(Quotes via The Athletic)
Just a few days ago in Trevor Bauer's latest start against the Oakland A's, MLB umpires had a few balls taken out of play for further review in accordance with the sport's latest crackdown on pitchers using foreign substances while on the mound. RDT covered it here. Now we're finding out a little more detail along with some reaction from Bauer himself. He's not happy with The Athletic's recent article covering this and went as far to call Ken Rosenthal a "gossip blogger." One of the more respected writers in the game is a gossip blogger! Fake journalism! Somebody is upset and thinks he's being treated unfair…
Yes definitely the ramblings of a perfectly innocent man. Based on those tweets I'm sure he's got nothing to hide.
We also got this gem of a tweet from his agent Rachel Luba who was quick to delete.
So what did The Athletic article actually detail?
The umpires in Bauer’s start against the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday collected multiple balls he threw during the game, according to major-league sources. The balls had visible markings and were sticky, and were sent to the league offices for further inspection, the sources said.
According to the league’s March 23 memo, which was sent by MLB vice-president of on-field operations Michael Hill to high-ranking officials with all 30 clubs, the commissioner’s office will review Statcast data this season to analyze changes in spin rates of pitchers suspected of using foreign substances, and compare those spin rates to the pitchers’ career norms. However, sources said the scrutiny of Bauer on Wednesday arose not from spin-rate analysis, but balls being brought to the umpires’ attention.
My personal favorite part of the article?
That may be the first time in the world's history that Trevor Bauer has declined to comment on any matter. A true 'where were you' moment in history. Very interesting! Sure Bauer fired off the tweets above later on in the day, but only when enough people were starting to talk about it on Twitter themselves. This is fun. I'm sure he's got a vlog coming soon as well.
As for the article and what is going on here? Well let's go back in time a second shall we? Bauer has long stuck his nose in the world of spin rates and pine tar usage with pitchers. He called out Cole and the Astros a few years ago, suspecting there was no way to naturally ramp up your own spin rate unless you were doing it with the aid of a foreign substance.
Then he basically told the world he was going to do it as an experiment for one inning with the Reds. Next thing you know in 2020 his four seam fastball generated the highest spin rate in the entire league. So a guy who once said you could not spike your own spin rates naturally, was all of a sudden doing it himself? No regrets on his end, it got him a Cy Young award and a $102 million contract from the Dodgers. Oh yeah it's worth noting Bauer sells merch on his own website that advocates the legalization of pine tar. I'm sure MLB loves that.
So yeah you can see why MLB is targeting Bauer here. He's clowned them hard for a while now and doesn't shut the fuck up about it. Now they want to try and even the score, or at the very least rattle his cage. He's given himself a giant target on his back and MLB is finally ready to take aim. Now what is MLB actually going to do here? It is SO HARD to actually prove Bauer did anything wrong, even as suspicious as it may be. Sure the balls he used had sticky marks on them, but that could have easily came from an infielder or even the catcher for all we know. Does prior spin rate data from the past point to Bauer being up to something? Where there's smoke there tends to be fire. Am I advocating for Bauer to be suspended? No, but I like when that prick cries on Twitter after the attention whore campaign he ran this offseason with his ridiculous free agent decision. Calling Ken Rosenthal a gossip blogger won't go over too well with the bow tie man. Now he's gonna go in and not come up for air until he gets to the bottom of this shit. I'm very much here for Ken Rosenthal vs. Trevor Bauer as you should be too.