Sandoval sits after violating social media policy

Sandoval sits after violating social media policy

ATLANTA -- Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was benched for tonight's game against the Braves for violating the team's social media policy during Wednesday night's 5-2 loss. Sandoval is being reprimanded for using Instagram during the game, which goes against team and MLB rules.

Sandoval was accountable for the mistake, owning up both to manager John Farrell and while talking to the media before Thursday's game.

"I know I [messed] up and made a mistake yesterday," Sandoval said. "I learned from that. I'm a human being. I made a mistake. I apologized to my teammates, the team, the organization, the fans who support us.

"I didn't send a message, I hit the like [button]. I was in the bathroom in the seventh inning. It was the wrong time. I learned from that."

Sandoval said he accepts his punishment. "When you're grown up, you learn from a lot of things," Sandoval said. "You're growing up every day in your life. It's the decision they made, I broke the team rules and should be punished for that."

Sandoval is expected to be back in the lineup on Friday, when the Red Sox open a three-game series in Kansas City.

Farrell, who has been dealing with enough just trying to get his struggling team back on track, was clearly annoyed to have this type of distraction come up.

"It's disappointing," Farrell said. "It's disappointing because it's a rule that is known by all. It's very disappointing. It's not tolerable, and as a result, he's on the bench tonight."

Both MLB and the Red Sox have a rule that states players can't use their smartphones or other electronic devices from 30 minutes before the game starts until the end of the game.

"We have our own policy where there's a time of the day where phones are to be put away and shut off and all attention paid to the game at hand and supporting your teammates," Farrell said. "When actions run counter to that, that's when consequences are had."

The Red Sox didn't fine Sandoval.

"From our standpoint, he's benched tonight," Farrell said. "I don't know of any further discipline at this point in time or if there's anything else that will come down from MLB. We've also handled some other things internally on the matter."

"John addressed that," said general manager Ben Cherington. "I don't have anything to add. Something happened yesterday. Pablo has been accountable for it and he's not playing for it tonight. Other than that, that's something that John handles inside the clubhouse."

The Red Sox entered Thursday with eight losses in their last nine games, and are in last place in the American League East.

"It just happened," Cherington said. "Unfortunately it happened during a time when things aren't going well for the team. It's been addressed and we'll move on."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.