Trevor Bauer doesn’t tend to hold back his thoughts or feelings on things. When he has something to say, he’s been known to say it – both for good and for bad. He’s had some thoughts about the Houston Astros before, noting how their pitchers all seemed to get some extra spin on their pitches once they arrived in Houston. At first it seemed a bit more nefarious than it actually was.

This week, though, has seen the Cincinnati Reds pitcher really lay into the Houston Astros, and earlier in the week, Major League Baseball and Rob Manfred, too. Let’s start with some of the stuff that Bauer had to say about Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball. In a video he recorded with Momentum, one that’s gotten over 160,000 views as I’m writing this, Bauer didn’t hold back.

“I’m really upset about this new, ridiculous playoff policy that Rob Manfred has suggested, or proposed, or leaked – I don’t even know how it got on the internet. I don’t know why it would even get on the internet – it’s that ridiculous. Just reading through it without even thinking about it for a second, they’re just wrong! Like, who put this out without thining of the fact that the best team in the league is going to get a 6-day layoff, 7-day layoff?”

Bauer continued, “All while we sort out this whole 3-games here, the wild card, we’re going to pick our opponent, and we’re going to do this reality tv stuff. Meanwhile the best team in baseball is sitting and waiting for this crap to transpire. God forbid someone’s ace pitches four days before the end of the regular season, and then he has to ten days between starts. This isn’t football where you can heal up and that helps. Being on a routine is so important in baseball. We play for six months and now you’re going to say at the most critical time of the year that we’re going to get 10 days off maybe, or the six days between games and who knows how the pitching rotation lines up and all of this different stuff. And that’s supposed to be a benefit? That’s supposed to be the best team in baseball that gets this benefit?”

Things got more interesting from there. Bauer spoke about how in one of the largest markets in baseball, half of the fans in the city of Los Angeles literally don’t have access to the games on television, for YEARS now, because of a contract dispute between the cable companies and the station that owns the rights to the games. He talked about how bad baseball is overall at promoting the game through social media because of their greed to try and get every single penny out of the product. Watch the video.

Trevor Bauer on the Houston Astros

As noted above, Trevor Bauer hasn’t exactly been shy about expressing his opinion. When the Houston Astros penalties came out, many within the game weren’t exactly thrilled with the punishments levied. No players faced any ramifications, the owner seemed to get off light, the organization seemed to get off light – and it really seemed that only the guys who were managers in 2019 that were connected to the stealing signs scandal were facing real punishments.

On Wednesday, Bauer penned a piece for The Players Tribune titled “I Wish I’d Been Wrong”, and within he addresses the Houston Astros and Major League Baseball again. And again, he wasn’t happy about what he was seeing.

Personally I think that what’s going on in baseball now is up there with the Black Sox scandal, and that it will be talked about forever — more so than steroids. Like the steroid era, you can say what you want about it, but steroids weren’t really illegal at the time. The sign-stealing that was going on in Houston, though, was blatantly illegal. And with the rules that were implemented last year and the year before — that, by the way, were then still broken — it was very clear.

That was only the beginning from Bauer. With spring training officially underway now, the Reds starter was asked why it is important to speak out in front of the media in Goodyear, and he didn’t hold back, reportedly talking for the next ten minutes before the next question was asked.

If you want to get the full breakdown, I’d suggest starting over at The Athletic, where C. Trent Rosecrans typed out nearly every single one of the 1500 words that Trevor Bauer gave in response to the question. Family friendly warning – the answers aren’t always so family friendly – by my count, Bauer used one of the banned words 27 times within his response. He did not hold back on the players, the owner of the Astros, Major League Baseball – none of it. On how the cheating was more than just wins and losses on the field Bauer had this to say:

Whit Merrifield was not an All-Star because José Altuve was. Aaron Judge did not win the MVP because José Altuve did and things like this. So now Whit Merrifield, when he goes to sign his long-term extension, doesn’t have “All-Star” next to his name. “All-Star” probably makes him a lot more valuable in arbitration, which perhaps makes him not sign that deal or maybe sign the deal for that many more million dollars. Aaron Judge doesn’t have “MVP” next to his name. What is he worth in his first year of arbitration? That’s millions of dollars. The trajectory of the career, too. It’s not the first time where it’s a million or two, but then the next year it’s two or three and the next year after that, it’s four or five.

If you don’t have a subscription to The Athletic, then you can check out Bobby Nightengale’s article at the Cincinnati Enquirer. It isn’t quite as complete as the full transcipt at The Athletic, but it’s very thorough in it’s own right and covers nearly everything.

Photo of Trevor Bauer by Erik Drost. Photo has been edited. License can be found here.

66 Responses

  1. VADA

    Trevor, way to GO !!! Impressive honesty. Glad to have you a member of the Reds. I hope you are able to see Manfred’s face every pitch you throw. You expressed my thoughts TO A TEE.
    In my opinion the BIGGEST hindrance to fans are the televised BLACKOUTS. Baseball fans have been REPLACED by a new fuel called $$$$$$$. Fans who stick around are becoming SLAVES to the SYSTEM OF GREED making owners richer and richer.

    I wrote a letter to Manfred and Player’s Union last season expressing how MLB players are the ONLY profession where opposing players REFUSE to greet each other when games end. Little League, High School, College, etc. greet after games. Football players are great at this. I told Manfred and Player’s Union my take on the matter: players are spoiled brats and poor losers.

    Trevor may very well be a blessing in disguise for the Reds if he doesn’t allow his emotions to distract his focus.

    Great article.

    • TR

      MLB players tend to greet each other and socialize before the game in contrast to the NFL where opposing players often renew collegiate ties after the game.

      • earmbrister

        JDub —

        How was it weird?

        And BTW, non sequitur doesn’t have a hyphen …

  2. wizeman

    Really like Trevor Bauer. Great article by C. Trent

  3. CFD3000

    I’m have to wade through all this stuff, but my initial response is that I love Bauer’s competitive fire. The more I learn about the Astros (and Red Sox) situations the madder I get. This stuff was simply unacceptable. And Bauer is looking all the way down the line and reminding us of all the implications so that maybe, just maybe, we don’t just stand by and let something like this happen again.

    And I am one of the lucky ones for TV access – I don’t live near Cincinnati so I rarely get blacked out. But the fact that Bauer is aware of the problem and knows the specifics of fans who aren’t even rooting for his team is impressive. I’ve been pro-Bauer since he arrived from Cleveland and I’m even more so now. I expect him to have a very good year on the mound with help from Johnson and Boddy. Glad he’s a Red, can’t wait to see him pitch in 2020.

    • Colorado Red

      Am there with you.
      I live in Colorado (thus the name), and love MLB tv.
      Of course, I have to watch the stupid Rockies announcers when the Reds play the Rox.
      They are the worst.
      Hope the fire translates to the mound this year.

      • Still a Red

        If you have MLB tv you should be able to choose which announcers to listen to.

    • KDJ

      Trevor made a lot of good points. The new proposed playoff schedule is NOT for the good of the game; it will line a few pockets, hurt the best team, and provide a lesser product to the fans. Houston’s cheating has many repercussions, a few of which he noted.
      BTW, I live in NC, and Reds games are blacked out here! Ridiculous.

    • Dave G

      Agree. I live in AZ, so I get all but D’Backs games. I lived in LA 2 years ago and I always felt bad that half the Dodger fanbase couldn’t even see one game because of the cable dispute. Baseball surely could find a solution for that fiasco, but it goes on and on.

  4. RojoBenjy

    ‘Bout time someone points out that the emporer has no clothes.

  5. RojoBenjy

    Speaking of steroid era—is this deal with the trash cans and Boston and Houston another example of MLB turning a blind eye because it “needs” big markets like those two to be successful to increase the $$$?

    Follow the money.

  6. Hotto4Votto

    I mean….he’s not wrong. Glad he’s speaking out about it.

  7. Sliotar

    Voltaire, the French philosopher from the 1700s, had a quote that applies to this day, to many things … but, especially to Bauer and Manfred:

    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

    Manfred is getting paid to implement the owners’ wishes and be their public face, and bear any criticism of the owners squeezing out more money, regardless of impact.

    Manfred knew that when he took the job, and Bauer appears smart enough to know that as well. Bauer knows who not to go after, for the good of his career.

    When Bauer is criticizing Castellini for going along with an expanded playoff scheme … then that is trying to make a difference.

  8. GhostRunner

    Can see why Bauer was so popular in Cleveland.

  9. Hotto4Votto

    It will be interesting in how history views this compared to other scandals mentioned like the Black Sox or steroids. Especially when it comes to specific players and their HOF status. For guys like Verlander and Altuve, will they be seen as cheaters in the same way that Clemons and Bonds are? The same way Pete or Shoeless Joe is? I absolutely think they should be viewed in the same light. It would be hypocritical of baseball to gloss over this cheating and put them in the HOF while keeping others out. You can’t even use the argument that outside of this incident the rest of their career is HOF worthy, because the same is true for Rose, Clemons, Bonds, Schilling, Sholess Joe and so on. That’ll be real interesting to see how that’s handled.

    • RojoBenjy

      Pete gambled—he didn’t cheat.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Gambling on your team is against the rules. Breaking the rules is cheating. Is it not?

      • Colorado Red

        I do not like the Pete Rose rule. Shoeless joe was rejected by the voters.
        The Pete Rose rule kept Pete out of the Hall.
        It should have been up to the votes, but the stupid commish, hated him.
        Yes, Pete should have been banned, but not from the hall.
        Hope Bonds, and other cheaters (including the BoSox and the Lastros) never make it to the hall.

      • RojoBenjy

        It’s against the rules for players to beat up their wives, also. But it’s not considered cheating.

      • Hotto4Votto

        But this happened during baseball games. Not during time away from the game. That’s the difference. It happened as a player and manager. And it effected the games being played. He broke the rules for personal gain. That’s cheating to me.

      • KDJ

        I have no problem with a competitor betting on himself to win, which is what I understand Rose did. Betting on yourself to lose leads to match/game fixing, which is completely different.

      • greenmtred

        Betting on oneself to win–especially as a manager–is not necessarily innocuous. Suppose Pete decided to use his best relief pitcher–despite injury or fatigue–in a close game because he had a bet down on it? There’s also the slippery slope aspect: Betting on yourself to win is closer to betting on yourself to lose than not betting at all is. Compulsive gambling is an illness and, as such, not necessarily perfectly controllable.

      • earmbrister

        I’m skeptical that Pete Rose only bet on the Reds to win. And like GreenMtn said, it’s highly probable that he misused his roster, to the detriment of the team, in order to win bets.

        Cheating is against the rules, and so is betting on the games by players and coaches. I consider both Rose and the Astro players to be scum.

      • Still a Red

        hmmm…is breaking the rules cheating? I don’t know, but there is a material difference between the Black Sox and Pete. The Black Sox purposely threw games…while it is possible Pete did too, there is no proof that he did. Also, the Commish banned Pete from baseball, BUT the reason he is not in the HoF, which is independent of MLB, is that HoF has its own internal rules that prevent him from entering as long as he is banned. Perhaps a distinction without a difference. In re: to whether Altuve et al have a permanent * by their names (which I think they should), similar breaking of the rules by the Patriots have not seemed to sully Brady or Belachek. FWIW, I too think the playoff proposal furthers erodes the game.

  10. wutinthehail

    I don’t necessarily disagree with what he is saying but Trevor Bauer comes off as a REALLY unlikable guy. He called Rob Manfred a Joke last week which is a REALLY dumb thing to say. I can see why the Indians got rid of him and would not be surprised if he is a cancer in the locker room. Remember, this is a guy that threw a baseball over the centerfield fence because he has a hard time getting people out now.

    • RojoBenjy

      Calling Manfred a joke may be dumb, but it’s not necessarily wrong.

      I do like that he stopped the All-Star Game from bing linked to the WS, though.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        This is totally anecdotal but my family members and friends who are Indians’ fans were not always happy with his inconsistency on the mound. However that have all said that he was considered a good teammate and well liked in the clubhouse. I know more than once at the end of an inning after coming to Cincinnati he would greet the fielders at the edge of the dugout. If he was a cancer or disliked, my guess is he would just go slump down on the bench and ignore everyone.

    • Ghettotrout1

      I love Bauer I wish more players actually spoke their mind openly.

    • Lwblogger2

      So did Rob Dibble. Did you like him?

  11. AllTheHype

    Love this guy. We need to figure out how to keep him a little longer, assuming he can rebound from the second half last year of course.

  12. Doc

    Players and coaching staff should have been banned for life. WS title should have been vacated and 2017 recorded in the books as VACANT. ASTROS should be playing 2020 with their AAA players. Pete Rose was banned from baseball for betting on his team to win; these guys didn’t lose a plug nickel.

    Jim Crane has lost all credibility. He wants me to believe that they set up and continued an elaborate cheating scheme that had no effect on games. Why did they do it then? What possible reason can explain knowingly and aggressively cheating for a prolonged period for no gain? If I did the equivalent in my profession my license to practice would have been permanently revoked, no matter how good my outcomes or how important to my patients I was. Manfred’s handling of this is a travesty.

    • Colorado Red

      If the players where not offered immunity, nothing would have been found out.
      Yes the manager the GM should have been banned.
      The owner should have been suspended for a year.
      I do not think the WS title should be stripped from them.

      • earmbrister

        Colorado, the owner should have been suspended from WHAT for a year? The team got a slap on the wrist, and only got any punishment due to the cheating starting to become publicly known. Baseball would’ve swept it under the rug, to it’s own ultimate detriment.

        If the fans think the games are rigged, why are they going to watch in the future (see France, Tour de)?

    • Greenfield Red

      The players will not be touched. MLB is scared of the Union.

  13. jbonireland

    I’m on the opposite side of the fence, maybe he should keep his mouth shut, stick to baseball and try to be at least a 500 pitcher for the Reds for the 17-18 million we are paying him.

    • RojoBenjy

      Can’t he keep his mouth going and do the same thing?

    • Cincyred15

      Is his articulation of a well thought out position in any way mutually exclusive with him being a dominant pitcher? Athletes can have opinions and perform on the field. “Stick to baseball” . He’s not discussing a presidential election, he’s literally discussing the sport that he plays.

  14. Old-school

    Trevor Bauer’s best quote had to do with each teams media relations/marketing person … who ” teaches players how to talk without saying anything”. Or something to that effect.

    Bauer has the respect of his fellow pitchers and says what he means. I like the fact he jokingly ripped DJ for not giving him a scholarship at Vanderbilt. Mike Lorenzen is talking and working with him. Sonny gray and he go back a long time.

    It’s about time the Reds got back to being relevant with differing personalities. Let Bauer be who he is . Just hope he throws 200 innings and strikes out 240 and beats the stupid Cards and Cubs and helps the starting staff be the best in the NL central.

  15. Klugo

    The guys that bean these cheaters will get a longer suspension that the cheaters themselves. Think about that for a minute.

    • Hotto4Votto

      That’s a good point, And I kind of get where the players are coming from. Baseball did absolutely nothing to hold a single player accountable. They all get a free pass. The old school rule is players police themselves. The players who do try to seek out “justice” will receive a greater penalty than any one player who perpetuated a cheating scandal for years. That’s not right on my book. Just like MLB does nothing to hold teams like the Pirates and managers like Hurdle accountable, they’ve done nothing to hold the Astros accountable.

    • greenmtred

      I have thought about it, and concluded that beaning somebody could kill them. The cheaters should be suspended, fined, have their WS title vacated, possibly, but they shouldn’t be physically assaulted.

      • LWblogger2

        That’s where I stand. You start hitting them and their guys will just start hitting you. It was up to MLB to hold some of the players accountable and they basically didn’t. Sign stealing on the field has always been a gray area. Sign stealing using technology from off the field entirely is blatant cheating as the players on the field basically have no way to stop it. This was especially true last year when they limited mound visits. One of the ways to combat it is for the catcher to come out in a key situation and decide what they’re going to throw the next few pitches to get a particular guy out.

  16. AirborneJayJay

    There was no Bauer outage with Trevor yesterday.
    You have to remember a few years back as MLB started to allow more electronic devices and I-pads in the dug out, that Manfred said if any team used them for nefarious reasons he would come down hard on the ones caught. However, sadly Manfred did not come through on his warning. He wasn’t harsh at all on the actual cheaters.

  17. RedNat

    I wish they would have just kept Puig myself

  18. TR

    I prefer to see Trevor Bauer channel his passion to getting opposing hitters out. The Reds need him to have a strong year in order to be in contention. Trevor obviously has a passion for baseball politics. But I’d prefer to learn of that when he’s not a Red.

  19. centerfield

    I think the most important thing he said was about a missing generation of fans due the owners greed. If MLB wants to develop the next fan base, the cost to attend a game needs to be reasonable and all games should be available, free on TV, in your market. Sacrifice some money to sustain your product. Shorten the season to 154 games. 3 games for the wildcard playoff is fine, but the rest of the proposed “expanded” playoffs is simply stupid. I suspect that a majority of the players support his “rant” 100 percent.

  20. Dick Paterson

    Well said, Trevor Bauer. The proposed “playoff” scheme would move MBL even closer to just a tournament at the end of the season. And thanks for calling out the blackout issue. As more and more people watch online instead of cable (we canceled our cable years ago), there will be fewer local fans because they can’t watch the games. I live 332 miles from Pittsburg, but still can’t watch the Reds play the Pirates because of blackout. I am closer to Boston, Baltimore, Washington, and of course, blacked-out New York and Philly. It’s nice to have a player speaking for the game and for the fans.

  21. jon

    The video of Altuve rounding 3rd base reminding his teammates NOT to tare his jersey is very telling.

    • RojoBenjy

      Things that make you go, “Hmm…”

  22. Herpyderp

    Lots of people seem to have really strong negative opinions about Bauer, and express them via the internet. These same people also go about their job without missing a beat. Why is it so hard to believe Bauer (or any baseball player) can also express opinions via the internet while still doing his job playing baseball?

    • jazzmanbbfan

      It shouldn’t be hard to understand but apparently it is for some. In this day and age, if people have that much of a problem with athletes (or others) expressing opinions on the internet, they need to limit their use to looking up the local weather before stepping outside because opinions are everywhere.

  23. Scott C

    Now Dusty has asked MLB to “protect” the Astro players and put harsh punishments on any pitcher that hits an Astro batter. They probably will, what a joke. All players that used the electronic sign stealing should have received a suspension.

  24. B-town fan

    I have to agree with Bauer, the Playoff proposal is kinda insane. I mean having teams pick there opponents that’s ludicrous and you already have a third of the teams make the playoffs, do they want to make the regular season completely meaningless adding more teams.

  25. earmbrister

    I’m skeptical that Pete Rose only bet on the Reds to win. And like GreenMtn said, it’s highly probable that he misused his roster, to the detriment of the team, in order to win bets.

    Cheating is against the rules, and so is betting on the games by players and coaches. I consider both Rose and the Astro players to be scum.

  26. earmbrister

    I’m skeptical that Pete Rose only bet on the Reds to win. And like GreenMtn said, it’s highly probable that he misused his roster, to the detriment of the team, in order to win bets.

    Cheating is against the rules, and so is betting on the games by players and coaches. I consider both Rose and the Astro players to be scum.

  27. Still a Red

    Alot of people here, at the moment, seem to like Bauers ‘outspokeness’…let’s see if they continue to like it when he says something they don’t like. I’m not saying someone should be censored or be automatons, but I’m not yet clear if Bauer is discerning in expressing his opinions. If he doesn’t hurt the game or the team…OK.

  28. LWblogger2

    I appreciate the player view on the reasoning behind his criticism. Lots of things about Bauer I don’t like but he’s right about how MVP awards and AS appearance affect the earnings of MLB players. What the Astros did not only hurt other teams, it hurt players. The union should be just as outraged as owners for some of the other teams and fans of those teams. The players union should deal with the repercussions against the players involved. If I were a union member, I’d be screaming for justice on the grounds that Bauer pointed out.

  29. RojoBenjy

    What about what Nick Markakis has to say?

    Markakis on the Astros: “I know how hard this game is and I know how hard preparing for this game is. To see something like that is damaging to baseball. It’s anger. I feel every single guy over there deserves a beating.”

    “I’m angry! It’s wrong. I’ve played my whole career clean and the right way. I’m hurt by it. And I’m disappointed with the way things have been handled by MLB. Those guys still get to play. It’s (BS)!” Nick Markakis on addressing the #Astros Scandal