Cleveland Guardians Post, Then Delete, Tweet on José Ramírez and Violent Sports Bettors
In a bizarre social media post this week, Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Guardians social media team tweeted an exaggerated account of star third baseman José Ramírez’s upbringing. One that involved angry sports bettors chasing people with guns and machetes.
“As a 13-year-old, José Ramírez played in a gambling league with adults to earn money for his family. In certain circumstances, bettors would gamble on a player to have a positive outcome,” the post read. “If they didn’t come through, they would be chased home by gamblers with machetes and guns.”
The team also decided to tweet this out while Ramírez was up to bat during their Wednesday night game against the Oakland Athletics.
It was swiftly deleted, but not before being noticed by tens of thousands and kept as a screenshot for posterity, as reported by Awful Announcing.
The post was attempting to summarize an anecdote offered by the Guardian’s broadcast commentators Rick Manning and Matt Underwood that took place during the game. However it was a bit of a stretch from the original story.
Walks in the Park
Which is not to say many fans weren’t also confused by the commentators bringing this up.
Manning and Underwood began by discussing an upcoming interview, due to air on Friday, in which Ramírez discusses his stellar baseball career and Dominican Republic upbringing with reporter Andre Knott.
They picked out one segment from the interview in which Ramírez talked about playing when the chips are down.
“One of the things that José talked to Andre about is that kind of pressure,” Underwood began.
“He [Ramírez] said when he played winter ball in the Dominican, when there are people screaming at you that they will do harm to you if you don’t play well, he said, ‘You play in the big leagues, that’s a walk in the park.’”
Machetes on Home Plate
The two broadcasters, all the while with Ramírez still up to bat, then brought in Andre Knott to elaborate.
“The story goes that one of the leagues he played in… 13 years old, and there was a machete behind home plate,” Knott said. “That’s the type of intimidation that he dealt with as he grew up.”
An interesting story to talk about during a live game commentary, for sure. And it might have stayed at just that, if not for the team’s ill-advised attempt to tweet about it afterwards.
Yes, the original story involved a machete seen at the ground – but that’s a far cry from being “chased home by gamblers with machetes and guns”.
José Ramírez’s 11-season career with the Guardians has been a celebrated one, with four All-Star game appearances and 192 home runs to his name.
His interview with Andre Knott airs on Bally Sports Great Lakes network on Friday, before and after coverage of the Guardians’ opening home game of the season against the Seattle Mariners.