Starting 9 Got To Spend Cy Young Announcement Day With Shane Bieber For A Mini Documentary
So, I'm just gonna say this upfront. Yesterday was one of the coolest fucking days I've ever experienced on planet earth.
Little backstory before we get to Wednesday. When Dallas and I started our baseball podcast Starting 9, the first few guests we ever had on the show were all just guys in our contacts. We burned through those pretty quickly. After about a year, we relied on the awesome talent bookers here at Barstool (shout out Peggy Iralson and Kelly Martin). In October of 2018, we had Shane Bieber on the podcast for the first time. I just went back and looked and the show description details says that we have an interview with the soon-to-be National League MVP Christian Yelich and "the newest member of the Indians stud rotation, Shane Bieber." He was just a pup back then. We had an eventual Cy Young award winner on the podcast, and he wasn't even the headlining guest on the show. How quickly things can change.
Fast forward to 2019 and Bieber went from the new kid on the block in Cleveland to an All Star starting pitcher, making his first All Star Game in his home ballpark of Progressive Field. The morning before the All Star Game, we met up with Bieber for an interview at a diner. Breakfast With Biebs we called it. In that interview, Dallas and I spoke into existence what was to come. Bieber comes out of the bullpen in Cleveland, crowd's going wild for their hometown guy, Bieber strikes out the side and wins All Star Game MVP. That's pretty much exactly what happened.
This past spring, we went back to Arizona for the Spikes Up Tour and went to the Momentum House where Trevor Bauer was recording his episodes of Bauer Bytes, a show where he sits down with other guys in the league, athletes in other sports and content creators like Dallas and me. Our episode was the second of this particular season. At the table was Bauer, Bieber, eventual World Series champion Alex Wood, Dallas and myself. That's how this year started for us. And that's basically how it would end, too.
During the 2020 season, it wasn't a matter of if Bieber would win the Cy Young award; it was a matter of if it would be unanimous and if he had a shot at winning the American League MVP, too. After pitching his way to the triple crown, I still think he should've been a finalist for MVP at the very least, but we'll take what we can get.
Before the postseason started, we began planning content ideas for the offseason. My producer Brynn texted me with an idea -- let's see if we can document Bieber's big day. I reached out before Cleveland's first playoff game to see if there was any interest in doing something like that but he didn't know where he was going to be living or even temporarily located for Cy Young announcement day, so I thought that was a wrap on that idea. Last Friday, we got the green light. He rented a house in Arizona, was having friends and family come out and fortunately enough, that included Starting 9.
We whipped up some last minute plans to get a video and audio crew together, the same one we used in spring, and got on a bird to the west coast. I mean, you'd think that by now we'd be used to special opportunities like this, but I'd be lying to your face if I told you it wasn't one of the coolest things I've ever experienced. We started the day off with nine holes of golf with his father and brother, some friends and agents, then headed back to the house for the announcement.
Very few people ever get to be in the room when someone gets told that they're the Cy Young award winner. Even less get to hear that about themselves. I knew it was in the bag and I was still wildly nervous. We couldn't hear the MLB Network hosts who were talking to him via FaceTime and we had to keep the TV on mute so that there was no echo on the broadcast. After moments of silence, he finally said it.
And then the celebration began. All day I was trying to get him to crack and talk about the big moment, but he wouldn't budge. Biebs is super humble and even though the award was a guarantee to anyone who was paying attention to baseball this year, he still maintained his character in that he was just honored to be considered.
Later that night, Trevor Bauer came through the door and the two Cy Young award winners and former Tribe teammates shared their moment together. We've got the entire day on film, which includes interviews with Bieber, his friends and his family. We're gonna do it up real nice so that it's unlike anything we've ever produced before as a brand to capture how special the day was and we hope you guys enjoy watching it as much as Dallas and I enjoyed being a part of it. A huge thanks to Shane and his family for having us there on their special day, and I can't wait to see what the documentary looks like.