Kimie Bunyasaranand
Thursday September 20th, 2012

MLB announced it would make its Twitter account private from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday. According to Business of Sports, MLB sent out an email explaining the decision:

The MLB Twitter Account (@mlb) will be rolling out the digital red carpet and going COMPLETELY PRIVATE from noon-6pm ET. What does this mean? It means ONLY our Twitter followers will be able to participate in exclusive and one-of-a-kind giveaways and win prizes such as World Series tickets, mega-MLB.com shop gift cards and much, much more. Follow @mlb … before it's too late.

During the early hours of the 6-hour block, the account's feed consisted of promotional tweets with messages such as:

"Next up: We're giving aways 2013 Opening Day tickets! Wanna go? Tweet "Hey @MLB, I want those Opening Day tickets! Come on!#MLBMembersOnly"

and

"We're giving away 3 2013 @MLBTVsubscriptions. Want one? Tweet, "C'mon@MLB! Please let me win @MLBTV for 2013! I'll be your best friend!"

MLB gained more than 7,000 additional followers between 10 a.m. and 1:20 p.m., but the move also received outside criticism for lack of professionalism from Awful Announcing's Joe Lucia:

People generally make their accounts private so that they can avoid random people from looking at their tweets and only let approved people look at them... not so you can give away 'exclusive prizes.' This is supposed to be a professional account covering a league. What if a major piece of news happens, like a star player breaking his leg and getting hurt?

And here's another really irritating thing about this private nonsense: there are two weeks left in the season, and baseball is in the midst of an intense pennant race….You'd think there would be more attention focused on the games on the field as opposed to giving away prizes for no reason.

Seven games are scheduled to begin during the private hours.

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