Matt Garza was not pleased with Eric Sogard for bunting against him. Then he wasn't very happy with Sogard's wife and went on a misogynistic Twitter rampage.
And now he has apologized, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
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.
The incident started on Saturday afternoon in a game between the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers, with Garza on the mound. The A's clearly had a strategy of bunting against Garza, opening the game with a bunt single from Coco Crisp.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sogard laid down a perfect bunt to execute a squeeze play, scoring a run. Garza was not pleased with the play and was seen shouting obscenities in Sogard's direction between innings.
According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, "Garza screamed a vulgarity in which he questioned Sogard's manhood."
But it was something Sogard's wife, Kaycee Sogard, tweeted after the game that really got Garza's dander up, and he went on the following rant (via Mike Taddow):
It's hard to see why Kaycee Sogard's tweets so inflamed Garza, though it appears she deleted one tweet:
Get em on get em over get em in!— Kaycee Sogard (@KayceeSogard) August 3, 2013
Not sure where my last tweet went, but I find it funny ;) Eric is probably the last person to respond to getting called names.— Kaycee Sogard (@KayceeSogard) August 3, 2013
The Sogards, to their credit, have handled the situation with class (and a bit of bewilderment), according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
Sogard says he fails to see why Garza took any offense at @KayceeSogard's tweet, which wasn't directed at Garza and was pretty innocuous.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2013
Rangers manager Ron Washington was asked about the exchange and expressed a bit of confusion (via John Hickey of InsideBayArea.com):
Texas mgr Ron Washington on Matt Garza-eric/Kaycee Sogard tweetfest: What is Twitter anyway? People's opinions?"— John Hickey (@JHickey3) August 4, 2013
Slusser also has the latest from A's manager Bob Melvin:
Melvin says he knew he'd get lots of Twitter questions today. "I know what Twitter is," he says with a grin. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2013
Melvin on the Garza flap: "I really don't have a reaction. It's between two others in a world I'm not part of." #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) August 4, 2013
At the very least, Garza should be fined for his comments. Calling baseball a "man's game" and saying things like "certain people can't shut their woman up" is not the type of message Major League Baseball wants to send.
Not only that, but directing such venom at another player's family member is simply inappropriate. Garza not only represented himself poorly with his rant, but he also represented the Rangers and MLB carelessly.
Without question, either the club or league office needs to respond to this situation immediately. Garza's comments were obviously offensive and out of line.