Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Trevor Bauer, Indians' Idiot Pitcher, May Have Cost Them A World Series Championship
Indians' pitcher Trevor Bauer, wouldn't be able to pass a baseball version of the NFL's Wonderlic test.
Let's agree that if your Major League Baseball team is in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) and you are a key pitcher in the rotation, you absolutely do not fart around with anything that might slice open a finger on your pitching hand. This stuff isn't rocket science, either - and I don't give a damn if you are supposedly a "mechanical engineer" (like the Indians' Trevor Bauer) with a yen for drones. You wait until the season is over to indulge your hobby, you don't even try to put a freakin' new battery in it.
I still recall a Mel Allen interview with Milwaukee Braves' right hander Lew Burdette, the Nitro, West Virginia ace who faced the NY Yankees in the 1957 World Series. Allen asked him about his whittling hobby and whether he was into it to ease the tension before the big game (Burdette won three games in that series as the Braves took it 4 games to 3.) Burdette said without a pause: "You think I'm some kind of dummy? The whittlin' can wait til the Series is over!"
That's advice the Cleveland Indians' Trevor Bauer ought to have taken. He had cut his pitching pinkie finger on his stupid drone's propeller, or so he claimed at a daffy news conference on Sunday. Bauer said:
"I plugged it in, like I've done thousands and thousands of times. ... This one spun up at max throttle. It never happened to me before. I have no idea why it happened, and my finger just happened to be in the way of the prop and it cut me."
Doesn't matter if it never happened, you do NOT fart around with a device with sharp blades when: 1) your team has gotten into the ALCS, 2) you are a key part of the rotation, and 3) you know the MLB rules disallow bandages or any other foreign substance on the pitching hand.
Some have blogged that the "rule is stupid". No, the rule is not "stupid" and if you knew anything about baseball history and the tricks and tactics pitchers have used over the decades you wouldn't write such nonsense. What is stupid is a key rotation pitcher fucking around with a device that has sharp blades before the penultimate championship series commences.
Indians' manager Terry Francona (son of Indians' great Tito Francona) had to delay Bauer's entry until Game 3 (last night), thereby altering the rotation sequence. Fortunately, the versatile Josh Tomlin started in Bauer's place Saturday and did a superb job blanking out the Toronto Blue Jays for 5 1/3 innings. Last night it was Bauer's turn, but he was bleeding like a stuck pig by the end of the first out in the 2nd inning.
As I watched him wiping his bloody finger on his uniform I couldn't help thinking "Jeezus, what a dumb fuck! You really fucked things up for your team, Junior!"
When he walked Troy Tulowitzki with two outs in the 2nd I could see the writing on the wall for this doofus, and Francona did too, replacing him. The Indians needed 6 relief pitchers to finish the game that they could have used for later innings in coming games. Luckily, they won, 4-2.
Francona also tried to make excuses for this bozo, saying:
"He was messing around with his drone. He wasn't out in some alley at 3 in the morning and got cut on a beer can. It wasn't like he was waterskiing. He just cut his finger. It wasn't remotely malicious."
Sorry, but enough with the lamo excuses. Bauer didn't have to be "malicious" or reckless say "out in an alley at 3 a. m. or waterskiing". The fact is people cut themselves all the time simply doing prosaic tasks - like slicing tomatoes - with sharp knives. But if you are a key pitcher that's why you don't do it! You keep your mitts away from all such sharp objects - like Burdette did - until the series is finished. (Of course, if Bauer was an outfielder it wouldn't have mattered, he could have put a bandage on and carried on. But a pitcher who needs that finger to secure the ball for the pitch? That's a different ball game, literally!)
In other sports losing a finger or damaging it isn't so critical, depending on position. Niners' corner Ronnie Lott broke his left pinkie finger and he just had the tip lopped off after the 1985 season so he could keep playing. No problemo. He could still play the positon. The NY Giants Jason Pierre-Paul, in another example of lameness, blew off his right index finger in a dumb fireworks incident. Fortunately, he's still able to play on defense just by wrapping his hand up.
But in the case of Bauer, he knew the rules - or should have- and realized that he ought to have waited to mess around with his toy drone. Bauer's injury was another setback for a Cleveland rotation that lost Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar toward the end of the regular season.
The funniest bit? Bauer, claims to be a self-described "nerd". But no nerd I know would have been so damned foolish, given a key position in a baseball championship series, to fuck around with an object that has sharp blades.
Maybe Francona will be able to still steer the Indians to an ALCS win despite Bauer's stupidity. And, then a World Series championship against the Cubs or Dodgers. But I wouldn't put money on it in a Vegas' Sports Book. Especially in a long (7 game) series there's a limit to even the best bullpen's stamina.