On Friday, the Dodgers signed Los Angeles native Trevor Bauer to a contract worth $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022, making the 2020 Cy Young Award winner the highest paid player in Major League Baseball. And that’s great for the team’s chances of repeating its 2020 World Series Championship, but L.A. might want to brace itself as it welcomes one of the most, er…talked about players in the sport.
Deadspin has labeled Bauer “a big dumb asshole,” basing that assessment on quotes from a profile published by ESPN in April 2018, when the pitcher was with the Cleveland Indians.
Quotes like: “People get the wrong impression about me. They think I’m elitist or I’m conceited or whatever. But I’m a really good person. I take care of my friends and my family. I’m kindhearted. I’m a better person than a lot of people I’m surrounded by. I’ll get chewed up for saying that, but it’s true.’’
And: “I just get this reputation of being a bad teammate, but no one would come in and tell me why. So a couple of years back, I went and asked five or six teammates, ‘What makes me a bad teammate?’ And I couldn’t get a straight answer. Either they didn’t want to tell me to my face or they didn’t know.”
Had his teammates waited until that July, they might have mentioned the time he got upset during a loss to the Royals at Kansas City, first hurling a ball into the netting behind home plate in frustration, then firing another over the centerfield wall before being pulled from the game.
He later apologized for the major league tantrum, admitting it was “childish” and “unprofessional.”
“I’m happy it didn’t result in any physical injury for anybody else,” he said. “I realize I put people in danger.”
Actually, danger—at least toward himself—could be Bauer’s middle name. In October 2016, before his debut in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, Bauer managed to mangle his pinky while working on a drone.
He still showed up to pitch but, sadly, he wasn’t allowed to bandage or put any other foreign substance on the wounded digit. Bauer was forced to leave the game in the first inning, when his stitches burst and his pinky commenced to gush blood.
Another technology that’s proven troubling for Bauer is Twitter. In January 2019, Texas State University senior Nikki Giles said Bauer had harassed her on the social media platform, mentioning her more than 80 times because she had tweeted that he was her “least favorite person in all sports.”
When she tried to delete anything that may have caused offense, Bauer tweeted, “Hey @nikkigiless deleting the tweet won’t save you. Judging by this you’re the one that likes to hit the bottle, not me. And before your 21st birthday too!? Mmm not smart kiddo. When you get put in a virtual body bag on Twitter, maybe just stop for the night.”
Hey @nikkigiless deleting the tweet won’t save you. Judging by this you’re the one that likes to hit the bottle, not me. And before your 21st birthday too!? Mmm not smart kiddo. When you get put in a virtual body bag on Twitter, maybe just stop for the night 🤷🏻♂️🤷🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/Dh1yYVd2AI
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) January 6, 2019
For her part, Giles told USA Today, “He went almost a year back into my Twitter to find a tweet about me drinking two months before my 21st birthday and exposed it to his followers.”
Ever the master of the mea culpa, Bauer offered, “I have been made aware that some of the interactions related to a specific Twitter exchange may have had a negative impact. That was not my intention. I will wield the responsibility of my public platform more responsibly in the future.”
During his time with the Indians, he was a bid defender of the team’s controversial branding. When someone tried to get under Bauer’s skin by asking, “@BauerOutage are you okay with racist caricatures for all races or just native Americans?” he replied, “i haven’t met a single Native American yet who thinks it’s racist. Shut up.”
The prolific Twitter user also recently slammed the platform (along with Apple) for supposedly “flooding his phone” with “liberal slanted anti trump articles.”
— Trevor Bauer (トレバー・バウアー) (@BauerOutage) February 9, 2017
In February 2020, during Bauer’s single season with the Cincinnati Reds, Barstool Sports called him “a big dumb idiot” for an on-camera tirade against everything from MLB’s social media policy to changes in its playoff format, but they suspected that Bauer was just unhappy because he was still in a place that didn’t quite match his white-hot sense of self.
“Just one time for the people in the back admit that you don’t want to play in another Ohio mid-market,” Barstool pleaded. “Just be honest with us because the shit you’re trying to pull in that video makes absolutely ZERO sense in comparison to your angst.”
Now that he’s in L.A. and playing for the defending MLB champs, problem solved, right? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.