And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights, Part 1

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Gardenhire argues.jpgBecause I’m running late with these, let’s break them up into two installments. Here’s the AL edition. The NL edition will follow later this morning.  Thanks for bearing with me.

Tigers
11, Twins 6
: Interesting play in the sixth, when Johnny Damon hit a
deep drive to center. Denard Span caught it after a very long run, but
dropped it after taking a couple of steps. The umps
ruled that Span hadn’t held the ball long enough for an out, and it
ended up being scored a two-base error, after which the floodgates
opened. Gardenhire got ejected arguing the call, but the
replay seems to back him up
. Looks like he simply dropped it tryin
to take it out of his glove for the throw.

Rays 10, Athletics 3: James Shields was dealing — fanning 12 — and Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena each went long, giving the Rays their 13th win in 15 games.  Bad day for Dallas Braden, who said after the game: “Someone apparently didn’t tell the Rays that [batting practice] was
over when they took the cage off the field.” Braden’s pretty good at telling opposing players to knock it off. You’d think he would have said something.

Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 0: Jon Lester allowed only one hit and struck out 11 in seven innings as the Sox, winners of seven of nine and Jays, losers of nine of 12, each begin to return to expected form after some early season tomfoolery.

Angels 4, Indians 3: I can’t count how many times I’ve been in a ballpark and overheard some half-drunk, uninformed guy say “dude should totally lay a bunt down here. They’d never expect it” when it’s clearly not a bunting situation. I think there was even a law requiring that in Cincinnati when Adam Dunn was still around. Grinds my gears every time I hear it, because it evinces a profound ignorance of the game and winning strategy.  In other news, Howie Kendrick laid down a bunt with two out in the ninth inning “driving” in Torii Hunter to win the game. I’d give credit to Mike Scioscia for creative thinking, but he had been ejected seven innings earlier.

Rangers 6, White Sox 5: Jake Peavy walked five and gave up six runs on six hits. Guess he didn’t have it figured out after all.

Mariners 6, Royals 5: Gil Meche gave up five runs on eight hits and three walks in six innings. He’s now 0-2 in four starts with a 10.13 ERA. Opponents are batting .338
against him. And he’s only owed another $25 million or so.

Yankees 8, Orioles 3: The O’s got 11 hits of CC Sabathia, who was pitching with a big lead for much of the game and apparently just daring the O’s to hit it, but they couldn’t do much with all of those baserunners.
 

 

Brewers won’t punish Josh Hader for offensive tweets

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Some old tweets of Josh Hader‘s surfaced during the All-Star Game on Tuesday, containing offensive and hateful language. Major League Baseball responded by ordering Hader to attend sensitivity training and attend diversity initiatives.

The Brewers won’t punish Hader themselves, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. GM David Stearns says the club is taking its lead from MLB, which has already handed down its punishment to Hader. Additionally, the Brewers’ lack of punishment has to do with the tweets occurring when Hader was younger — 17 years old — and not involved with professional baseball.

Stearns also said of Hader’s tweets, “I don’t think they’re representative of who he is. I think they’re offensive. I think they’re ill-informed and ignorant but I don’t think they represent who he is as a person right now.” Stearns added, “I don’t know how he’s going to work through it. The truth is he has put himself in this situation. And he’s going to have to work very hard to get through it.”

Hader apologized on Wednesday, saying, “I was 17 years old, and as a child I was immature, and obviously I said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today.” Hader said, “I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said. I’m ready for any consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago.”

Lorenzo Cain, a black outfielder and teammate of Hader’s, said, “I know Hader; he’s a great guy. I know he’s a great teammate. I’m fine. Everybody will be O.K. We’ll move on.” Cain further defended Hader, saying, “We’ve all said crazy stuff growing up, even when we were 17, 18 years old. If we could follow each other around with a recorder every day, I’m sure we all said some dumb stuff. We’re going to move on from this.”

First baseman Jesús Aguilar also came to Hader’s defense:

However, Aguilar also retweeted a tweet from Scott Wheeler of The Athletic which had screencaps of Royals 2B/OF Whit Merrifield and Angels outfielder Mike Trout using the word “gay” pejoratively in tweets. Merrifield also used the word “retard” pejoratively.

The “he was 17” defense rings hollow. At 17 years old, one is able to join the military, get a full driver’s license (in many states), apply for student loans, and get married (in some states). Additionally, one is not far off from being able to legally buy cigarettes and guns. Given all of these other responsibilities we give to teenagers, asking them not to use racial and homophobic slurs is not unreasonable. Punishing them when they do so is also not unreasonable.

A study from several years ago found that black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than white boys. A similar study from last year found that black girls are viewed as less innocent than white girls. Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Cameron Tillman, among many others, never got the benefit of the doubt that Hader and countless other white kids have gotten and continue to get in our society. When we start giving the same benefit of the doubt to members of marginalized groups, then we can break out the “but he was only 17” defense for Hader.

We also need to ask ourselves what our inaction regarding Hader’s words will say to members of those marginalized communities. Will it tell them that we value the comfort of those in power above everyone else? Will it tell members of marginalized groups that they are not welcome? In this case, it absolutely will. It communicates the message that, as long as you are white and can perform athletic feats, there’s no level of bigotry the league won’t tolerate. Furthermore, as the league and its 30 individual teams make more efforts towards inclusiveness with events like “Pride Night,” the inaction comes off as two-faced and hypocritical. This is why Major League Baseball — and the Brewers — should have done more to respond to Hader’s tweets.