You never quite know what 'Batch' you are going to get off the football field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

What's Up With Steelers Baron Batch And Twitter?


I’m scratching my head on this one….

As I was experiencing a lovely evening watching what turned out to be a tight matchup between the Texans and Bears on Sunday Night Football, I bounced around the Twitt-o-sphere for game reactions and other musings.  The media was obviously on top of the game, but players from across the league and on the Steelers roster were either watching along or engaged in something completely different.  And I couldn’t help notice one Steeler who was sharing much about a TV show he was watching and quickly moved into a venomous tirade against his own followers.

Steelers 2nd year back up running back, Baron Batch, was watching The Walking Dead last night, and decided to Tweet responses to things that were happening during the show – better known as spoilers.  Some followers didn’t take kindly to this.  And while agree with Batch that if people didn’t want to see the spoiler Tweets to just go ahead and ignore then, what I scratch my head with and somewhat take issue with is his reaction to those that spoke out.  Batch went from being a friendly Walking Dead watching guy, to an I don’t really care what you think or what you do so piss on you and unfollow me then guy – we call that being a jagoff.  Now I’m not saying Batch is a jag because I admire his story and what he’s become in this world, but he certainly was acting like one last night.

There’s a whole sundry of Tweets by Batch, but here are a few of the highlights:

 

 

Some followers of Batch didn’t take kindly to Batch’s responses to those who didn’t take kindly to the spoilers. When they Tweeted to him that they were unfollowing him, he responded:

 

 

Twitter can be a 140 character no holds barred of abbreviated thoughts and emotions.  And, it often gets players into hot water (i.e. Rashard Mendenhall 2011).  Usually, though, it seems as if players extend a courtesy and politeness to their fans even when they decide to go on a rant or vie for something outside of the mainstream.  I said usually.

What’s so strange about Batch’s rants (and this isn’t the first time he has gone off on Twitter) is that they are so atypical what people expect to see from this guy.  Batch’s story as to how he got to where he is at this point in his life is a pretty incredible one.  If you have never read his blog, you should.  If you already have, then I think you might share my same feelings on this.  If you separate Baron Batch The Blogger from Baron Batch The Tweeter, one would think they are two completely different people.  The blogging Batch is such a humble, caring, and empathetic young man.  His writing and ability to express is impressive.  It’s one of the main reasons why so many in Steeler Nation like him, admire him, and root for this guy every time he steps out onto the football field.

The Tweeting Batch is a crass, aloof, and dismissive juvenile who seems to only bait his followers so that he feels enabled in what he is doing.  It’s the kind of personality that will get fans to unfollow – which they are.  They aren’t unfollowing in droves, but Batch could care less.  Granted, it is indeed ‘his Twitter.’  He can do and say what he wants.  But what I don’t understand is the assumed license to be abusive to people who genuinely want to socially connect with him.  I guess you can predict the kind of guy you will get on the football field, you just never know what  kind of guy you will get away from the field.

Ultimately, it’s no big deal, right?  It’s Twitter.  I love the Baron Batch that is on the field.  I’ve admired his hard work and perseverance - especially after that crushing knee injury last year.  I guess I just need to understand that there are two sides to every person….

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  • http://twitter.com/BarryWest W,B 11

    It’s funny how we as fans expect for athletes to be emotionless robots that live just to play for our entertainment. Why are they obligated not to show emotion on anything which allows them to speak aloud? I highly doubt Baron Batch attacked anyone about the show first. Therefore, being that fans can’t control themselves then maybe Fans (non players) shouldn’t have Twitter…. OOOPS! That’s against our rights. But, I forgot athletes aren’t US citizens. Freedom of Speech.

    • Craig

      I think Batch can say whatever he wants. Doesn’t always make it right. What I’m most curious about and what I pointed out in the post is – it’s like he has two different personas: a blogging one and a twitter one. Neither jive together. It’s just an observation. I don’t condone it, but I’m not going to unfollow him either just because he decides to act out in that way.

      • http://twitter.com/JennMT DidusayJenn

        I’ve actually been blocked by him on twitter and I never even tweeting anything negative to him at all, I’ve never heckled any of the players on twitter because I sure as heck wouldn’t want anyone heckling me at my job. I think he is very young kid, who has had to deal with incredible adversity in his life, but that doesn’t necessarily make him mature. The players are human beings, just like us, but when it comes to the difference between us and them, it’s simple, they play for a team for a few years that we follow and love most of our whole lives. They are invested for the time being, Steelernation is invested for life, there will always be a disconnect to the players that don’t understand that. Some players will get that, players like Polamalu, Woodley, Clark, they get it. We can’t expect all them too, especially when we want them mostly to get the 7th trophy home.

  • eazye1334

    I’ve seen people honestly tell him he should be watching game tape instead of TV at 9pm on a Sunday. Sometimes fans go overboard and forget these guys are human, too. Just like all the people up in arms about players missing games for the birth of their child, these people complaining need to step back and realize that these guys still are humans and still hold some semblance of a normal life

    • Craig

      I agree. But like I said to W,B11 below, the two personas don’t jive. It’s just a head scratcher to me. I don’t even think people complaining about the spoiler stuff really had a beef. It was the way he reacted to those fans that really pissed off others.

  • Hulie04

    If this is his outlet for stress then let it be. He is right unfollow him if you do not like it.

  • Kimmy

    I’ve seen more times he’s gotten after people on Twitter like that before. I agree that some people can get super sensitive and complain about just about anything on Twitter but I also see that Batch is pretty sarcastic and sometimes it comes across as nasty. I also see that he’s not even 25 yet and that has a lot to do with it. He’s super young and doesn’t yet see the value in stepping back rather than going head to head with people on Twitter. I don’t hold it against him but I can see how it turns some people off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.armor.7 Mark Armor

    Baron Batch can be a remarkably creative and funny tweeter. But all he wants to hear is us is praise and compliments.

  • Kimmy

    You’re right. You shouldn’t be wasting valuable time doing something as silly as reading.