I don’t think I hide the fact that when it comes to baseball, as much as I like the broad stroke enjoyment of the game such as visiting new ballparks, seeing a power hitter clobber a home run, and seeing a walk off victory, I take a tremendous enjoyment in the smallest things as well. Things that seem too small and insignificant that they hardly can be said to have occurred at all, but when you know what to look for and see it happen and know what might or might not happen as a result, it’s no less enjoyable.
In other words, there’s a tremendous amount of nerdy shit that I love about baseball that aren’t the flashy, most attractive things about the game like home runs, strikeouts and throwing 100 miles per hour. That said, every now and then on the internet, there will be stories and articles about baseball that aren’t talking about the Boston Red Sox’s hot start, the home run potential of the New York Yankees, or the Los Angeles Angels of Orange County, Anaheim via Interstate 5 South’s Shohei Ohtani, but something more intricate and harder to comprehend for the casual baseball fan, and these are the ones that tend to pique my interest, or at least be reliable for a good 10-minute read. Stories about like overlooked statistics and baseball skills, the intangible evidence of clubhouse chemistry, and some other real Moneyball Doctor Manhattan kind of shit.
Throughout the last few years, among the more interesting stories that have come and gone within the game of baseball, there’s been a name that I’d been seeing popping up sporadically: Trevor Bauer, a starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. I’m pretty sure it started when he was in a game where he passively mimicked the batting stances of several of his teammates in a game, which was noteworthy solely for the fact that he is an American League pitcher having some fun with his at-bats during Interleague playing in a National League ballpark. Baseball sometimes tends to take itself too seriously sometimes, so I could appreciate a guy like Bauer who manages to find some way to have some fun and bring some laughs into the glorified kids’ game.
Then there was this story about how a baseball player helped a baseball fan with her math homework over Twitter, and lo and behold, it was Trevor Bauer. It was here did I learn that Bauer went to UCLA and was pretty much a pretty smart nerd, and if there were ever a type of player that I tend to favor, it’s the brainy types that embrace knowledge and learning as opposed to just believing that god and their natural talent can carry their careers. And the fact that Bauer took the time to do something so simple and meaningful to a young fan, it’s endearing in my opinion.