The very best of Cruz, Bieber mic'd up

May 4th, 2021

Nelson Cruz had plenty to chatter about in the Twins' home run barrage on Wednesday against the Indians -- and, luckily for us, he was mic'd up the whole time.

Though he wasn't pitching in the game, Cleveland ace Shane Bieber was also mic'd up during Cleveland’s 10-2 loss, chiming in from the dugout on everything from bees to Jurassic Park to time travel.

Cruz didn't even wait for the game to start to begin his antics, striking a lucrative pregame deal with Ian Kadish, the club's strength and conditioning director. Cruz, who had hit his first triple since 2018 just one day earlier, made a $100 bet that he would steal a base -- something he also hadn't done since '18.

Cruz got his shot in the second inning. Following a one-out RBI single, he wasted no time joking with first-base coach Tommy Watkins.

"Green light? I'm going man," Cruz said after the first pitch to Jorge Polanco, though the sign he received apparently suggested otherwise. "Red light? I've got three infield hits, one triple and they don't trust me yet."

Cruz got his wish one pitch later, making his break for second on a 1-1 offering -- and he appeared to have a great jump -- but Polanco lifted the pitch into left field for a routine flyout, sending Cruz scampering back to first.

"That would be the stolen base of the year," Cruz joked upon returning to the dugout after the inning. "Thank you, Polanco, I lost $100 because of you."

Willians Astudillo was also a target of Cruz's banter. Following a third-inning homer, Astudillo was welcomed back to the dugout by an excited Cruz, who slapped the first baseman in the back of the helmet as he went down the stairs.

"What's wrong? I can't celebrate?" Cruz asked Astudillo afterward.

"You can celebrate, but you nearly killed me!" Astudillo replied.

The two ultimately shared a laugh and hugged it out moments later, but Astudillo got his revenge in the seventh, when Mitch Garver homered on a 3-0 pitch. That came after Cruz had also gone after a 3-0 pitch, only to ground out to end the sixth.

"That's how you hit on 3-0," Astudillo shouted with a laugh.

Bieber had some fun of his own in the Cleveland dugout, covering a variety of topics -- both baseball and non-baseball. Along with finding a loophole when asked if he'd rather spend a week in the past or future -- he'd go way into the future because they'd likely have a simulator that could send him to the past -- the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner dished on his approach to his fellow pitchers.

"I think the whole pitching philosophy of saving your strikeout pitch until two strikes is so dead," Bieber said. "You've got to throw your two-strike breaker every time."

For more Cy Young secrets or Cruz razzing his teammates, make sure to check out the full video.