Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer sat down for a Bleacher Report AMA on Friday that saw him answer questions on a variety of topics, including what it's like to get traded and the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal.
Bauer is never one to shy away from offering a strong opinion on any subject. Here are his responses to a series of questions.
You think the Astros should have their Championship vacated? (from @BluGoon)
No I don't. Do I think the outcome was affected by what they did? Yes, probably, but it shouldn't be vacated.
Do you think the Astros' punishments were enough? If not, what would you suggest? (from @parlayNBA)
I think they were fair. I think they were a good middle ground. It's a very complicated issue. I think Manfred's done 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. So I think so far, I've been pretty pleased with it.
Start, Bench, Cut: A.J. Hinch, Alex Cora, and Carlos Beltran (from @Uncrypted)
Start Beltran. Great player. Cora seemed to be a pretty good Bench coach. Hinch would probably be sweeping his front porch and cut.
Are the balls juiced? (from @Jdubs24)
When will the Yankees get punished for stealing signs? (from @BostonDynasty524)
I guess when there is evidence that they steal signs and the MLB wants to punish them.
How prevalent are PEDs in the game today? (not asking for names just a percentage) (from @PhillipMackroch)
That's a great question and it's complicated. There are certain things that you can take legally if you have certain conditions that not everybody is able to take. For example, Adderall if you have ADHD, so that's technically a 'performance' enhancer. A decent number of guys have that.
In terms of guys taking something illegally and skirting the rules, I would say I'd put it in the 10-ish% range of the league. I think that gets you close. It's not 50% but it's not 0% either.
Were Astros pitchers cheating, too? If so, how? (from @Vernstradamus)
Every team's pitchers cheat, technically, by using foreign substances. But it's not specific to them.
Were you able to hear the trash cans banging during the games when you pitched against them? (from @anthony_west)
When I personally pitched, no. But I get so locked in a game when I pitch, I don't really hear anything. Everyone else can hear things, but I have no recollection of it at all.
What was going through your mind when you chucked the ball over the Kauffman fence? (from @jakes11)
Frustration. I got super sick leading into that start and then that inning, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. And normally when things go wrong, I get mad and can fix it, but because I was sick I didn't even get that and it seemed like nothing could go right. So to sum it up…. Frustration.
Could you explain an Arbitration hearing from a players point of view? Preparation involved, do you attend the hearing, do you get offended? (from @JoeBrichfield)
Here's a brief rundown: Tender date when the team decides if they are going to offer you a contract or not in December. You have between that and the exchange deadline by mid-Jan so you have to have a deal done or you exchange filed numbers. Then you have generally 3ish weeks to get ready for a hearing if you don't have the same numbers. THe hearing is interesting. Its a long table and at one end of the table are 3 arbitrators and they aren't baseball specific people, just labor arbitrators. NEED RECORDING
On the other side, there is the team, and the people that are filing the case and a whole bunch of lawyers. Booklets are exchanged. We have our case, 120 page brief that is going to bbe delivered. At that point, the vast majority of those people just start going up to the room and finding rebuttles and start getting slides ready for the next part of the case. The people who remain in the room are the judges, players, agents and members of the LRD.
The player doesn't actually say a word in the case. The player side presents for an hour, followe by a brief intermission, the team presents for an hour, you get a half hour break. Then each side gets half an hour for rebuttle. Then the agent will argue a couple points, the union will argue a couple points and then the LRD will argue a couple points for the team and then the judges will decide one or the other. So yes, the player hears EVERYTHING that's said.
Do you still like the Cleveland Indians organization or do you consider that place a personal rival of yours? Also, who is the hardest batter you've ever faced? (from @Ashdin13)
Second part is easiest: Miggy in his prime. He was just so capable and would spoil really good pitches. It made the at-bat really difficult. There are other people that hit me better, but as far as a chess match.
As far as the Indians, I don't consider them a rival. There are a lot of people there that I have really good relationships with, so a few poor relationships shouldn't mar my relationships with other. I loved the fans, the city. I grew a lot in that city and Cleveland was such an integral part of my life, it'll be hard to look back and have negative feelings towards that. A lot of people I met there, both in baseball and outside friends, down to like the stadium attendants who would talk to my parents at the games, the clubhouse attendants, chefs, massage therapists, not even mentioning the players I came up with. Getting to go to the World Series, there are just so many good experiences there.
How badly did you want to continue playing after your finger was gushing in blood during the playoffs? (from @WalkingBuckett)
Yeah, really badly. I really pride myself on not missing starts and being able to take the ball when it's my turn, I want to be able to do my job and take my turn. Especially in the playoffs. Toronto was really good that year, the atmosphere was good. Roof was closed, it was just electric. I was bummed not to get to go longer.
If you were the GM of the Indians would you have traded yourself? (from @ThoughfulBudah)
Absolutely. I would have traded myself the prior offseason.
Would you stay in Cincinnati for the rest of your career if you were given the chance? (from @Rannsidass)
I have no reason not to stay in Cincinnati. My goal is to be on a contender every year and to be allowed to do certain things in my career that I've aspired to do, like pitching every 4th day. So if Cincinnati is in contention and they allow me to pitch every 4th day, I don't see why not.
What was the most memorable game you pitched in and why? (from @jusqui)
Game 7 of the World Series I technically pitched in it, but it's the most memorable game of my career. I got the last 2 outs in the 11th or whatever it was. Also, came in in extra innings in Toronto and pitched in the like, 19th in a game that ended at like, 2-1.
I also have blown 2 22-win game streaks, so theres that. Maybe 3rd time will be a charm?
Who has the best fans in the league? (from @mikeoxard)
Cleveland has to be up there. I have the most experience with Cleveland so they are definitely up there with the passion. The Red Sox. Cardinals fans are way up there too. They are really knowledgeable about the game. Those are the ones that come to mind off the bat.
Craziest locker room moment??? (from @Rhettro)
The easy way out is to talk about the celebrations when you win something. Champagne and cigars and everyone is taking pictures and dumping beers and spraying champagne. Without getting into some of the prankster moments, I would say celebrations.
Not the team, but thoughts on the City of Cleveland and NE Ohio? (from @Jmalley78)
A really really passionate sports city and fanbase. Lots of really good charitable organizations who do really good things. Nothing but positive, other than winters being very cold. I grew up in LA so I'm used to sunny and 70 so the winters are cold.
What batter in history would you want to face the least and how would you pitch to him?? (from @SandClappers)
Miggy is interesting because his approach is so dynamic. His approach is this: He'll sit on middle speed pitches which allows him to take a fastball on the outside of the plate which allows him to beat the shift. Puts him on time for the slider and slightly early on the curve ball, but hes good enough to get his bat around. That means you have to throw fast balls in, which is really hard to get strikes on and he's so good at getting his hands in there and nicking the ball. And every now and again, he'll sit on a fast ball in and hit it 450 feet, and then go right back to his approach.
What was behind that argument with Alex Bregman? (from @meliegreenbaum)
Which one? We have trained together and it's just guys ribbing each other.
If you were a member of the Astros what would your message be if you had to make a statement regarding your team? (from @Noonan36)
It's hard to say because I'm not in that situation. What's going to be said in Spring Training is 'Look, it's an unfortunate situation. It's been handled and would love to talk to you about this team and moving forward' and no one will actually say anything.
What will factor into your FA decision at the end of 2020? (from @JackfromLost)
A lot. I want to contend for a world series, so the competitiveness of a team. So the analytics, players, being able to pitch every 4th day so that'll factor in. Money will factor in. it has to at some level. I want to be happy playing and enjoy my playing career so really just looking for a place I can enjoy. I am going to look for a 1 year deal
Who are your top 5 pitchers in the league? (Not including yourself) (from @Angelmont47)
Scherzer, DeGrom, Cole, Verlander, Clevinger
If you didn't play baseball what sport would you want to play? (from @halleberry45)
If I didn't play baseball, I probably wouldn't play a sport because i'm not really that athletic. Baseball was the one sport I could nerd my way to the top. I played soccer when I was little, but I wasn't very good at it. Can't jump or shoot so basketball is out. I would get blown up in football and hockey is too physical. Maybe badminton? I would probably be an engineer or something.
Would you ever make the move to the bullpen, as Lincecum did? I know you pitch similarly to him and he first made the move around your age. Also, Happy 29th Birthday my man. (from @Draw)
I have no interest in being a reliever. It's not to say I wouldn't do it at some point, but I would have to have a really long time to think about it or if I want to retire.
What was your favorite team growing up? (from @dylanyag)
Either the Braves or the A's. I was just a fan of the pitching staff. So it was Hudson, Zito and Modl and ????????
Give me your max on, deadlift, squat and bench. Or what you think you would get. (from @frasathma)
I don't know. I do know deadlift: i don't pull straight bar, i pull from hexbar. 495. Bench I think 165 is the most I ever bench, but I rarely do straight bar bench. Squat, I've squatted 365, but I haven't squatted in years. Also the majority of my training isn't based on max.
Chick-fil-A or Popeyes? (from @ChickfilAisbetta)
I've eaten more Chick-fil-A in my life so going to go with that.
If you have 2 lasagnas and you stack one lasagna on top of the other...how many lasagnas do you have? (from @JustNewman12)
Bauer is preparing for his first full season with the Reds. Cincinnati acquired him last July from the Cleveland Indians, with whom he spent six-and-a-half seasons from 2013 to mid-2019.
In 10 starts after the trade, Bauer posted a 6.39 ERA with 68 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. Reds pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 14. They open the regular season March 26 against the defending National League Central champion St. Louis Cardinals.