NEW YORK -– Ian Stewart appears to have shut down his Twitter account, but he’s still feuding with the Cubs, appealing the 10-day suspension handed down by the organization.
The players union is in the process of handling the grievance, sources said Friday, with Stewart trying to win back the more than $110,000 he’d lose if suspended without pay.
Cubs president Theo Epstein declined to specify the length of the suspension earlier this week, saying the club was still jumping through “legal hoops.” Epstein cited the “loyalty clause” in Stewart’s one-year, $2 million contract as justification.
Stewart vented his frustrations while interacting with fans on Twitter late Monday night into early Tuesday morning, saying how he was rotting in the minor leagues. The Triple-A Iowa third baseman said he would “probably never” be called back up to Chicago because manager Dale Sveum “doesn’t like me and he’s running the show.”
The union will fight the concept of a player speaking his mind and losing money over negative comments. The Cubs suspended Milton Bradley near the end of the 2009 season after he ripped the organization in an interview with the Daily Herald. Bradley never returned to the Cubs clubhouse, but he still got his full salary restored.
On Twitter, Stewart asked for his release, a decision he didn’t make last month, when the Cubs put him through waivers, removed him from the 40-man roster and kept him with Iowa after his rehabbing a quadriceps injury.
Stewart -– who was hitting .168 with 45 strikeouts in 40 games -– had low expectations for consistent playing time and felt buried in Des Moines. Here’s how he responded to one fan on his account: “why would I quit? I'm making 2 mill in AAA like u would give that up by quitting.”
The Cubs have indicated there’s a possibility of negotiating a settlement, so Stewart, 28, can hit the reset button on his career and sign with another organization.