07.18.06

Hopefully, The Conclusion Of Scott Schafer’s MySpaceGate

Posted in Baseball, The Internet, Will Leitch Sucks at 5:16 pm by

Ryan McConnell’s Always Amazin’ is a regular treasure trove of Mets info, and unlike a certain lazy, duplicitious shitbag, he’s very good at attributing where some of his content comes from. On Tuesday, McConnell linked to a report by the Newark Star-Ledger’s Lisa Kennelly on Scott Schafer’s fateful encounter with a popular social networking website.

The Texas teenager might have gotten away with putting the Mets logo on the page. But the references to his anatomy and the jokes about how much the 18-year-old pitcher enjoyed beer? Well, that’s another matter.

The Mets launched an investigation into his character. The agent who had been advising Schafer dropped him. And eventually he signed for a lower price than his sixth-round status warranted.

He’s now pitching for the rookie level Gulf Coast Mets in Florida, where he has made one start, allowing no runs on a hit and two walks, and striking out three in two innings. The MySpace profile has since been taken down. The Mets declined to make him available for an interview or to comment.

Overreaction? Maybe. Nobody’s business but his? Hardly.

Schafer’s case shows that sports are no exception to the risks of the information age, where it takes less time to Google for pictures of drunk athletes than it does to Mapquest your way to the stadium.

“There’s no such thing as a private life,” said Marjorie Brody, an author and expert on business etiquette. “Everyone has access to everything.”

Matt Sosnick, who represents Marlins’ pitcher Dontrelle Willis among other major leaguers, was advising Schafer when he heard about the 18-year-old’s MySpace comments. He was concerned enough with its vulgarity to sever his ties with Schafer.

“We just felt like, when I was told exactly what had been written, that it was a bad basis for our relationship,” Sosnick said.

Using good judgment about one’s public image is nothing new. The Mets do not advise their players specifically about their visibility on the Internet, but the team speaks generally about players being smart about what they do in their time away from the ballpark.

“When we talk to all the young players in the spring, we tell them as soon as you are identified with the Mets organization, you have to be conscious of everything,” says Jay Horwitz, Mets vice president of media relations. “Anything you do as a member of the Mets organization is magnified.”

Damn. Heavy stuff. I’m very down with the modern world, and you don’t have to tell me there’s precious little privacy on the net for talented young people. Or for this guy, either.

And who better to pass judgement on an 18 year old than a former teenage ticket scalper like Matt Sosnick?

Finally, today is a terrific day for Jay Horowitz to pontificate on the Mets’ efforts to protect their young players from doing something that might make them look stupid in public.

I’m not connected nearly well enough to know if the hemming and hawing over a mooted White Sox/Mets deal has died down yet, but Metsradmus has done his part to end the conversation.

Apparently there’s still a large misconception floating around major league circles. Allow me to clarify you GM’s out there who happen to be reading this blog looking for ideas:

Jim Duquette no longer works here.

How else could one explain this phenomenon, the one which manifests itself into White Sox GM Kenny Williams requesting Filthy Sanchez and Mike Pelfrey for Freddy Garcia…a pitcher that is experiencing some “dead arm” issues.

Williams obviously has been drinking the Chuck Lamar kool-aid while reading his new book “The Best Trades Are The Ones You Don’t Make, Unless The Mets Are On The Other End Of The Phone”.

The Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton claims the Royals and Mets are discussing a swap of 2B Rubin Gotay for Tides 2B Jeff Keppinger. Apparently, Keppinger is forever buried on the organization’s depth chart behind Jose Valentin, Chris Woodward, Anderson Hernandez and Tim Teuful. Even Aaron Heilman thinks he’s being disrespected.

Lastings Milledge had a paid of hits and an RBI in the Tides’ 6-5 loss to Indianapolis yesterday. The back-from-suspension Yusaku Iriki allowed 6 runs on 9 hits, walking 3 in 5 innings. Iriki was working on two days’ rest, but considering he had about two months off, I suppose no one is worried about wrecking his arm.

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