Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer did not hold back, delivering one of the more scathing rebukes on the Houston Astros cheating scandal yet.
Speaking to reporters at the Reds' spring training facility in Goodyear, Ariz., Bauer called the Astros cheaters and hypocrites for their role in a sign-stealing scandal by using live video to decode what pitch was coming next and relaying that information to their own batters.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was fired after an MLB investigation as was general manager Jeff Luhnow. No current Astros players were punished after the findings.
"It pisses me off because all we want to do - everyone comes here to win, but we agree to play by a set of rules and we want to play fairly and compete and see are we better than you or not?" Bauer said. "So we all assume that's what's going on.
"When it's not, it's, ‘Hold on a second, why is it that I have to abide by the rules? That guy has to abide by the rules. That team has to abide by the rules but you guys think you are better than everyone and you don't have to abide by the rules?'"
Adding an extra layer to Bauer's dismay is that he had been outspoken about the Astros as potential cheaters before the sign-stealing scandal broke. In 2018, Bauer questioned increased spin rate from Astros pitchers in a Twitter post that touched off a feud with Houston's Alex Bregman.
"I'm not going to let them forget the fact that they are hypocrites, they are cheaters, they've stolen from a lot of other people and the game itself was completely unfair," Bauer said. "They've negatively affected the fans, they've negatively affected players, they've negatively affected kids and the future of baseball - which is what I'm most upset about."
Bauer, who is 70-60 in his career with a 4.04 ERA, was traded from the Indians to the Reds last season. He was an All-Star in 2018 when he had a 2.21 ERA with the Indians.
But he is also well known for speaking his mind and the backlash that sometimes ensues. He figures that will be coming again.
"A lot of other players don't have the standing in the league, don't have that sense about themselves or just don't want to rock the boat or whatever, but we all feel this way," he said. "We're all pissed. If no one ever comes out and says anything then nothing gets done."
--Field Level Media