Here’s the thing with having an infant: you get sleep while you can. Yes, that means I went to bed Tuesday night *during* an Indians baseball game. To both my misfortune and luck, I am the one that hears the baby when she inevitably wakes up in the middle of the night, usually just to get a pacifier reset.1 So when I awoke at 1am early Wednesday morning to a screaming baby in the nursery, it was a blessing in disguise. A lot of backtracking was in order but soon I was getting pieces and parts of information: we got Yasiel Puig? Wait, AND Franmil Reyes? What did we give up? Only Trevor Bauer? Plus a top 100 lefthanded starter in Logan Allen, a possible lefty bullpen arm in 2020, and a 19-year-old in rookie ball? How did we give up only Trevor Bauer? Needless to say, I did not fall right back asleep as I had previous other times.
My brain got stuck on that thought: only Trevor Bauer. It’s a thought that has crept into the minds of countless Tribe fans throughout the years. Only Trevor Bauer. Only Trevor Bauer would slice his hand open working on a drone a day before starting in the World Series. Only Trevor Bauer could get 12 strikeouts and give up four walks and be out of the game by the middle of the fifth inning. Only Trevor Bauer would be embroiled in a Twitter war with a girl sticking up for Gerritt Cole and his sticky ways. Only Trevor Bauer would be throwing his 121st pitch in the seventh, the workout program and routines that many organizations shied away from in the draft proving to be solid as Bauer was throwing heat and striking dudes out left and right. Only Trevor Bauer would show how well his long toss is by throwing a ball to the centerfield fence after getting pulled from the game. And yet, despite all of this, only Trevor Bauer has the ability and promise to return a package of five players, three that have appeared in the majors and had varying levels of success, that Cleveland got in return.
I can’t speak for everyone, as his antics and politics were unforgivable for some, but I was a fan, and will continue to be a fan of his work, because Bauer would put the time, energy, and more importantly the thought into his craft, much like Greg Maddux, one of my first deep-seeded pitching crushes. You see, I’m 5’7″, somewhere in the mid 180s, far from an imposing force in almost any sports arena, and I knew early on I wasn’t going to be Randy Johnson throwing gas. Maddux worked the edges and knew what was going to happen in an at-bat before the hitter would. I felt that same connection with Bauer, perfectly encapsulated in the Avi Garcia at-bat where Bauer challenged him to get back in the box and swing at what was given to him.
So here’s to goodbye, Trevor. I fully believe only you would be able to do and get away with the things you do, but that’s what makes you special, that’s what made you ours, and that’s what makes you…you.
Rant of the Week
I dislike so much the Houston Astros, but I dislike even more the people who go out of their way to claim the season as over and are already giving them the trophy. I had numerous friends texting me, ready to give up the season, saying there was no way anyone was beating the trifecta of Cole, Justin Verlander, and Zack Grienke in the playoffs. There are even national writers ready to cancel the rest of the games and hand over the keys to the Stros. Will they be hard to beat? Absofruitly. But Cleveland had the best team on paper going into the 2017 playoffs before getting knocked out in the ALDS. And lest we forget the magical 2016 season where even our local beat writer wrote the season was over as Carlos Carrasco lay there, ankle broken by a comebacker, as we got within an out of the World Series win. We play the games for a reason, regardless of what some may think.