This is a story about Twitter; Baseball and Athletes; Trolling and Trolls; and Children and Childishness. But mostly it’s about Twitter.
As has been documented by the Kansas City Royals, Danny Duffy, injured starting pitcher for the Royals deactivated his popular @dduffkc23 Twitter account late last night with the following tweet:
Only hours before, Duffy was joyfully tweeting about his Los Angeles Lakers who lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the playoffs.
Below is a spotty screenshot log of a conversation between Danny Duffy and a Twitter user named
@MyPeepsCallMeD. As you can see below. The discussion seemed playful at times, and then just took a turn. (Click picture to view larger.)
Then something happened between last night and today for “Miss Danielle” to tweet out this…
The kneejerk reaction by Duffy was swift and massive. He hit the eject button.
Then, earlier today, the account for @MyPeepsCallMeD was put in a “Suspended” status.
The shame of it is, as Sam Mellinger mentioned on Twitter today, “Other athletes could take notes on how to Twitter for their own good.” He was what we wanted from athletes on Twitter and could’ve quickly parlayed it into Twitter superstardom the likes of Chris Kluwe and Logan Morrison. Duffy had proven his ability to know how to handle tricky Twitter users and haters.
But Icarus flew too close to the sun and an apparent threat of a lawsuit or harassment claim to the Royals was too much, so the wings melted and he fell from the sky.
In a way, it’s probably for the best. That kid needs to go get his Tommy John surgery next week, get healthy and get back to Kansas City, hopefully in the middle of a 2013 pennant chase.
However, it does remind fans of another time he hit the eject button in 2010 as Duffy left the Royals organization for a brief time. The correlation could also be made to another Royal who left the organization named Zack Greinke. Are the two separate issues, or is this now a pattern of how he handles adversity? What happens if he DOES come back in the middle of a pennant chase?
As it stands now, Duffy is gone from Twitter, he will have surgery next week. The world continues to spin on its axis.
But this twittercide leaves some wreckage in its wake, namely the fans who hopped on board the #BuryMeARoyal and #GodOverEverything bandwagon. Duffy had preached those two hashtags frequently in his Twitter feed and he had gained an enermous amount of fans.
One of them was @LilFrenchy21, the popular 7 year old “Twitter Kid” who became embroiled in a Twitter argument with @MyPeepsCallMeD. This void caused two Twitter worlds to collide. Worlds that really have no purpose intermingling.
And what of us who choose to continue to use Twitter? Is Duffy saying that by quitting he’s now elevating himself to “better than us” status? He’s leaving us to wallow in our own filth?
You can likely chalk this up to a failure of Twitter. That being that it ain’t Facebook. Facebook has more controls over haters and, while there’s plenty of dissention – just read the Royals Facebook page to see an example of the wrong sperm that won – people don’t really understand Twitter. The hate can tend to sneak up on you if you’re not ready for it. Your Mom is likely to understand Facebook. Twitter might put her in the hospital.
I guess my point to all of this is that if you’re not ready for it, Twitter can be a calloused bitch – one that will bite you hard… in a bad way. It seems through all his aggressive bluster, Duffy couldn’t handle it in the end. Which is a damn shame, because we wanted to root for a guy who was bulletproof. Turns out, he was human, but not a human who was long for Twitter.