When the Texas Rangers acquired starting pitcher Matt Garza in a trade with the Chicago Cubs, they could not have envisioned headaches like the one he has caused as a result of a Twitter rant against Oakland Athletics second baseman Eric Sogard Saturday night.
Rude, offensive, and sexist, Matt Garza lashed out at both Sogard and his wife via Twitter following a 4-2 Rangers loss to the Athletics in Oakland.
Perhaps a little short tempered after the A’s continually exploited his weakness throughout the victory, Garza let his emotions get the best of him and verbally assaulted his opponent. Sogard was a major exploiter of Garza’s inability to field a sacrifice bunt, successfully laying down two bunts on the night, one of which was an RBI squeeze.
After the squeeze bunt, the second of the night, Garza stared down Sogard and yelled something at the Athletics infielder. When asked about what exactly he yelled, the Rangers pitcher said that he only asked “if there were any good places to eat in Oakland?”
Highly unlikely that is what he said, the Rangers do not even stay in Oakland when they are playing the Athletics. San Francisco is where the team shacks up during such a series.
A strategy that took advantage of the Rangers weakness, Sogard notes that the Athletics bunting was specifically designed to capitalize on Garza. “It’s kind of no secret that Garza has some trouble throwing to first sometimes,” Sogard explained. “Small ball is definitely a tool we have and can use. We scored, and anytime that happens he’s not going to be happy.”
Eric Sogard’s wife Kaycee was thrilled with the success her husband was having.
Get em on get em over get em in!
— Kaycee Sogard (@KayceeSogard) August 3, 2013
When talking with reporters after the game, Garza seemed to have his emotions in check, stating only that “They showed how they were going to attack me,” Garza said. “I didn’t really do my job but I got deep into the game and gave the bullpen some rest.”
However things took a huge turn when Matt Garza took to Twitter afterwords, bashing both Sogard and his wife throughout the night.
Initially the only apology he offered to anyone he may have offended in his sexist rant was to say that if you “don’t like me, don’t follow.” However in an interview outside the team clubhouse today the pitcher offered a more heartfelt apology.
“No questions. Just a statement today. All I want to say is I let my competitive spirit cross outside the lines, and that shouldn’t happen. I let my passion, my fire carry over, and that’s not how this game should be played. And for that I apologize to the Sogards for anything that was said through my Twitter. That’s all I have. I regret what happened, and I’m just looking forward to a great game today.”
An embarrassing situation for the Texas Rangers, team General Manager Thad Levine apologized for the action of his player. “When we acquired him, we knew, appreciated and were excited about the fire and passion he was going to display on the field when he was playing and pitching and the fire and passion he was going to display in the dugout when he was supporting his teammates. It’s our sincere hope that that’s where it stays,” Levine said. “We don’t think it has a place outside of that. On behalf of the Texas Rangers, we certainly apologize to the Sogards and to the Oakland Athletics for what was said.”
Because this incident was not the first time Garza has found himself the center of controversy because of his actions on social media, the Rangers are reported to be discussing whether or not their pitcher will continue to use his Twitter account.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express