MLB: the Atlanta Braves and the management of the dark side of social networks | baseball 123

Harold Capote Fernandez

When Kyle Wright pitched badly while struggling to find his place in the Majors with the Atlanta Braves, he received vicious messages and comments on social media. Many people threw various insults at him.

A common, more brutal than the others, said something like “Go kill yourself.”

Thus, the shooter learned another facet of his job, which has nothing to do with spotting his curveball or batting imbalance. He and his teammates face a challenge that many who have played before them have never faced: the dark side of social media. They allow anyone and everyone to have a voice, even those who choose to remain anonymous.

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“You have to be able to separate real life from the game, but you also have to understand that this is what we do, it’s work and people support you, want you to succeed,” the arm said. of the Tomahawks. . “You can’t feel attacked when things like this happen,” he added.

Social networks are very present in today’s society. People use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and more to connect with friends and family, follow the news, share opinions and more.

“I try not to look at the wrong things,” said Ian Anderson. “I know it’s out there. Certainly there are people these days who are more likely to say what they want.”

Several players interviewed by the Atlanta Journal Constitution mentioned that they understand that the fans are passionate. “Fandom isn’t always a rational place to live,” pitcher Collin McHugh said.

He knows it, he added. He’s a fan of many things, and he understands how easy it can be to forget that those he supports have tough jobs and won’t always be perfect.

McHugh’s number one rule for Twitter is: don’t tweet. Write it down on a piece of paper or on a phone, then erase it. Do what you want. But he realized that the risk of tweeting can be high, especially when it comes to a job where perfection is impossible. Keep distractions to a minimum.

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After poor performances and the toughest defeats, angry fans shower the players with insults and backlash. Some are just fueled by their disappointment at the loss. Others, as Anderson pointed out, may be furious with the players who made them lose their bets that night.

For his part, Jansen learned to stay away from social media in 2018. He liked to read articles on his days off, but he started to get frustrated when people wrote inaccurate things or when there were nasty comments on these stories. His former teammate Chase Utley had warned him of the dangers of it all, but Jansen didn’t really get it until he started harassing him. Now he finds other ways to spend his free time, such as spending time with his family. He remains focused on the field.

Wright doesn’t use Twitter anymore, unless someone sends him a funny tweet. With Instagram, he says, you can better filter what you see and what gets sent to you. He tried to disconnect from social media by spending more time with his wife, dog and friends.

Anderson isn’t looking for anything. “If you’re wondering what a game was like or stuff like that, all it takes is a little research and you can find what you want to find,” he said. “I already know that, so I’m not going to bother with that.”

But here’s something a few of those players brought up: social media can have positives. They are not inherently evil.

Anderson said it gave players the opportunity to create a personal brand and connect with fans, while Wright said “everyone, at the end of the day, has good intentions” and feels that ” you don’t want to see the world as a negative place”.

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“Everyone has their own threshold of what they feel they can or want to take, or how much they want to put of themselves and their family out there,” McHugh said.

For example, the latter recently posted something about his travels and the cities he has visited since the start of the season. He wanted to remind his family and friends that he is still a traveling person, someone living his dream of playing baseball.

And it looks like the players have been trying to come to some understanding with social media: This isn’t real life.

“It’s not real,” Jansen said. “You understand that sometimes there are going to be miserable people who want to be in your situation, who want to have what you have. I understand that. I want them to be successful too, I want them to have what I have. It’s Sometimes this world, sometimes you can say it’s unfair the way it is. Why do we earn so much, why do they earn so much? It’s a never-ending story.

Social networks allow anyone to say anything. However, many upset fans wouldn’t hurl these obscenities at players in person. McHugh said players often joked about how people who insulted players online often asked for autographs and photos in person. It goes back to one of his mottos, that “people are hard to touch up close”.

MLB players are public figures, and that comes with the territory.

“We’re human beings, so there are some things that people don’t realize we have to deal with,” Wright said. “But we live off a game. That’s part of it. You take it and try to be better, I guess.”

Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

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