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Mariners starter James Paxton tosses a no-hitter against the Blue Jays

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Mariners starter James Paxton no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night and he did so in dominant fashion.

Paxton required only 99 pitches — making this not only a no-hitter but a Maddux — striking out seven and walking three. His high heat was overpowering all night long. Indeed, he hit 100 m.p.h. on his second to last pitch of the game (Statcast called it 99.5, but let’s round up, shall we?). This comes on the heels of Paxton’s 16-strikeout performance against the Athletics six days ago. That was the highest strikeout total for any pitcher this season. This was the superior historical accomplishment.

While the Blue Jays did not challenge Paxton all that much, his final inning was one of his easiest of the night. The first batter, Anthony Alford, swung at the first pitch he saw and fouled out down the right field line. Next up was Teoscar Hernandez, who struck out on three straight pitches. The last better Paxton faced was former AL MVP Josh Donaldson. Pitch one: swinging strike. Pitch two: a 100 m.p.h. strike looking and then . . . Donaldson grounded out to third to end it. The no-hitter, in Canada, from a Canadian pitcher who sports a large maple leaf tattoo on his forearm, which he pointed to as a nice nod to the Toronto crowd. That had to feel good for Paxton and even to some of the fans on hand at Rogers Centre, even if they’re Jays fans.

It was the sixth no-hitter for a Mariners pitcher. The previous ones to accomplish it: Randy Johnson in 1990, Chris Bosio in 1993, a six-pitcher combined no hitter, started by Kevin Millwood, in 2012, Felix Hernandez in 2012 — his was a perfect game — and Hisashi Iwakuma in 2015. All of those happened in Seattle. Paxton’s was the first ever on the road.

Congratulations, James Paxton!

Giants exclude Aubrey Huff from 2010 championship reunion

Aubrey Huff
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The Athletic’s Steve Berman and Dan Brown reports that the Giants have decided not to invite 1B/OF Aubrey Huff to their 2010 championship reunion, to be held at Oracle Park on August 16. In a statement to The Athletic, the Giants said:

Earlier this month, we reached out to Aubrey Huff to let him know that he will not be included in the upcoming 2010 World Series Championship reunion. Aubrey has made multiple comments on social media that are unacceptable and run counter to the values of our organization. While we appreciate the many contributions that Aubrey made to the 2010 championship season, we stand by our decision.

Huff, 43, was one of the Giants’ most productive players in 2010, batting .290/.385/.506 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI in 668 plate appearances during the regular season. During the postseason, he contributed 15 hits, including a pair of doubles and a home run, while knocking in eight runs as the Giants won the World Series.

In recent years, Huff has become a phenomenon in conservative circles for his outspoken nature on Twitter. Back in 2017, he criticized people who protested President Trump’s executive order on immigration by tweeting, “I mean seriously what the hell is going on? If you have time 2 march, protest and riot. Maybe it’s time for something called a job!” Huff received a lot of blowback for the comment and defended it by bragging to people about his “big house” and “hot wife.” He eventually walked back his comments.

Huff has repeatedly made controversial statements in more recent times, including those of a sexist, transphobic, and violent nature.

  • On the Giants’ Alyssa Nakken, the first female coach in the major leagues, Huff said, “This has #metoo & #BelieveAllWomen written all over it.” He added, “Couldn’t imagine taking baseball instruction from an ex female softball player. [Frown emoji] Have fun with that.”
  • Huff got into a spat with former major league pitcher Seth McClung last year, which included the use of sexist language.
  • Huff boasted about teaching his sons how to use guns “in the unlikely event [Bernie Sanders] beats [Donald Trump] in 2020.” He said, “Knowing how to effectively use a gun under socialism will be a must.”
  • Last month, Huff suggested in since-deleted tweets, “We should invade Iran and take their [b-word]. Persian girls are hot af without the headgear and you know they know how to act right Makes you think.” He then suggested flying to Iran to “kidnap about 10 each,” adding, “We can bring them back here as they fan us and feed us grapes, amongst other things…. [devil emoji].” After the tweet went viral, Huff claimed he was joking, then posted a poorly-drawn comic about it.
  • In replies to people on Twitter, Huff consistently employs language popularized by the alt-right to insult and threaten people. He has been temporarily suspended from Twitter several times due to his use of hateful and threatening language.

As we have mentioned here countless times, the political views of baseball players tend to skew to the right. If the Giants were simply eschewing Huff because of his political views, they would have a short list of invitees to their 2010 reunion. Huff, however, has repeatedly and consistently gone too far when discussing his viewpoints.

Huff is surely taking this in stride, right? Of course not. Per Berman and Brown, Huff said about his reaction to the news, “Quite frankly, shocked. Disappointed. If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t be having a reunion. But if they want to stick with their politically correct, progressive [crap], that’s fine.”