First They Came For The Baseball Players: The ‘Hader Gotcha’ Catches On…

Sonny Gray, who should be punished today for a Twitter joke he made six years ago….

I’ve written about this new blight on the American scene three times since a creep trying to embarrass Milwaukee pitcher Josh Hader tracked down some offensive tweets he made in high school, causing Major league Baseball to sentence him to re-education. Not content with the MLB over-reaction, pompous, social justice warrior thought-control purveyors in the sports media like NBC Sports’ Craig Calcaterra and Bill Baer declaimed that he must be made an example of, shunned, cooked, and eaten, or something.  Hader’s pathetic grovel to the mob was so amusing that two more baseball players were quickly subjected to The Hader Gotcha–that will be the Ethics Alarms label to this poison—with similar results (and more obnoxious virtue-signaling by Calcaterra and Baer). Atlanta Braves starter Sean Newcomb had his Twitter history searched by some resentful Dodger fan while he was  pitching a near no-hitter  against LA, with the result that  Newcomb had to deny that he was a racist and a bigot. Next, some Washington Nationals hater did the same to shortstop Trea Turner, posting old Turner tweets from his college days at North Carolina State University. [The third time I wrote about the phenomenon was in a non-baseball context, when “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn was fired by Disney because a conservative hit man did a twitter dig and found some of his old tweets.]

Isn’t this great? You can be a sad and lonely schlub with  a trivial, insignificant, powerless, witless existence, and yet bring a successful, rich, popular baseball player to his metaphorical knees!  Just  find and publicize some ill-considered,  impulsive  tweets sent when fame and fortune weren’t even twinkles in the future star’s eye, and the nascent athlete was trying to make do with the under-developed brain of a typical male under the age of 25. Why, it’s even better than dropping rocks on cars as they go under an overpass, or releasing computer viruses! What a rush!

Because Turner, Hader and Newcomb were brought down by the tactic, costing them endorsements, fan popularity and the trust of their team mates, no player is safe. Yesterday the New York Yankees’ starting pitcher Sonny Gray became the latest target. Gray ‘s start against the Baltimore Orioles stunk (again), but the boos that reigned down on him in Yankee Stadium weren’t sufficient punishment: some angry fan decided to do a twitter search. Sure enough, six years ago, Gray tweeted to his friend, Rashun Dixon, whom he played ball with while in the Oakland A’s organization: “@Sir_Peanut 1. You didn’t go to college. 2. You are black. #followdaleaderleaderleader clap clap clap.” 

No, I don’t know what it means either, but the fact that Gray tweeted “you are black” to someone who is black obviously means he’s a racist. I’m sure that’s what the NBC Sports bloggers will be writing, as they call for his head on a pike.

Just behind the despicable Hader Gotcha artists who are trying to make this a regular, ugly feature of modern celebrity, the supporting villains are the journalists who report these smears, and the lazy and cowardly MLB executives who rush to avoid their criticism. Here’s Baer, for example:

“The hordes of people quick to excuse Turner, Newcomb, and Hader’s language never seemed to have any ounce of empathy for fans from marginalized groups.” 

No, I have no empathy at all for anyone so desperate to be victimized that they regard themselves as “hurt” by years-old social media comments intended for a small audience by a then-non public figure, and then demand, through their mouthpieces like Baer, that the author grovel for forgiveness today.

People say and write all sorts of stupid and ugly things on a whim or a brain cramp, in private places, in bars and at parties, in texts and tweets, that are not intended for the public at large. These excesses of language and bad taste should not be a matter of public concern, or media comment. These are not candidates for public office, who require the public’s trust. The Hader Gotcha, like so many other trends emanating from the world of toxic politics, threatens our liberty, our sanity, and our peace of mind. The miscreants here—the malicious tweet-miners, the Thought Policing journalists, and the cowardly executives—are not merely unethical, they are disgusting.

The only way to end this corrosive practice is for the public to support its victims without reservation, and deride the journalists and executives who are encouraging it. Right now, the public is complicit in the unethical tactic of gratuitous personal destruction, because it is allowing it to work.

22 thoughts on “First They Came For The Baseball Players: The ‘Hader Gotcha’ Catches On…

  1. What ever happened to the sentiment that I may vehemently disagree with your statement but will fight to the death to allow you to say it.

    I do not watch sports anymore. When Bob Irsay moved the Colts from Baltimore I realized my home team was a mere business located in my town and not a part of our collective identity. It has only gotten worse and when it infected baseball I quit watching all sports.

    I don’t care if these players made the comments 6 years ago or 6 minutes ago, they have every right to say what they want on their own time.

    Lets consider where this witchhunt can take us. Assume in the not too distant future one must disclose who they supported for political office. Will 1/2 the population demand retribution because that employee’s choices were antithetical to a portion of the consuming public.

    Doesn’t diversity mean different perspectives? If not, then diversity programs are by definition legal discrimination programs which give advantages based on race, sex or sexual orientation.

    • I will note that 1st amendment protections do not apply to private acts of retribution but the behaviors of citizens will ultimately be reflected in our laws. Private speech not directed at government is as important to protect as is speech directed at the government

    • ”Doesn’t diversity mean different perspectives?”


      Just like self-esteem no longer infers the satisfaction of extrinsic effort cultivating intrinsic growth but rather never hearing the word no, the diversity “umbrella” leaves ”ideological diversity” out in the shit storm, unprotected.

      • Then diversity programs cannot and should not be supported if the ideological underpinnings for their being are no longer valid.

  2. “These are not candidates for public office, who require the public’s trust.. ”

    Yea verily. These are… wait for it… BALLPLAYERS. Rogers Hornsby: “When you’re a ballplayer, there ain’t much to bein’ a ballplayer.” They’re not moral models. They can throw fastballs in the 90s. And other pitches. They have big hands. They spend all their waking hours with … other ballplayers.

    I attribute part of this problem to celebrity culture. Anybody can be a celebrity and once you are a celebrity, you are now clothed in moral gravity. See, eg., Jimmy Kimmel, George Clooney, Alec Baldwin. If those kind of people can pontificate on any and every thing, then ballplayers are supposed to be and are supposed to have been morally superior their entire lives. These guys are BALLPLAYERS. Lots of them are from the rural and small town south. They’ve probably spent more time on ball fields with black guys than most white Americans have spent in close working relationships with black people. The know how to get along with everybody by the time they’re probably playing American Legion ball. They have to or they’d have to go home and drive a beer truck. (Not that beer truck drivers aren’t important and able to make a pretty darned good living. Anyway, everyone being an expert on everything and have to be woke is a problem.

    Play ball.

  3. Save time and don’t use Twitter or lend it credence. There is little room for any substance and some things should be ephemeral. I don’t think howling mobs of cruelty was what people realized it would become.

    • Absoutely agree. Socia media has become a means for people to be meaner to more people. It should be an object of derision.

  4. There is some hope about some of this craziness. I went yesterday & gave testimony to a government “human rights” bureau asking for an emphasis on civility from city leaders. My talk mentioned how important thought diversity is & that our leaders need to listen to all citizens, not just the ones who agree ideologically.

    Needless to say a couple folks looked rather uncomfortable but to my surprise 3 people were in agreement & want to do something to foster more civility. At the end of the month I’ll address city council w/ the same concepts. Maybe it won’t do much, but Jack is right, citizens need to speak up in areas they can. There are people willing to listen & see the venom & address. We just have to be willing to try.

    • MrsQ,
      I commend your efforts. What I find ironic in the emerging trend of villifying others is that the same people that decry bullying and cyber bullying are in fact engaged in the same behavior.

      Bullies rely on a silence. They gain strength when they threaten others that oppose them who then remain silent out of fear or worse join the bully for protection. I grew up having to tolerate some bullies but when they went too far I stood my ground. At that point, I did not have to battle the initial bully but the cadre that joined in for self protection. Gang behavior is also similar.

      • Bingo.

        As Oliveira puts it, “To our people: Let nothing stand which offends your dignity…To our enemies: This army of lovers will stamp out your bigotry.” A fabulous boot stamping on the human face, forever.

        Yesterday’s article summed up your point about the gang mentality we’re witnessing. But really what is the difference mentally between a gang, cult, offshoot religion – and today’s SJW zealots & Pharisees. They’re quite similar in usually having leaders, guides from the sidelines to keep things in order, a list of proscriptive sayings, and mandatory adherence to the ideological nexus.

        To belong one must virtue signal as well as demonstrate “in their hearts” they believe. In terms of modern progressivism we now have -The Holy Order of By Any Means Necessary (BAMN).

        To belong one must believe in 90-100% of all tenants which include:

        -Some groups are more downtrodden than others.

        -At the ever changing discretion of the Left Most High, some downtrodden groups will be moved up or down the Hierarchy of Oppression.

        -The downtrodden must use their minority status as the focus of any displeasure they experience. No matter the issue, the problem is always because one is a _______ minority, and justice BANM is the required response.

        -Wherever there is an intersection of minority statuses, that intersection is automatically more downtrodden than one with a singular minority status.

        -Whoever has the most minority statuses in the room is automatically of the Wise Council and should be revered.

        -Those who belong to no minority group (ie straight white upwardly mobile biological males) are to be punished for their privileges. They have one option, which is to confess adherence to the Holy Order.

        -If these unevolved creatures refuse to adhere, they become automatic enemies of The Cause and will be dealt with accordingly.

        -Those who are allies to these backwards privileged creatures and have one or more minority statuses will automatically become fellow enemies and will receive equal or greater punishment than the unevolved.

        Now we haven’t even gotten to other big core beliefs everyone must abide by which include:

        Sex with lots of people is sexual freedom. Sex resulting in abortion is sexual freedom. Sex with sexes or genders you are not interested in sleeping with is being an ally. Sexual freedom is the pinnacle of female empowerment and a more open world. Drugs are good. The earth is dying. There is no such thing as biological sex differences. Eugenics has its place. Art is next to godliness. Social justice is the way. We shape the future.

        Anything that deviates from The Cause is to be obliterated by either slow and steady chipping away at institutions (Fabian socialism) or going after people online & offline (cultural Marxism).

        If you ever get a chance check out Richard Wright’s take on why he walked away from Communism. The book The God that Failed has it. In a scene, a fellow black comrade tells Wright he has to prove revolutionary loyalty.

        Wright: “Do you mean I must get whacked over the head by cops to prove I’m sincere?”

        Comrade: “I’m not suggesting anything, I’m explaining.”

        Wright: “Look, suppose a cop whacks me over the head and I suffer a brain concussion. Suppose I’m nuts after that. Can I write then? What shall I have proved?

        Comrade: “The Soviet Union has had to shoot a lot intellectuals.”

        Last example. The 1920 case of Sacco & Vanzetti where they became a cause célèbre to the ACLU and progressives, because their lawyers and communist allies in Russia touted their immigrant status as a means for injustice inflicted upon them by “the system.” Really they were thugs and murderers.

        Writer Katherine Ann Porter wrote that at a vigil for Sacco & Vanzetti on the night of their execution, she expressed to the leader that she hoped they could be saved. The leader responded:

        “Saved, who wants them saved? What earthly good would they do us alive?”

        Clearly if this is what these extremists do to their own, then they have no issue doing whatever they have to to whoever they have to in order to gain power. That being said I still have much hope.

        This energy or movement or quasi-religion we see attempting to sacrifice Hader is only as powerful as we let them.

        • Awesome.

          “…straight white upwardly mobile biological males”

          I should point out that progressives award NO points to White males for being poor. They don’t care if you’re Oliver Twist. White=privileged. I wish I were exaggerating.

          If you’re going to be a White male, you might as well be rich, cause they won’t hate you any less.

        • This is the value of EA. Mrs Q has fully fleshed out my simplistic analysis. I try to read every link provided here for context and these comments help me frame my understanding of issues.

  5. This will end when the one who started it is outed for something THEY did or wrote years ago.

    The disgruntled sports fan who dug into Sonny Gray’s past, for instance, should have his entire life put on display. He invited it.

    Of course, Kant dictates the one outing the disgruntled fan would then be outed, and so on…

    Reminds me of stories revolving around casting the first stone and about glass houses…

    • I think you might be right.

      If this trend goes unopposed and unchallenged, history suggests that anyone deemed a threat to the political Left will be drummed out of every public square, deemed deplorable with or without cause, and ruined. Anyone unhappy with this will keep his or her mouth shut, for fear of sharing their fate.

      Then the unopposed political Left will eat itself, blaming the banished and virtually non-existent Right for all of the new problems they themselves cause, with Leftist factions accusing one another of secretly being Nazi capitalists and preventing socialism from working as it should. Basically the “I’m TEN times the king Mufasa was!” stage, in which everything goes to crap. By then, of course, it’s too late to ever go back to the glory days.

      Perhaps we can nip this in the bud right now by making anyone who initiates a Twitter-shaming INSTANTLY regret it.

  6. “No, I don’t know what it means either, but the fact that Gray tweeted “you are black” to someone who is black obviously means he’s a racist.”
    I thought it was perfectly obvious what “you are black” means. They occasionally play games of long distance chess and in the next game it is Gray’s turn to start first.

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