Back in the clubhouse, Trevor Bauer calmly and profusely apologized. It was quite the contrast from his emotional outburst earlier in the game.
In a startling scene, the former Newhall Hart and UCLA standout suddenly heaved the ball from just past the mound over the center field wall while being taken out of the game Sunday in the Cleveland Indians’ 9-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals.
“It was unbecoming, it was childish and unprofessional,” Bauer said before answering questions. “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. ...
“I’m an intense competitor and that fire is what drives me. Today it completely consumed me and took over. I just wanted to say I’m sorry for how I behaved. It won’t happen again.”
It was not clear at the time whether Bauer was upset with his performance or that manager Terry Francona was pulling him. An All-Star last year, Bauer (9-8) had just allowed a two-run single to Nicky Lopez that gave the Royals a 7-5 lead with one out in the fifth inning.
When Francona emerged from the dugout, Bauer turned, took a couple steps and fired the ball over the 410-foot mark.
“Nothing really broke my way,” Bauer said. “Even when I felt like I executed good pitches, they were capped off the end of the bat. So, the frustration built up.
“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 reparations to the people in this clubhouse and in our organization. We’ll handle whatever else comes down the line from there.”
Bauer, whose quirky pregame routine includes a lot of long toss, put that practice to use as he let fly. Shortstop Francisco Lindor incredulously watched while second baseman Mike Freeman flinched as Bauer wound up. Rookie center fielder Oscar Mercado had his back turned and was looking at the wall when he saw the ball land, and quickly spun around, trying to figure out what happened.
As Francona reached the mound, he and Bauer appeared to exchange words. Francona pointed Bauer toward the dugout, then followed closely behind him. They both disappeared into the tunnel. They later emerged, separate but both fuming.
“That’s just between us,” Francona said about what he told Bauer. “We certainly discussed it, as we should, and he talked to the team. Today was a frustrating day. He did it out of frustration.”