St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright explained on 101 ESPN why he deactivated his Twitter account following his start in London.
Once Adam Wainwright learned he would be taking the ball in the St. Louis Cardinals' trip to London, he was understandably excited. The 41-year-old in his final season was going to pitch in his fourth country, something only a handful of players have done, and he wanted to represent the Cardinals' brand of baseball overseas.
Unfortunately, we all know what transpired: Wainwright lasted three innings, surrendering 11 hits and seven earned runs. Fans on Twitter subsequently lost their cool and attacked Wainwright, leading him to deactivate his Twitter account.
Wainwright appeared on the St. Louis sports radio station 101 ESPN on June 28 for the weekly "Wednesdays with Waino" segment, where he went into more detail about why he shut down his account.
"If I'm going to get out of this hole and help this team win more games, I need 100% commitment," he said. "I've got to be 100% committed to the idea that I'm going to be great. ... I can't do that if I have hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hate mail coming my way."
Wainwright said he tries not to read the vitriol spewed toward him, but people keep adding him and mentioning him so he sees the comments. Radio host Brooke Grimsley later told Wainwright that he can disable the setting that notifies him of all mentions.
Wainwright made sure to compliment the many Cardinals fans who showed him support throughout this debacle. He said some fans went so far as to console him and express concern about his emotional state.
"I got a lot of messages afterward from people saying, 'Oh gosh, I hope you're not depressed,'" said Wainwright. "I appreciate the thought, but I'm not as fragile as that."
Despite Wainwright's dismissal of being fragile, he did admit that he began to believe what people were saying about him. For Wainwright, disabling his account was about refocusing on and off the field.
"I just had to reset," he said. "We're people too. I can't get better if I'm believing what those people are saying."
The Twitter fiasco also helped Wainwright step back and acknowledge that although Twitter has its benefits, he was becoming too reliant on the platform.
"I'd sit down and spend an hour on the couch with the kids, and we're watching a show or something, and I'm doing Twitter," he said. "... And it's just like, golly, this is starting to take over my life. Get rid of this thing!"
Wainwright didn't say if he plans to return to Twitter in the future, but he is aware of Twitter's nearly unbreakable grip on many of its users.
"They don't want you to go outside and see the sun, get in the garden, get your hands dirty," Wainwright said. "They want you to sit on the couch and get nothing accomplished and watch dumb animal videos all day long."
Wainwright has managed to free himself from Twitter's lure for the time being, and although his swan song hasn't gone the way he or his fans have hoped, this mental reset might be the breakthrough he's been seeking.
The full 101 ESPN interview with Wainwright can be found here.