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Curve's Tony Sanchez quits Twitter after another controversial post
May 17, 2011 - Cory Giger
Tony Sanchez is a good guy with a fun personality and offbeat sense of humor who occasionally comes across looking bad in the 140-character Twitter world.
His criticism of the umpires following a loss last week was a well-documented poor decision that brought Sanchez some trouble and bad PR.
Monday, the Curve catcher appeared to take a jab at Altoona when he tweeted about a woman wearing an exposed thong with a Superman logo and allowing her kid to throw fireworks at a gas station.
"Only in Altoona," he wrote, while also posting a picture of the woman bending over with the thong sticking out.
Sanchez deleted that tweet later Monday -- so the exact text isn't available -- but he followed up by posting: "i love it here. just dont throw fireworks at a gas station."
It's doubtful Sanchez actually meant to rip on Altoona. And you know as well as I do, many people who live here and love it here have said something like, "Only in Altoona" at one point or another when something weird happened.
But whatever Sanchez meant by that tweet doesn't really matter. He put it out into the world for everyone else to look at and come to their own conclusions, and in 140 characters, anyone's words or jokes can be misinterpreted.
Sanchez may have been making a joke, but some perceived it as a guy who's been in our (POM) Wonderful town for barely more than a month taking a cheap shot.
The fallout from that and other tweets came to a head Tuesday afternoon when Sanchez posted to his 3,480 followers:
"see ya twitter. thanks to the fans for their support and continued support. Pittsburgh is the only goal and twitter is standing in my way."
With that, Sanchez's tweeting days appear to be over.
He will be better off for it, no doubt.
Silence is golden, and there's no chance for anyone to misinterpret anything if there are no more tweets. From now on, if Sanchez makes news, it will be for his play.
Which is how it should be.
There was some question Tuesday about whether Sanchez decided on his own to quit tweeting or if the Pirates forced him to stop. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette insinuated the latter, but Bucs farm director Kyle Stark said that wasn't the case.
"We have not banned Twitter for any of our players," Stark responded in a text message.
Sanchez declined to comment when reached through a Curve PR representative Tuesday night in Akron.
Twitter and Facebook allow everyone on the planet to be their own publisher, even if they don't have anything important to add to any conversation.
There's a wonderful scene from last year's comedy movie "Easy A" in which the teacher (Thomas Haden Church) tells the student (Emma Stone):
"I don't know what your generation's fascination is with documenting your every thought, but I can assure you they're not all diamonds. 'Roman is having an OK day and bought a Coke Zero at the gas station. Raise the roof.' Who gives a rat's (behind)?"
There's plenty of garbage and mundane banter on Twitter, but it also can be a great resource if you know how to use it. Follow the right people, and you can get constant streaming news or intriguing discussions about anything and everything.
Follow athletes, and you'll get a glimpse into their world, their personalities, their education levels, their sense of humor.
But be warned. Many athletes represent themselves and their teams poorly by swearing and tweeting about subjects that are inappropriate for young readers.
Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, for instance, tweeted some raunchy sexual comments shortly before posting his insensitive remarks about Osama bin Laden that drew national criticism.
Twitter isn't going away any time soon, but athletes do have a choice. They can either be smart about what they write or not write anything at all.
Since many athletes will choose to do neither of those things, it's easy to predict that we are only in the infant stages of players getting themselves into trouble by posting stupid comments.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. He can be reached at 949-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.