And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Mike Krukow.jpgGiants 6, Reds 5: Jose Juan Uribe gave the Giants a 4-1 lead with a two-run single in the third and their 6-5 lead with a two-run single in the seventh. Your moment of random, from the game story: “A man wearing a Mike Krukow Giants jersey and waving a ‘Go Buster’ sign
dived over a row of seats to get a foul ball hit by Posey in the second
inning.”  Question: did he buy the Krukow jersey off the rack in 1986 or did he spend good money to have a custom one made more recently? Because God knows you can’t just run down to Dick’s Sporting Goods and find a Mike Krukow jersey these days. Well, at least outside of the imaginary world I’ve created known to me as “Kickassville, U.S.A.”

Padres 3, Phillies 1: Cole Hamels had a no-no into the seventh inning, but it didn’t hold up. And given how these Phillies bats are hitting these days, it damn nigh would have had to in order to give them the win. Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez. The Phillies haven’t had two home runs in a game since May 21st.

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: I hit this one up yesterday. Not known at the time: Silva was pitching this game with the stomach flu, which necessitated several trips to the restroom during the game. The Pirates, in contrast, could not get any runs.

Angels 4, Athletics 2: The Angels win their sixth straight and take over first place. As I said in the Power Rankings last week, in the future, every team will be in first place in the AL West for 15 minutes.

Mariners 4, Rangers 2: Cliff Lee is pretty ridiculously good (CG, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K). Indeed he’s so good that the fact that there is a decent chance that he’ll be playing for his fourth team in the space of a calendar year sometime soon is one of those things about which historians will one day write long, heavily footnoted articles.

Red Sox 4, Indians 1: A surprisingly aggressive Dice-K throws eight shutout innings.  Manny Acta on his starter, Fausto Carmona, who gave out six free passes in six innings: “I thought Fausto did well despite all the walks.” Kind of reminds me of that Marion Barry quote about how the D.C. crime rate wasn’t too bad despite all the killings.

Rockies 5, Astros 1: Jason Hammel and Dice-K are going to get together and do a seminar on how to pitch against terrible lineups without breaking a sweat. Seven and a third shutout innings for Hammel vs. the Astros.

Diamondbacks 7, Braves 4: Anything is possible against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, but there are some holes too large to climb out of, and Derek Lowe dug one last night for Atlanta. Lowe, after totally handcuffing the Phillies last week, gave up seven runs and eight hits in four innings. Blah.

Dodgers 12, Cardinals 4: Blake DeWitt hit a homer and drove in five as the Dodgers win in a laugher. Of course if the Dodgers were actually seen laughing during the game it would have been an unwritten rules violation and their players would be subject to plunkings going forward. So no, maybe it was more of an “I’m smiling on the inside” kind of game.

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.