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Curve C Sanchez in trouble over Twitter comments criticizing umps

May 10, 2011 - Cory Giger
Curve catcher Tony Sanchez has landed in hot water thanks to Twitter comments he made Monday night criticizing the umpires after a loss at Harrisburg.

Sanchez tweeted: "Sometimes the umpires just decide to blow a game. Never seen a winning teams crowd go silent as the game winning run crosses the plate."

Sanchez is facing some sort of discipline from the Pirates, although the extent of it is not known.

"It's an internal discipline, professionalism matter, if you will, and we will handle it internally," Pirates farm director Kyle Stark said.

Asked if Sanchez will face a suspension, Stark replied, "I'm not gonna comment on how we handle things internally. We're gonna handle it internally and move forward."

Sanchez's comments were made after the Curve lost, 3-2, on a controversial call in the ninth inning.

Tied at 2, Harrisburg had the bases loaded and one out. Jesus Valdez grounded to Curve third baseman Jeremy Farrell, who bobbled the ball briefly before throwing to second base to try and start a double play.

Senators runner Jonathan Tucker was ruled safe at second, then Brock Holt fired to first base for an out. With the runner being safe at second, it allowed Derek Norris to score the game-winning run from third.

Farrell and Curve manager P.J. Forbes argued the call after the game, and later Sanchez tweeted his comments.

The comments went widespread on the Internet on Tuesday, and even Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Gammons weighed in on his Twitter account.

Gammons tweeted: "Dwight Howard not alone in Tweet hell. Bucs AA C Tony Sanchez last night about umps trying "to blow a game." Eastern League not happy."

Sanchez responded directly to that tweet by writing: "I hear ya. big mistake on my part. paying the price as we speak."

Sanchez then wrote: "Should have kept my feelings about last nights outcome to myself. I work to hard to have a great relationship with umpires to let one call jeopardize that relationship. I apologize and will not let it happen again."

Eastern League spokesman Bill Rosario denied that the league office had made any such claim as Gammons wrote about being "not happy" and said league president Joe McEacharn also had not made any statement regarding Sanchez's comments.

It's not yet known if the EL office will punish Sanchez with either a suspension or fine.

Stark said he's not sure how the league has handled comments critical of umpires in the past.

"I'm not aware of anything that's been tackled that way before in this league," he said. "I have not heard from Joe. Joe does a great job, I respect the job he does. If the league decides to do something, then we'll certainly deal with it at that point. But I'm not aware of anything that's been done in the past."

The Pirates, Stark noted, do talk to their players about being careful what to say in interviews and on Twitter.

"All the players are trained and educated each year on dealing with the media, dealing with social media, dealing with fans," Stark said. "Obviously we're dealing with human beings, and we don't always make the best decisions. So when that happens, we handle it internally.

"It'd be the same thing if somebody made those comments to you in a postgame. It's all the same as far as I'm concerned. ... If somebody does something stupid then we handle it internally."

Sanchez chose not to comment Tuesday afternoon when the Mirror made a request through a Curve official in Harrisburg.

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