Trevor Bauer has had a rivalry with the Astros for some time now. The former Indians pitcher, now with the Reds, has battled Astros players like Alex Bregman on social media. (Notably, Bregman pretended not to know Bauer’s name, referring to him as Tyler.)
It seemed like a friendly rivalry at first, as athletes tend to do in the social media age. However, Bauer may have predicted the Astros’ cheating scandal, which has dominated this offseason. How did he do it and what does MLB think?
Trevor Bauer accuses the Astros of cheating
Back in 2018, Bauer took to Twitter to discuss the Astros trading for pitchers and making them better, particularly with increased spin rates. He wasn’t complimenting the team for the ability to do so, according to ESPN. Instead, Bauer was accusing the team of possibly doing things that aren’t so legal to achieve the desired result.
One Twitter user, who wondered how Astros pitchers’ spin rates increased that season, brought up the possibility of doctoring baseballs with foreign substances.
Bauer tweeted a response that seemed to agree with the hypothesis. He wrote, “If only there was just a really quick way to increase spin rate. Like what if you could trade for a player knowing that you could bump his spin rate a couple hundred rpm overnight.”
This led to Bregman’s response: “Relax Tyler … those World Series balls spin a little different….” followed by the crying-while-laughing emoji.
Bauer predicted the scandal?
While Bauer’s accusations related to pitching, he brought to light the thought of the Astros cheating about a year-and-a-half before the sign-stealing scandal happened. And if Bauer thinks the Astros were cheating about increasing spin rate, it stands to reason that he may have thought they were cheating in other ways, too.
If nothing else, it put the idea of the Astros bending the rules into people’s minds, allowing fans and teams to think it’s believable that the sign-stealing accusations — Astros manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow were ultimately fired for this — had some merit to them, as Major League Baseball’s investigation eventually determined was the case.
Bauer’s reaction to the sign-stealing scandal
As you can tell, Bauer is never afraid to voice his opinions no matter how controversial or unpopular they may be. Unlike most players, he didn’t stay silent once the sign-stealing scandal took over the news cycle. When Bauer did an AMA with Bleacher Report in the wake of MLB handing down its punishments to the Astros, you knew he’d discuss how he feels.
The pitcher admitted that the Astros’ 2017 World Series championship shouldn’t be vacated, although he said the outcome was “probably” affected by the cheating. Of course, there was a question about whether Bauer thought the punishments were enough. He called them “fair” and said he thinks “they were a good middle ground” for a “complicated issue.”
Bauer wrote that he thinks Manfred did “a pretty good job toeing the line between what’s right between the integrity of the game and making the punishments harsh enough for how much of a black eye they put on the league.”
When asked if the Astros’ pitchers were cheating too, Bauer responded that “every team’s pitchers cheat” by using foreign substances; it’s not just the Astros’ pitchers who do it. When asked if he heard trash cans being banged when he pitched against the Astros, Bauer responded not when he pitched, but he gets “so locked in a game” when he pitches that he doesn’t “really hear anything.”
Regardless of the Astros’ future success, it seems like MLB fans can count on Bauer to say it like it is.
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