KANSAS CITY -- Two starts ago, Trevor Bauer walked off the mound saying he felt angrier than he had been in the past two months. But that frustration paled in comparison to the fury that he demonstrated in the Indians 9-6 loss to the Royals on Sunday, firing a ball
KANSAS CITY -- Two starts ago, Trevor Bauer walked off the mound saying he felt angrier than he had been in the past two months. But that frustration paled in comparison to the fury that he demonstrated in the Indians 9-6 loss to the Royals on Sunday, firing a ball from the pitcher’s mound over the center-field wall just before he was removed from the game.
• Box score
When the media approached him at his locker after the game, Bauer cut off the first question from being asked and opened with this statement:
“First and foremost, I owe a sincere apology to all of my teammates, my coaching staff, the organization and all of our fans for how I conducted myself today. It’s unbecoming. It was childish, unprofessional. There’s no place for it in the game. I’m happy it didn’t result in any physical injury for anybody else. I realize I put people in danger.
“I want to be clear that my frustrations were with myself and my inability to stop the situation and keep my team in the game. It was not directed at any of my teammates, even though I know that it came off that way. I love going to battle with my guys every day, and today I feel like I really let them down, both personally and professionally.
“I’m an intense competitor and that fire is what drives me, and today it completely consumed me, took over. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for how I behaved. I’ll be better about it. It won’t happen again.”
With the Trade Deadline approaching on Wednesday, Bauer’s name has been tied to plenty of rumors, but his actions on Sunday may not have helped attract other clubs. The Tribe’s righty had been hot over his last nine starts, going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA. But he finished his afternoon with eight runs charged to his name – seven earned – on nine hits with four walks and six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
“If my teammates and the organization are willing to forgive me and continue accepting me to the brotherhood,” Bauer said, “I look forward to getting back out there with my guys next time and continuing on our road and our fight for what we set out to do this season, which is win the World Series.”
The lead up
The Indians entered the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run lead. But center fielder Oscar Mercado lost a fly ball in the sun that resulted in a ground-rule double. Bauer was unable to make a play on a slow dribbler in front of the plate with the bases loaded that allowed a run to score. The next three plate appearances consisted of a single, strike out and another single to put the Royals ahead, 7-5.
“So many things went wrong in that inning,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We lose a ball in the sun, we get the tapper back to him. There’s a walk or two mixed in. Some hits and a couple balls that weren’t hit hard. It seemed like everything that could happen, did.”
After giving up the four runs, Bauer asked for a new ball from home plate umpire David Rackley before firing the used ball in his glove into the netting near the Royals’ dugout. Then, he saw his manager walking out of the dugout.
When Francona took his first step onto the field, Bauer turned to the outfield and launched the ball he had just received over the fence in center field a solid 375 feet from the pitcher’s mound.
“TB [Bauer] has to let that go, man,” Roberto Perez said. “We’re trying to compete every day here. Those days are gonna happen. It’s a matter of how you handle those days. We’re here battling. We’re here competing. We never quit. But he needs to do a better job.”
When the Tribe’s skipper reached the rubber, Bauer put his hand on Francona’s shoulder and tapped his chest as if saying, “My bad,” showing his reaction was about his performance rather than being directed toward Francona.
“That’s just between us,” Francona said when asked about his message to Bauer. “Shoot. We certainly discussed it, as we should, and he talked to the team. I don’t ever want to. I mean, today was a frustrating day. He did it out of frustration. I don’t want to say something that I don’t mean out of frustration.
In 1991, Cincinnati reliever Rob Dibble launched a ball into the center-field stands, which resulted in a four-game suspension and a fine.
“Right now, I’m just focused on the negative impact I’ve had on our culture and our team and organization and trying to make preparations to the people that are in this clubhouse and this organization,” Bauer said. “And I’ll handle whatever else comes my way from there.”
After the game, Bauer addressed his teammates to apologize for his actions, hoping they’d understand the frustration was about himself and not a result of his feelings toward anyone else.
“It’s hard to tell right now,” Bauer said of how his team responded. “Everyone’s emotions are high. I wanted to talk to them now and let them know how I’m feeling, and that I feel like I let them down, both personally and professionally. I wanted to communicate that, and hopefully we can move past it.”
“I know Trevor Bauer,” Perez said. “He means well. He was frustrated today by his outing. He was just being Trevor. He told us it won’t happen again and he was just frustrated. He apologized to us, but we just got to let this go, continue and get ready for Houston on Tuesday.”
Mandy Bell covers the Indians for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter at @MandyBell02.