Trevor Bauer is at it again.
The opening line here could mean so many different things to so many different people. There are few personalities as complex with the ability to reach across the full spectrum more than Bauer can and has over his career with the Cleveland Indians- and beyond. The latest episode of Trevor-being-Trevor involved Avisail Garcia being an idiot in the batter’s box for the Chicago White Sox. Bauer decided rather than to quietly dismiss Garcia’s antics, he would return volley.
Garcia apparently had some words in addition to the body language as he left the batter’s box. Bauer noted Garcia is unhappy opposing pitchers have been giving him a steady diet of breaking pitches. Bauer directs him back into the box, then proceeds to strike him out with a curve ball. Still not quite done, Bauer shows him to where his dugout and accompanying bench are in relationship to his current location. Always the helpful lad.
Here are Bauer’s remarks on the incident from STO followed by the transcript (for those without video access) courtesy of The Athletic’s T.J. Zuppe.
Trevor Bauer on his exchange with Avisail Garcia in the fourth inning. pic.twitter.com/6za1bGyRnF
— T.J. Zuppe (@TJZuppe) September 4, 2017
The situation is similar to Jose Ramirez flipping a bat near the Minnesota Twins dugout after Paul Molitor had ordered the player in front of Ramirez intentionally walked before he hit a home run. There is a big difference between starting a situation and responding when provoked. There is part of me that appreciates the players such as Corey Kluber who do not allow anything to disturb their mental state when on the mound. Kluber would have struck out Garcia and never thought about him again. However, there is also something to be said about the player who pitches with emotion. Who can dig deep and use their emotion to find something extra. Sort of like when Garcia came back up again later in the game.
— Kyle Boddy (@drivelinebases) September 4, 2017
Each person uses God’s gifts to be the person who they truly are in order to succeed. If they are not genuine with themselves as a person, then they will struggle to perform to their abilities. Ramirez rarely smiles on the field, while Francisco Lindor cannot stop. Greg Allen appears as a kid in a candy store with his energy bouncing through the dugout, while Carlos Santana is as cool as they come even when he is having fun.
Bauer is an intelligent yet arrogant player who appears to be stubborn, sometimes to a fault. He doesn’t drink or smoke, and he spends his offseasons- and seasons- training as hard as any in the game. He studies the intricacies of pitching involving spin rate, pitching tunnels, effective velocity, and anything else that might give him even a small advantage on the hitters. His dedication to the science of baseball might lead to a paralysis by analysis at times, but he also is even keeled when stuck in a rut that is more due to random variance than anything he is doing on the mound. This obsession with researching baseball led him to the weighted balls, long toss, and other methods that helped him make it to MLB in the first place and spur some of the advancements in pitching but are also what alienated him from Miguel Montero and the Arizona Diamondbacks leading him to be traded away despite his high draft stature.
His favorite hobby is flying, racing, and recording video from drones. The same White Sox Garcia plays for also banned all drone flying from Guaranteed Rate Field after an incident a couple years ago where Bauer barely missed crashing into the scoreboard. Of course, drones also caused him to miss what could have been a critical 2016 ALCS game when he cut a pitching finger on a blade.
He is the type of player who will spend a Friday night online helping a young fan with her math homework, but there is another part of Bauer that loves to combat trolls he sees in life. For years, he played with those that brought the hate to his twitter account, until things escalated too far. Since that night, Bauer has seemingly learned his lesson as that twitter account has been boring, but Bauer remains anything but. The same player who once mimicked batting stances of teammates during interleague play because he so despised hitting himself, now spends his gamedays creating mini-baseball figurines of each teammate.
There will always be some fans who dislike Bauer. The self-assuredness with which he carries himself with undoubtedly rub many the wrong way. Still, he is not a Brett Myers with off field incidents to shield from the mind when cheering. He is not Chris Perez who derided fans. He is not John Rocker who constantly spewed ugliness.
No, Bauer is not any of those guys. He is simply someone who has leaned into every gift he has available- warts and all. Seeing him begin to realize his potential, while also becoming the current embodiment of Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn has been fun. Here’s to more fun outings.
Besides, if the baseball thing doesn’t work out, then he might resurrect his rap career. No one wants that to happen.