Getty Images

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

40 Comments

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.

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

Getty Images
2 Comments

Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.