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Josh Hader, Trea Turner, and Sean Newcomb remind us that more baseball players should be like Sean Doolittle

Tuesday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at what the Nationals’ reliever can teach the rest of the league.

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89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by MasterCard - Red Carpet Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Josh Hader, Sean Newcomb, and Trea Turner have all apologized — some with a looser definition of apology than others — for old tweets filled with racism, homophobia, misogyny, and more, once those tweets were discovered by fans in the last few weeks. There has been little in the way of publicly calling these players out from other players: mostly, the player response has been thanks to a very white media contingent looking to black players to absolve the offending players of any wrongdoing, because, as Adam Jones has said before, baseball is a white man’s game. You’re going to have to play by the white man’s rules when you’re not a white man, and we saw that in the responses to the media’s questioning.

That’s why a thread posted on Monday night by Sean Doolittle, Nationals reliever and teammate of Trea Turner, matters. Doolittle, over nine tweets, spoke out against the offensive and harmful tweets, the responsibility of athletes on social media, personal growth, the power of words, and more. Doolittle is in a position to actively speak out against what Hader, Newcomb, and Turner have stood for, and so, he did just that.

Fans should read it. Other players should read it. There is much to learn from that thread, and reasons to be encouraged because at least one baseball player out there absolutely gets it. Major League Baseball could use more Sean Doolittles. Amateur baseball apparently could, too. Hopefully, by way of people listening to Doolittle and the fans and writers who are trying to get these points across, the game actually will get those players they need. And then, the likes of Hader, Newcomb, Turner, and far, far more players out there who haven’t had their horrid tweets unearthed yet will be pulled aside and confronted about their awful behavior at a much earlier point in life, before they can cause further damage, when there is maybe still a chance to truly reach them and give them the personal growth they claim to have found the moment their past behavior was uncovered.

  • The Astros traded for Roberto Osuna, because dealing for someone who has been suspended for domestic violence who still has to go to court for domestic violence is a market inefficiency.
  • As Liz Roscher pointed out on Twitter, it’s bullshit that players miss the postseason because of PED suspensions but get to participate in the playoffs even if they were suspended for domestic violence.
  • I understand this sort of thing needs to be negotiated with the union, but my hope is that the MLBPA’s members feel strongly about punishing domestic abusers within their ranks. MLB makes changes like the domestic violence policy for PR purposes: the actual players should care about who they’re representing and protecting for more reasons than just optics.
  • I’ll end on a happier note: here’s the history of the Omar Vizquel/Jose Mesa beef, by the wonderful folks behind Beef History.