Trevor Bauer does not need anyone to tell him he is allowed to toy with drones, let alone some no-name who inherited a Cleveland Indians blog, but here you go: Trevor, fly drones. Have fun. Be a person. Just please keep sharing it with us.
Yes, Trevor Bauer did something kind of silly in the days leading up to the biggest single game of career to this point: He injured himself fixing a drone.
Trevor’s full explanation of the incident came yesterday (as well as some unfortunate Star Wars revelations), and it is something anyone who has every worked with electronics can probably relate to. He plugged the thing in, most of the thing worked as expected, but one part of the thing decided to do its own thing. Unfortunately, in this case, “doing its own thing” meant a blade spinning right where the 25-year-old pitcher had his pinky finger.
All reports indicate that Bauer’s finger is fine and it should not affect any of his grips in his Game 3 start. Despite that, the internet was still quick to jump on its high horse and declare Bauer an “idiot” (or any other synonyms for it) for having a hobby in his off days. Granted, it could have been a lot worse, if it was a different finger or a deeper laceration, for example, but it’s not. And what happened, happened.
It might be hard for some people to believe, but not everyone dedicates their off days to studying baseball or cooking up conspiracy theories. A lot of players have hobbies. Hobbies that include sharp things, or fast things, or things that wouldn’t seem dangerous but are complex enough that simple mistakes can lead to injuries while doing them.
Trevor frequently calls out shitburger fans who want baseball players to be vacuum sealed and left in storage so in-between appearances so they can “focus on baseball.” Most recently, Bauer went back-and-forth with alleged stand-up comedian and XM radio host Ben Miner, who mocked Trevor for not “focusing” on a game that wasn’t even going on, among other things:
When you think you're funny and tweet me 15 times for attention but still don't realize there's no game today https://t.co/eT9PZpAIS6— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) October 13, 2016
I have written before about how fun Bauer is to follow on Twitter; the fan banter is just a small part of it. I cannot think of another player that gives such personal, down-to-earth depictions of what it’s like to be a baseball player than Bauer. Whether he’s showing his Driveline Baseball warm-up routine, celebrating the Indians’ ALDS win with a GoPro strapped to his head, or just playing catch and talking about his pitching philosophies, you would be hard-pressed to find a player who cares more about getting fans involved with baseball through technology than Bauer.
And that brings me back to my original point, which is just lay off a bit maybe. If you enjoy the kind of access that Bauer gives you into the mind of a baseball player, you are going to end up seeing the ugly side of it at times. This is not a player going out and breaking the law every night, he is a smart kid playing with drones who had an accident with it. Just like any baseball player could have injured themselves putting on their socks (Randy Johnson), running in their own home (George Brett), or celebrating a win (too many to name).
Except in a world where athletes are completely cut off from social media, Trevor Bauer is the future. We are going to see more and more athletes taking over their own social media accounts as the current generation that is growing up with Twitter and Facebook as the norm become professional athletes. They will receive training, sure, but if baseball wants us to relate to players, they are going to have to allow the social media shackles to come off to a certain point. Long gone are the days of pretending like our favorite baseball players are flawless heroes. And good riddance to it. Give me Bauer, drones, smack talking, GoPro videos, and spur-of-the-moment challenges to Chess With Friends any day.
Make no mistake about it, whether or not you support — or even know about — them, players are going to have hobbies. Some more dangerous than others, and some that you may not agree with. But if you ever want to know they exist, or to know anything about you favorite players besides cliches they have rehearsed for years and spew out during interviews, support players being people. Support their flaws, their strengths, and everything about them that makes baseball seems closer to reality.