Dan Meyer used to be a major league reliever. He was signed by the Phillies in the winter before the 2011 season. That spring he and Antonio Bastardo competed for a job in the Phillies’ pen. Bastardo won and Meyer has been out of the bigs ever since he was released.
Meyer offered his opinion of Bastardo being suspended in the Biogenesis stuff today:
One can never know if Meyer would have made that team but for Bastardo cheating. Indeed, we don’t even know that Bastardo was cheating in 2011. I’m hearing from a source that the evidence on the table in the Biogenesis matter all relates to 2012 exclusively. That aside, Meyer was horrible that spring.
I suppose we’d all feel the same way in his place, but we should probably make sure that we leaven appeals to emotion with a healthy dose of fact.
Major League Baseball released a statement about Josh Hader a few minutes ago. Here it is in its entirety:
“During last night’s game we became aware of Mr. Hader’s unacceptable social media comments in years past and have since been in communication with the Brewers regarding our shared concerns. After the game, Mr. Hader took the necessary step of expressing remorse for his highly offensive and hurtful language, which fails to represent the values of our game and our expectations for all those who are a part of it. The Office of the Commissioner will require sensitivity training for Mr. Hader and participation in MLB’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.”
People can parse Hader’s apology if they want to — I wrote about what I feel like Hader needs to say and do to show that his tweets truly are not representative of who he is now — but this is probably about as well as Major League Baseball can do with this. The tweets in question occurred years ago, before Hader was in professional baseball. They even occurred before Major League Baseball had a formal social media policy. MLB attempting some sort of way-after-the-fact punitive action on Hader like a fine or a suspension would (a) be met with some understandable resistance by Hader and the union; and (b) would look more like the league trying to deal with a P.R. crisis more than dealing with the player.
That being said, the sensitivity training and diversity initiative participation makes loads of sense. If, as Hader said last night, he’s a different person now than he was back in 2011-12, he should embrace such activities. They’re positive ones and, hey, who couldn’t use a brush-up? If his claims of being a changed man were merely a reaction to a social media firestorm, well, that’ll be dealt with pretty well in those arenas as well. Either way, this gives Hader an opportunity to put his money where his mouth is.
If you think making Hader do such things is “punishment,” well, that opens up another conversation altogether I suppose.