Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Twittergate: What Every Employee Can Learn From the Chicago White Sox

One. Two. Three Tweets you're out, Oney Guillen.

Nobody will question the fact that the Chicago White Sox play second fiddle to the Cubs. For right or wrong, that's the situation in Chicago's baseball market. Despite winning a World Series title five years ago, the city's first since 1917, the White Sox continue to serve as Chicago's other baseball franchise. However, the White Sox always seem to draw media attention. This past weekend proved no different.

Oney Guillen, the 24-year old son of White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, resign his position as a video scout for the team on Friday night. I know what you're thinking at the moment. Why is the resignation of a video scout a story? Because it pertains to the consequences of free speech.

In our world of almost limitless social media outlets, we can share our thoughts and opinions on anything. We post blogs on Humzoo, we reconnect with old friends on Facebook, and share restaurant reviews on Yelp. Those are just a few. Then there's Twitter.

With all of the technology at our fingertips, we have the ability to spread information faster than ever before. What Oney Guillen didn't consider is that, unlike his father, his freedom of speech is on a much shorter leash. As manager a former player, Ozzie is granted an enormous amount of freedom. He is arguably the only person on the planet allowed to operate without a filter. He speaks his mind on a wide range of topics. When Oney started Tweeting, he seemed to think he was offered an equal amount of freedom. That's where he was wrong.

Through his Twitter account, Oney openly criticized the White Sox organization. Now there's debate on how serious or detrimental these comments were. Personally, I think they were careless, but I don't think they undermined the franchise. Nevertheless, the White Sox were not pleased. This just serves as a reminder that our actions do have consequences. If you disagree with your employer, posting your feelings online can lead to termination. Freedom of speech does have its limits. Now technically, Oney was not fired. His father recommended he resign. From all reports, the Sox didn't intend to fire Oney, but they did ask Ozzie to speak to him.

Earlier during spring training, the White Sox agreed to participate in a reality program for MLB Network called The Club. It will deal with behind the scenes dealings of the owner (Jerry Reinsdorf), the general manager (Kenny Williams), and the manager (Ozzie Guillen). I'll be curious to see how much of this material will make the final cut. Episodes will start airing in July.


4 Comments
stevenheinzel
When you bite the hand that feeds you the "bitee" will bite back.
stheinz   Monday, March 22, 2010
Second fiddle to the White Sox... don't think so.
AG   Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Ooops! Second fiddle to the Cubs, I don't think so is what I meant to say.
Oney has a big mouth. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I love the Sox but we are looking awful in spring training. Ouch!
AG   Tuesday, March 23, 2010
billpearch
AG, I'm worried about both teams this year.
Bill Pearch   Tuesday, March 23, 2010
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