One national writer is sticking up for Trevor Bauer.
In the wake of a report by The Athletic that Major League Baseball was collecting balls used in his start on Monday that were sticky with visible marks, ESPN’s Buster Olney came to his defense.
“That one pitcher is drawing scrutiny over the foreign substance rules – in this case, Trevor Bauer – seemingly through leaks and innuendo is kind of gross,” Olney tweeted. “MLB should either step up and grab the steering wheel and publicly insist that umpires enforce the rule, or stand down.”
It is uncertain if MLB will be able to prove Bauer actually applied the foreign substance to the balls. A ball from Bauer was removed as early as the first inning.
MLB sent a memo to all of its teams on March 24, and it informed teams of new steps to enforce the ban. It included examining Statcast data looking for spin-rate changes from any pitchers suspected of using foreign substances.
The inquiry into Bauer didn’t have to do with spin rate, but the balls themselves being brought to the umpires, according to The Athletic. Balls that are removed from play are taken from every game and sent to MLB for a further look.
Bauer predictably went off after the release of the story in a series of tweets.
“Lol always fun reading desperate and misleading clickbait headlines from national gossip bloggers,” Bauer wrote Thursday night. “To translate fake journalist speak for y’all, ‘it’s unclear whether’ = “I can’t be bothered to look into this cuz it doesn’t fit my narrative. Wonder where the articles about balls from every other pitcher being taken out of play in literally every other game this season are?
“Also lol to @MLB who already has ‘sources’ talking to gossip bloggers about a supposedly confidential process a week into the season thumbs up y’all keep killin it!”