Taking away cell phones isn’t just a punishment for misbehaving teenagers anymore.
The Minnesota Twins said Friday that they’re going to limit their players’ cell phone time on game days, asking them to shut down their devices 30 minutes before the first pitch. The policy is something former manager Ron Gardenhire tried to start late last season and that new skipper Paul Molitor wants to continue.
Then-special instructor Eddie Guardado first brought up the issue last spring training when he noticed all of his pitchers glued to their smartphones in the clubhouse.
“I’m sitting there the first day, having a cup of coffee at the big table in the middle of the clubhouse,” Guardado told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I’m looking at all the pitchers. There’s eight pitchers. I go, ‘What’s wrong with this picture right now?’
“I said (to equipment manager Rod McCormick), ‘Hot Rod, look at this. Nobody’s talking to anybody.'”
Molitor is hoping that the Twins’ veterans will help enforce the no-phone policy and that it’ll ultimately lead to better communication. Pitcher Tommy Milone and first baseman Joe Mauer already are on board.
“I think it’s great,” Mauer told the Pioneer Press on Saturday. “You know me, I’m not a Twitter guy. I like that. It’s good. We’re here. We’ve got a job to do. I think that’s what we should be doing here.”
This isn’t the first time an MLB manager has had to do something about technology in the clubhouse either. The Kansas City Royals’ 2014 World Series run almost was stymied by a “Clash of Clans” addiction until manager Ned Yost put an end to it.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@SInow