The New York Yankees are losing to Alex Rodriguez in a PR battle that just won’t go away.
The latest move in the saga was more of a jab than a haymaker, which is what attempting to withhold Rodriguez’ contract bonuses would be. The Yankees’ official Twitter account typically reports scoring plays as they happen, as standard a use for the microblogging service is for a any sports team.
The Yankees also use Twitter to deliver highlight videos of those scoring plays to followers as soon as they’re available. This is even known to happen in spring training, when the games don’t count and not all them are televised.
But the Yankees’ recent contest with the Red Sox was. It’s the Yankees and the Red Sox after all. In the fourth inning, Rodriguez hit a home run for the first time in about a year and a half, but you’d have never known by looking at the Yankees’ Twitter account.
Bryan Hoch, the Yankees’ beat writer for MLB.com, tweeted about the home run and it was the lead in his recap of the game.
A-Rod with his first home run of the spring, a solo shot to left-center on a 3-1 count.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 11, 2015
For some reason, whoever manages the feed did not mention Rodriguez’ dinger, which by the way was a far cry from his bloop ground rule double. This “A-bomb” was vintage A-Rod, a shot to left center field that leapt off the bat.
It’s not like the Yankees denied the home run occurred, you can watch in on their website, so why omit the highlight from Twitter? The fact that this question begs an answer borders on infuriating, as the story has garnered attention from the Washington Post, USA Today, the New York Daily News and many more.
Additionally, the Daily News noted, Rodriguez only appears on the Yankees Twitter feed when his name is in the starting lineup. The newspaper’s report also contains statements from the Yankees and MLB indicating they have taken notice and are going to address the issue.
It’s worth acknowledging that an MLB Advanced Media employee would operate the Yankees’ Twitter account, but because this is A-Rod, it won’t go down as a slip-up, it will be called an omission. This is the organization that wants to deny Rodriguez contract bonuses promised him in one of the most lucrative contracts in professional sports history.
With the intense attention paid to this saga, the Yankees have to know every little perceived jab will not escape the Internet. Twitter is a tool for public relations, so this is a public relations matter and it gives Rodriguez the moral high ground. If this was some jab meant to ding Rodriguez, it certainly missed.
This organization gave Rodriguez the contract, he served his suspension, dropped all his lawsuits, apologized and he even admitted to everything (he’s allowed to disclose). He even showed up to spring training early and lo and behold that reportedly irked the Yankees’ front office.
Rodriguez is making the right moves, self-serving as they may be, but the right moves nonetheless. In the eyes of the law and Major League Baseball, the matter is resolved.