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Neal versus Cuddyer on Twitter

A writer jabs, an athlete responds, and both act like adults — the interview room expands into social networking.
By David Brauer

I suppose this happens more and more, but a fun little media sign-of-the-times from Sunday’s Twins win.

After Michael Cuddyer’s bases-clearing double, he was thrown out trying to take third. I was at the game, and it looked like an idiotic base-running play to me. Star Tribune beat writer La Velle E. Neal III thought the same thing, tweeting:

Bases un-loaded double by Cuddy, but what is up with this team’s baserunning this season? #twins #stribtwins#whereispaulmolitoronthis?

Neal wrote the game story, which focused on Cuddyer’s heroics and didn’t mention the miscue, which proved inconsequential to the final result.

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Anyway, Cuddyer did not want to let Neal’s barb go. Three hours after the original tweet (post-game, I hope), Cuddyer tweets:

@LaVelleNeal draw the throw to me. Make sure we got that third run in.

Neal offers a diplomatic response:

@mcuddy5 Understood. My opinion was that the third run was a lock to score already. But u r closer to the play than me.

Although MLB’s video clip isn’t definitive, I’d say Neal was right and Cuddy is spinning.

Anyway, not a big scandal — in fact, two adults acting that way — but as a fan, it’s fun to see the media-athlete back-and-forth extend into a new medium. Cuddyer is a relatively new twitterer (he only started this summer) so I hope he doesn’t turn surly or non-responsive, though social networking can be a demanding compulsion.

[Hat tip: Dean Carlson]