In a complete about face from the standing ovation given to Josh Hader last weekend by Milwaukee Brewers fans in the pitcher’s first appearance since his racist, misogynistic and anti-gay tweets surfaced, the pitcher was just about booed out of the stadium in San Francisco Thursday night.
After the warm reception he received at Miller Park Saturday night, Hader acknowledged that things were likely to be far different on the road. He was right. As he jogged onto the field from the bullpen in the sixth-inning of Milwaukee’s 7-5 win over the Giants, a chorus of boos and jeers rained down on AT&T Park that grew louder and louder until he reached the mound.
“I heard a lot, but l can’t let my mistakes distract me from my job going forward,” the 24-year-old said via ESPN after throwing 1 1/3 hitless innings in the the win. “Like I’ve said, I can’t control what people are going to say to me. I made mistakes in my earlier years. I’ve just got [to go] out and focus on what I’ve got to do, and that’s get outs and help this team win.”
It was Hader’s first appearance on the road since Twitter users retweeted some of his posts from 2011 and 2012 when he was in high school during the All-Star game, which included “I hate gay people,” “white power,” and “KKK.” One retweeted post quoted Hader as saying he only wanted women for cooking, cleaning and sex.
Whether Brewers fans were simply applauding Hader in forgiveness or applauding him in support of the intolerance he spewed seven years ago, we’ll probably never know. But it was widely expected that when he went out on the road things would get turbulent. Thursday night looks to have been the beginning of that bumpiness.