|LaRussa’s mug shot from March 2007
I love Twitter and I can’t stand Tony LaRussa so there are some aspects of this story that make me laugh.
St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is suing the social-networking site Twitter, claiming an unauthorized page that used his name to make light of drunken driving and two Cardinals pitchers who died damaged his reputation and caused emotional distress.
Now I’m on the fence about making light of tragedy. On a personal level, I’m a huge fan of dark humor. I’ve never been to a funeral where we didn’t find something to laugh about (and, unfortunately, I’ve been to an awful lot of funerals). But I also feel like you need to keep a certain level of respect for the people left behind after a tragedy. So I understand that it could hurt someone to see jokes about someone they love who has died.
But I have a few issues with LaRussa “suing” over this. First off, it’s satire. Even if it’s bad, it seems to me that this would fall under that. Even if it isn’t covered under satire it’s still just humor, no? I never saw the original tweets of this fake LaRussa but based on what has been posted it seems to me that it was completely obvious that it wasn’t really LaRussa writing the updates. (The fake Michael Kay tweets usually are good for a laugh or two but even before he put up the disclaimer that the page was fake, you had to be a bit slow to not realize that already.)
There were three profiles I followed when I started on Twitter that turned out to be fake. Keith Olbermann’s, Stephen Colbert’s and Tina Fey’s (that tells you a lot about me, I know. Probably more than I should make public here!). Olbermann has absolutely no love for Twitter because of the fake profile but Colbert just created his OWN profile (instead of complaining about the fake ones) and Tina Fey has commented that, although it isn’t her, she thinks the person writing the fake profile is funny. (Although it should be noted that the person writing those tweets now calls the page NOT Tina Fey.)
I don’t think anyone should be allowed to dupe people into believing that person is someone else. So I understand LaRussa wanting Twitter to take down the fraudulent account. But suing seems ridiculous, petty, expensive and a tremendous waste of time and resources. According to the story I linked, there was a “warning” on the Twitter profile page that read “Bio Parodies are fun for everyone.” So if I understand the story, LaRussa is suing for being parodied because making jokes (and I’m not arguing whether the jokes were funny or not) about the tragedies that the Cardinals have dealt with and about LaRussa’s lack of good judgment when it comes to drinking and driving, hurt poor Tony’s feelings. So sad. Someone needs to call the wahmbulance.
What happened to Darryl Kile was tragic. What happened to Josh Hancock was tragic and, sadly, caused by Josh’s drunkenness. No less sad, especially for his family and friends, but I wonder if LaRussa is a little more sensitive to it because of his own alcohol issues? Maybe Tony has a bit of guilt because, unlike Hancock, he was fortunate enough to only have to endure public humiliation instead of a funeral? I mean what is possessing him to SUE over this? Whatever the case is, joking about the dead can certainly be considered bad taste but I’m not sure it’s worthy of a courty case. If I’m sitting on the jury that catches this case (although I’m going to guess that this case never sees the inside of a courtroom) I’d be PISSED that they brought me in for something so frivilous. Make them take down the page (which already has been done), get a thicker skin and get over it, Tony. (The faux Twitter profile, not the tragedies.)
Since I’m ranting, I wanted to point you all here. According to comments he made on the Dale and Holley show, Dennis Eckersley didn’t know he “couldn’t talk no-no”. Raise you hand if you believe him. Please, God, send us back Jerry Remy soon. Eck is fun but I really, really miss the Rem Dawg.
(Interesting, to me anyway, note: I’m watching Randy Johnson’s perfect game on MLBN. Mark Grace says “Randy’s been perfect through four.” And in the fifth inning he is making remarks about this possibly being a ‘special game’. He also said “I won’t say anything else” and then added “Yes, I will. I’ll have to.” So, regardless of my feelings about this issue, I’m interested to see how others look at it. Grace was right. It IS tough not to mention that the pitcher is perfect through so many innings. Does that fall under the tradition of not talking about it? The world might never know.)