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Michael Kopech deletes, apologizes for racist, homophobic tweets from 2013

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White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech made his big league debut on Tuesday night. This afternoon he participated in what has become a different rite of passage for young big leaguers: apologizing for racist and homophobic tweets he made as a teenager.

They’re what we’ve come to expect from this genre of ugliness. Casual use of racial slurs, racial stereotypes and believing that a good way to insult someone is to say that they are gay. You can see a few of them here. There were apparently many more, but they have all been deleted.

Late this afternoon Kopech acknowledged the tweets and apologized for them, offering the now de rigueur “that’s not who I am” stuff:

“It’s unfortunate that I was ever at that point mentally but it’s not who I am now. Yeah, I cleaned some tweets up and tried to get rid of them. But, obviously, people saw them. It’s not who I am now and it’s not who I want to be.”

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said he is satisfied with Kopech’s apology and his assertion that he is not the same person who authored those tweets five years ago. Major League Baseball will likely still weigh in, but as we’ve seen in previous cases, they are likely going to limit it to sensitivity training or something like it. Which, to be fair, is about all the league really can do.

Kopech joins Brewers reliever Josh Hader, Braves starter Sean Newcomb and Nationals infielder Trea Turner in the “oh no, someone found my crappy old tweets!” club. Of course, given that there were already three dudes in this club, you have to wonder why any baseball player who had a Twitter account back when they were young hasn’t simply deleted every tweet they ever made. God knows if I was their agent or their general manager I’d tell them to.

Mike Trout and Christian Yelich win the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards

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Major League Baseball announced today that Mike Trout and Christian Yelich have been selected as the American League and National League winners of the 2019 Hank Aaron Awards. The Hank Aaron Award, which was established in 1999, recognizes “the most outstanding offensive performers in each league.” A fan vote is part of it. A special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron weighs in as well.

Yellich, who is a back-to-back winner of the Award in the NL, led the Majors with a .671 slugging percentage and a 1.100 OPS, while leading the National League in batting average (.329), WAR (7.3) and OBP (.429). It was his third straight year with at least 100 runs scored and he set career-highs with 44 home runs and 30 stolen bases. He was the NL Player of the Week twice and stands a good chance of winning the NL MVP Award, though a late season injury will make it a pretty close vote.

Trout, who previously won the award in 2014, led the Majors with a .483 on-base percentage while leading the American League with a .645 slugging percentage and a 1.083 OPS. He was second in the AL with a career-best 45 home runs, was second i WAR (8.3) and, like Yelich, was a two-time Player of the Week winner. He too stands a good chance of wining the MVP though, he too, had a late season injury which could knock him down to second place.