Forbidden Love: Trevor Bauer
Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Pronk jumps in to share a bit about Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer.
I have a tendency not to discuss politics with people. I've found that the longer a politically based conversation goes on with someone, the closer you come to unearthing a ridiculous view that drastically affects how I see that person. It's not something I'm particularly proud of. Personally, I think we all have a ridiculous view buried somewhere. But I'd rather just not know what those are. Rather than do some digging and learn, I'd prefer the bad things just stay buried. None of us are in particular positions of power, so why does it matter anyways?
I bring this up because Trevor Bauer is often defined by his political views, rather than his terrific pitching, his openness with fans, his charitable nature, or his great sense of humor. In my opinion, its very unfortunate that many people will write Bauer off. Bauer's criminally underappreciated by the baseball community.
I'll start with charity. Bauer has done a ton for charitable causes. In 2018, he ran a 69 days of giving campaign. He donated a hilarious $420.69 to 68 different charities. Then he donated $69,420 to a Cleveland area high school. Nice. Last year, he held votes on Twitter allowing his fans to choose charities that he'd then donate $10 per strikeout to.
Trevor reaches out to fans constantly and in many different ways. He's constantly taking and answering questions on social media. He constantly puts out pitching tips, teaching about mechanics and pitch design. He even takes fan requests via his personal website. If I had to bet money on just one MLB player responding to a request, it would be Bauer. He's constantly responding to fans through all social media channels. He's got such a steady stream of media output, one has to wonder where he finds the time.
Here is is sharing his answer to a fan asking him "how do you get Javy Baez out?"
Bauer's well known for getting into arguments on Twitter. It's typically entertaining, although it does go south on occasion. My favorite exchange was recently, when not-Hall-of-Famer Curt Schilling came after him. But Bauer was ready. Bauer not only has no problem taking Curt Schilling on, but also had a perfect insulting nickname ready to go.
I love Trevor Bauer's sense of humor. He's hilarious. His dry sarcastic wit can rub people the wrong way at times, but if you can push through that, it's well worth it. Nobody else donates money in increments of $69 and $420. Nobody else retweets people mocking him, as Pitching Ninja did with his infamous CF ball toss.
All of this stuff about his personality, and I haven't even talked about his solid pitching yet. He's typically good for 3 WAR, 200 innings and a 4 ERA. There are better pitchers out there, but when he limits his mistakes, he's as good as anyone in the game. He had a fantastic 2018, and is capable of being an ace. Here's to hoping he maintains that next level.
One of the things I do respect about Trevor Bauer is that he's not afraid to make mistakes. He's aggressive and will get himself into trouble at times. But he usually catches himself pretty quick and tries to correct. For example, in his now infamous ball toss, he let frustration get the best of him very quickly. But he immediately apologized to his manager while still on the mound, and then to the fans afterwords. He didn't hide. He faced it head on.
If there's one thing to take away from all of this, it's that Trevor Bauer deserves a chance. Don't write him off because he's got some political views that you don't agree with. At the end of the day, he's just a guy trying to do his very best. Whether that is pitching or making an impact in his community. Trevor Bauer deserves your attention. All of this stuff I wrote about, it only scratches the surface.