UPDATE: Sandoval admitted to using Instagram during Wednesday night’s game, telling the assembled media in the Red Sox clubhhouse on Thursday that he went to the bathroom and liked photos there. He is not in the Red Sox lineup.
Sandoval benched tonight for violating social media policy during game last night.— Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) June 18, 2015
Pablo Sandoval admitted it was him on Instagram last night. Was going to the bathroom in the 7th and grabbed his phone on the way there.— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) June 18, 2015
Sandoval: "I let my teammates down. It ain't going to happen again. I'll take the punishment."— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) June 18, 2015
ORIGINAL STORY: Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, or someone with access to his Instagram account, was actively using the social media platform during Wednesday night’s Sox-Braves game in Atlanta.
Barstool Sports Red Sox blogger Jared Carrabis noticed that Sandoval’s official Instagram account “liked’’ a couple of provocative photos of a woman who goes by “diva_legacy.’’ “Diva_legacy’’ is based in Atlanta, and the Panda is one of 32 people she follows on Instagram.
Not to blow up the dude's spot, but uh...is Pablo Sandoval on Instagram during the game? pic.twitter.com/q8X4HoFDOT— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) June 18, 2015
According to the Instagram timeline, these “likes’’ happened at approximately 9:20 p.m. ET. On WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan show Thursday morning, the producers checked the time of the Instagram activity against the Red Sox radio broadcast timestamps and determined that the Red Sox were batting in the 7th inning at that time. Sandoval was the sixth batter due up in the frame.
It remains unclear if Sandoval himself liked the photos. His brother Michael Sandoval manages many aspects of Pablo’s life off the field and Panda’s manager, Gustavo Vasquez, may also have access to the “kfp48’’ Instagram account.
“I don’t really have any idea of that situation, it’s the first I’m hearing about it,’’ Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen said on Dennis and Callahan. “I’ve heard nothing but great things from Pablo, nothing that I’ve seen. He’s a great teammate and he plays his butt off. I was in the clubhouse last night during the game but I didn’t see him, so I’m not really sure. I’m sure we’ll find out more about that today.’’
Since the controversy hit Twitter and the radio airways, the two “likes’’ of diva_legacy’s photos have been removed.
Honestly, can you just lose and not drop balls in the air or wait to line up your road beef on Instagram until AFTER the game. WTF— Lou Merloni (@LouMerloni) June 18, 2015
During spring training, Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke about the rules for electronic devices use by players at the ballpark.
“Prior to 6:30 (about 40 minutes before first pitch for a standard night game), everything gets shut off,’’ Farrell said in Fort Myers in February. “The only thing running at that time is the TV and leading up to [game] time it’s on the opposing pitcher that night.
“It’s all part of an individual’s preparation leading up to game time. I think if you see the number of our guys that are in the [batting] cage or in our dugout long in advance of the first pitch thrown, that speaks pretty clearly to that.’’
Sandoval – who’s in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak – went 2-for-4 in the Red Sox’ 5-2 loss to the Braves Wednesday night.
During Monday night’s game, Sandoval hit career double No. 200 and communicated to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons that he wanted the ball for a keepsake.
The act that took place with the Red Sox trailing 4-0 left a “sour taste for many,’’ according to CSNNE’s Sean McAdam.
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