Eddie Matz, ESPN Senior Writer
WASHINGTON — Josh Hader’s All-Star experience went from bad to worse.
After a bumpy outing in his first All-Star appearance, the Milwaukee Brewers reliever suddenly found himself caught up in a Twitter firestorm. Late during Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, some racist and anti-gay tweets that Hader sent when he was a teenager surfaced.
After the game, Hader apologized for his actions.
“You know, it was something that happened when I was 17 years old,” he said. “As a child, I was immature, and I obviously said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today, and that’s just what it is.”
Hader, 24, said that his old messages do not reflect his current beliefs.
“Obviously, when you’re a kid, you just tweet what’s on your mind, and you know, that’s what’s on,” he said
The reliever, who appeared in the eighth inning and gave up three runs and four hits, including a three-run homer to Mariners shortstop Jean Segura, said he wasn’t aware of the controversy until after the game.
“Just came in, and my phone was blowing up,” he said. “You can’t, there’s no excuse for what was said. I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said and what’s been going on, and like I said, it doesn’t reflect any of my beliefs going on now.”
Although he had yet to address the issue with any of his Milwaukee teammates, he said he planned to do so.
“Yeah, for sure. It’s something that they shouldn’t be involved in,” he said. “Being 17 years old, you know, you make stupid decisions and mistakes.”
The second-year player also said he was prepared for any discipline that might be handed down as a result of his actions.
“I’m ready for any consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago,” he said.
Deputy commissioner Dan Halem, speaking outside the NL clubhouse, said he had spoken to Hader. He said Major League Baseball would not have any comment before Wednesday.
As Hader’s tweets were going viral, some of Hader’s friends and family in attendance were given blank gear while sitting in the stands. They were wearing blank National League gear outside the clubhouse toward the end of the game.
Fellow Brewers All-Star Lorenzo Cain addressed reporters postgame and revealed that, by that time, he had spoken with Hader.
“We just talked a little bit. I was just trying to understand the situation,” Cain said. “He was young. We all say some crazy stuff when we’re young. That’s one reason why I don’t have social media — for things like this. You always in trouble for things you said when you’re younger. So we move on from it. The situation is what it is. I know Hader, I know he’s a great guy, he’s a great teammate. So I’m fine. Everybody will be OK. We’ll move on from it, for sure.”
The Brewers entered the All-Star break with a record of 55-43 and are 2½ games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
Buoyed by Hader’s standout relief pitching and the offseason signing of Cain and fellow free agent Christian Yelich, Milwaukee was in first place for much of the first half but lost its last six games heading into the All-Star break to fall behind Chicago.
A 19th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2012, the left-handed Hader was traded to the Houston Astros in July 2013. Two years later, he was dealt to the Brewers before the 2015 trade deadline. This season, in 31 games with Milwaukee, Hader is 2-0 with seven saves and a 1.50 ERA. In 48 innings, he has recorded 89 strikeouts, most among relievers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images