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Garza apologizes for tweets regarding Sogard

Garza apologizes for tweets regarding Sogard

Garza apologizes for tweets regarding Sogard

OAKLAND -- Rangers pitcher Matt Garza apologized for tweets he posted Saturday directed at Athletics infielder Eric Sogard and his wife, Kaycee.

"All I want to say is I let my competitive spirit cross outside the lines, and that shouldn't happen," Garza said. "I let my passion, my fire carry over, and that's not how this game should be played. And for that I apologize to the Sogards for anything that was said through my Twitter. That's all I have. I regret what happened, and I'm just looking forward to a great game today."

Garza, beyond giving that statement in person to the media, declined to answer questions but said he won't speak to Sogard personally. The Rangers were not happy with Garza's rant -- especially because some of the comments were derogatory about Kaycee Sogard -- and also apologized to the Athletics.

Assistant general manager Thad Levine, who spoke to Garza Sunday morning, said that some of the comments "crossed the line" and were serious transgressions.

"Those are not sentiments condoned by the team," Levine said. "When we acquired him, we knew, appreciated and were excited about the fire and passion he displays on the field when he is pitching and in the dugout supporting his teammates. Our sincere hope is that is where it stays."

Levine also strongly suggested that Garza stay off Twitter. Garza seemed to agree that was a good idea.

"He has been very conciliatory," Levine said. "He was very contrite right from the outset of our conversation."

Garza didn't seem to be too thrilled about the Athletics' bunting tactics during Saturday's 4-2 loss. Sogard dropped two bunts, including a seventh-inning safety squeeze that drove in the Athletics' fourth run.

Eric, participating in a team charity bowling tournament on Saturday night, learned of Garza's remarks from a few teammates and was rather surprised, especially since his wife had only tweeted, "Eric is probably the last person to respond to getting called names."

"I went back and looked to see what she said, and I don't see it how it was directed at him, or how he could take it that way," Sogard said.

Still, he took the high road and even slightly excused Garza's actions.

"Obviously you get caught up in the heat of the moment, things like that can happen," he said, "but I was kind of surprised to see it escalated and what happened later.

"[Kaycee] just thought it was a joke. She took it off her shoulders quickly, wasn't offended by it really. We just kind of laughed about it. We took it as a joke, and that's how we'll continue to look at it."

A's manager Bob Melvin is not on Twitter but he was well aware of the goings-on.

"I really don't have a reaction," he said. "That's between two others in a world I'm not part of."

Melvin, like Sogard, didn't quite understand why so much frustration was built over Sogard's ability to do his job.

"We're trying to add on a run against a really good pitcher that was on a roll," Melvin said. "We got to him early in the game and scored three runs off him but didn't do anything after that. We're just trying to get a run home. They'd do it as well."

"I was just doing my job out there," added Sogard. "I got the bunt sign from my third-base coach and put the bunt down and apparently he didn't like it. Just playing the game. Obviously it's something you want to leave on the field when the game ends and move on."

Asked if he'd bunt against Garza the next time he faces him, Sogard smiled.

"We'll see," he said. "It seemed to work out yesterday."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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