Though there's certainly been stiff competition across baseball, in the wake of this winter's interminable, ongoing sing-stealing scandal there has been no more ardent critic of the Houston Astros than Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer. To be fair, Bauer HATES almost everything. The man's default setting is suburban dad road rage. But still, it's hard to imagine anything he hates more than the Houston Astros . . .
But don't worry, folks. Bauer isn't just raging against the machine for the sake of it. He's actually out there trying to promote real, actionable change in baseball. So how does he plan to do that? How does he plan to evict the sign-stealing scourge currently squatting on the MLB's doorstep? By letting them steal signs, of course.
Confused? You should be.
On Monday, Bauer took to the bump against the Dodgers Matt Beaty in the 4th inning and, in an apparent protest to sign stealing, began tipping all of his pitches using traditional glove signs. We guess it's not stealing if you give it to them . . . right?
Speaking to Reds TV after the at-bat, Derek Dietrich had this to say about his teammate's new in-beta solution.
"If you've followed baseball this offseason, there's a little thing going on with sign stealing," Dietrich said. "Trevor's not too fond of it, so he figured he's gonna try something new this season, and he's gonna start telling batters what's coming -- just, here it comes, try to hit it."
Bold move, Cotton, as they say. If Bauer was trying to prove a point about the effectiveness of sign-stealing, however, his little thought experiment—unlike The Great Pine Tar Test of 2018—stumbled at its final hurdle, with Beaty flying harmlessly out to center and Bauer going on to post three scoreless innings of work. So the multi-million-dollar question remains: If batters really knew exactly what was coming, would every baseball game end 30-27? Tune in on the next episode of Trevor Bauer the Science Guy to find out.