CLEVELAND – After the World Series, Cubs manager Joe Maddon says, it’s time to fix Twitter.

You might think a guy about to manage a team, or play for one, in a World Series would be more deadly serious two hours before the first pitch. Aside from starting pitchers, though, baseball people are among the most relaxed in sports.

So here was Maddon, talking about Twitter, the social media phenomenon that offers everyone a chance to communicate with the universe in 140 characters or fewer.

Anyone who has spent more than 60 seconds on Twitter knows it can be great and awful.

It’s great as a way to instantly share information and links to websites, stories, video. It’s great in that every voice, no matter how rich or poor, how powerful or weak, has a chance to be heard in the same arena.

It’s awful in the platform it provides cyberbullies, the cowards who largely hide behind anonymity as they spew venom on anybody they wish.

Scroll Twitter during the baseball playoffs, and you’ll find millions of fans cheering great stuff about their favorite teams — and millions of others savaging every bad swing, bobbled ball and manager’s decision. Then there are the threads where fans go into meltdown if their team starts to fare poorly.

The subject of Twitter came up before Game 6, in the context of Tweets putting negative thoughts in players’ heads. And Maddon addressed it.

“I think there should be two forms of Twitter,” he said. “There should be a positive forms of Twitter and the negative form, and you have to choose one. And if you choose to be on Negative Twitter, then you’re not welcome on Positive Twitter, ever. And there needs to be Twitter Police, because there’s so much negativity that’s generated on a daily basis within our society, we have to do something about it.”

Maddon is an unabashed child of the ‘60s. He talks about guys who are “cool cats” and uses words like “groovy” on a consistent basis. He’s no prude, and he’s a free-speech guy. But he’s also concerned about the tenor of the national discourse; probably not just on baseball, either.

In a riff that had a roomful of reporters laughing — hard — Maddon made his point:
“Why do you want to put negative thoughts in anybody’s heads about anything? Why do you want to assume the worst? I definitely want to assume the best. …

“So at the end of the World Series, at least let’s see if we can do something about Twitter, if anything, and have two methods of Twitter. You get to choose one and the negative dudes, you cannot infiltrate the positive people, because we’re going to kick you out of there very quickly.”

— Kirk Wessler is Journal Star sports editor. Contact him at kwessler@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @KirkWessler.