what you tweet,” the GM said. “We're disappointed on one hand but on the other hand we expect it to get cleaned up and not happen again.”
Martinez is expected to start the first game of spring training on Friday.