Cleveland’s Yu Chang responded to racists tweets by saying, “Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES. Thank you all and love you all.” Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Indians Manager Terry Francona called racist social media messages sent to first baseman Yu Chang “stupid and ignorant” and said they have no place in baseball or “anywhere.”

On Tuesday, Chang shared some anti-Asian postings he received on Twitter after he made a costly error in the ninth inning of Monday night’s game in Chicago. The throwing error allowed the White Sox to score the winning run.

Chang, who is Taiwanese, posted some of the tweets on his account while asking for tolerance. One of the messages referred to the shape of his eyes and another referred to the coronavirus.

“Exercise your freedom of speech in a right way, I accept all comments, positive or negative but DEFINITELY NOT RACIST ONES,” Chang wrote. “Thank you all and love you all.”
He included the hashtag StopAsianHate.

Chang’s tweet included a screenshot of three of the messages. Two of the accounts seem to have been deleted.

Soon after his posting, the 25-year-old Chang received an outpouring of positive responses and support from Indians fans and others across social media.

Francona said he texted with Chang earlier in the day and met with him along with the player’s interpreter before Tuesday’s game at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“First, I wanted to make sure he was OK and that he understands the lunacy or the idiocy that was said is not shared by hopefully very many people, certainly not in the Indians’ organization,” Francona said. “Truth be told, man, it’s really simple: errors are part of the game.

“But ignorance and racism, they shouldn’t be anywhere. Those comments that have nothing to do with baseball, it’s just an excuse for somebody to be stupid and ignorant. That’s really what it is.”

Francona said Chang was handling the situation well.

“He’s an extremely mature young man and he’s fine,” Francona said.

With the Indians and White Sox tied 3-3 in the ninth inning and Chicago threatening with two runners on base and one out, Chang fielded a groundball and attempted to get the forceout at second, but hit runner Yasmani Grandal in the helmet.

The ball ricocheted toward the left-field line, allowing pinch-runner Nick Madrigal to score and giving the White Sox a 4-3 win.

Chang, who came up as a middle infielder in Cleveland’s organization, is playing first base for the first time this season. The Indians signed him as a free agent in 2013.

Chang was not in the lineup on Tuesday night, but Francona said Jake Bauers playing first had nothing to do with the error.

“I can promise you we will never make a lineup out from somebody’s tweet the night before,” Francona said.

The racist social media postings directed toward Chang are part of an ugly trend of abusive behavior toward Asians, which included the fatal shootings of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta by a white gunman last month.

UMPIRE JOE WEST was awarded $500,000 in damages plus interest dating to July 8 in a defamation suit against former All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca.

New York Supreme Court Justice John J. Kelley issued his decision Monday in a lawsuit West filed in October 2019 against Lo Duca and The Action Network. The network was dismissed from the suit last July, when Kelley granted a motion by West for a default judgment against Lo Duca.

West contended that Lo Duca said, during an April 18, 2019, podcast on The Action Network, that he had been ejected 15 times during his major league career and eight or nine had been by West.

West’s suit claimed Lo Duca said during the podcast that when the player was catching Billy Wagner during a New York Mets game against Philadelphia in 2006 or 2007, West called three straight batters out on strikes. The umpire adds that Lo Duca claimed Wagner told him the reason he got the calls was the pitcher had allowed West to drive his 1957 Chevy.

West’s suit said Lo Duca was ejected eight times in his career and only once by West. The umpire denied any favoritism and said Wagner did not pitch in the only Mets-Phillies game that West worked behind the plate during 2006 and 2007.

The 66-year-old West is the major leagues’ senior umpire. He debuted in 1976, became a full-time staff member two years later and began the season with 5,345 games umpired, on track to break Bill Klem’s career record of 5,370 later this year. The judge said West intends to retire at the end of this season.

MLB HAS REACHED into professional wrestling, hiring Brian Stedman as executive vice president of strategy and development.

Stedman, 44, spent more than seven years at World Wrestling Entertainment, starting in 2013 as vice president of strategic planning for the international division. The following year he became senior vice president for international strategy and operations, and he was promoted in 2016 to executive vice president of global strategy, where he oversaw corporate strategy, internal consulting, data analytics and corporate development.

MLB announced his hiring Thursday. Stedman will report to Chris Marinak, chief operations and strategy officer, and will head a new strategy and development department tasked with working with MLB departments, teams and partners to create a strategic vision in marketing, media, ticketing and international.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Stedman has an MBA from Dartmouth. He also worked in corporate strategy at CA Technologies and the Boston office of L.E.K. Consulting.

MARINERS: Left-hander James Paxton will undergo season-ending surgery, Manager Scott Servais said.

Paxton left his April 6 start – his first since returning to Seattle on a 1-year, $8.5 million deal – with left elbow discomfort. Paxton received a second opinion Monday, when the need for surgery was confirmed.

The 32-year-old Paxton pitched for Seattle from 2013 to 2018, going 41-26 with a 3.42 ERA. He spent the past two seasons with the New York Yankees, but was limited to five starts in 2020 because of a left flexor strain.

CUBS: Manager David Ross said none of his players have tested positive for COVID-19 as infielder Matt Duffy joined three teammates on the virus-related injured list.

The Cubs already had placed relievers Brandon Workman, Jason Adam and Dan Winkler on the coronavirus-related injured list Monday. Bullpen coach Chris Young and first base coach Craig Driver have tested positive.

Ross said Driver was in the three-week waiting period between vaccination doses and that Young already had received both shots when they tested positive.

Ross said Driver and Young gave him permission to reveal those details. Ross noted both coaches also were diligent about wearing masks.

The Cubs filled Duffy’s spot on the roster by adding infielder Ildemaro Vargas from the organization’s alternate site in South Bend, Indiana. Chad Noble, who normally is the Cubs’ bullpen catcher, is handling the bullpen coach responsibilities.

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