MLB Midseason Award Winners: Rookie of the Year

13 Comments

There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. Next up: Rookie of the Year

We are men of action. Lies do not become us. So I am not going to sit here and pretend that anyone other than Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger had a shot at the Rookie of the Year Award. Judge was covered in the MVP post. Bellinger was not called up until the end of April, and in his 68 games, he’s hit .259 with a .948 OPS, has 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homers and 56 RBI.

Judge would have to be hit by a bus next week to take himself out of contention, and would likely still be the Rookie of the Year favorite unless someone else emerged to put up a historic partial rookie season. Heck, that may not even be enough. Gary Sanchez did it last year and he came in second. Bellinger has a closer pursuer in pitcher Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, but he’s a distant, distant second. He’s tossed 107.1 innings and has a 3.77 ERA. He pitches in Coors Field, however, so that works out to a 133 ERA+. I doubt that’s terribly sustainable, though, as his he has a pretty low strikeout rate and a pretty high walk rate. Also: he’s pitched better in Denver than on the road which is . . . not expected and, again, likely not sustainable.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, barring serious injuries to Judge and Bellinger, will be a coronation, not a contest.

Brewers reliever Josh Hader in hot water over racist, homophobic tweets from 2011-12

Getty Images
13 Comments

Brewers reliever Josh Hader didn’t have a good night. He gave up four hits and a three-run homer to put the National League in a big hole in the All-Star Game. That’s the kind of thing that has to stick with you.

Oh, and he was also revealed to be a SUPER BIG racist, misogynist and homophobe. That’s gonna stick with him too, and may land him in trouble with Major League Baseball.

Someone decided to dig through Hader’s Twitter history this evening and when they did they found some ugly, ugly stuff in there from back in 2011-12.* Hader was found to have used the n-word, liberally. He said “I hate gay people.” He said some super misogynistic stuff about wanting a woman who will cook and clean for him, among other pretty damn vile things. There were multiple references to cocaine. He said “I’ll murder your family” to one person and made some total non-sequitur tweet simply saying “KKK.” You name a social media etiquette line that one can cross and Hader not only crossed it, but he totally and gleefully trampled over. If you want to see that vile stuff you can see it over at The Big Lead, which screen-capped it. I presume Hader has deleted them by now.

The news of Hader’s old, unearthed tweets bubbled out as the All-Star Game was going on, and reporters met Hader in the locker room right afterward for comment. Hader owned up to them — there was no “I was hacked” excuses offered here — saying that the tweets were a sign of immaturity when he was 17 years-old. He said he plans to apologize to his teammates, saying they don’t reflect on him as a person now. His quote: “No excuses. I was dumb and stupid.” Which, well, yes, obviously.

That may not be the end of it, however:

These tweets are old, Hader may be a different person now and people can do a lot of growing up between 17 and 24. But Major League Baseball is not happy tonight, I can assure you, that an ugly social media incident blew up during its biggest showcase of the regular season.

Will Hader be disciplined? Hard to say, given that Hader wasn’t even drafted yet when those tweets were made and given that MLB’s social media policy was not even in place then. But it would not shock me at all if more comes of this than Hader merely apologizing to his teammates. Stay tuned.

*There are several putative Hader tweets floating around Twitter right now of a more recent vintage. Hader has locked his account, however, and they cannot be confirmed, and many people who were able to access his account before it was locked said those tweets were not there before, with the suggestion that they were Photoshopped. We are neither in the position to — nor do we have the inclination to — verify which of Hader’s tweets are legitimate and which are fabricated. We know, however, that there is more than ample, awful stuff that he has owned up to and we’ll leave it at that for now.