So far, so good for Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodger. His first few days in blue featured several unsavory headlines regarding his past interactions on social media. However, he’s been on his best behavior, thankfully, since the season started… save for some fun headlines against Ken Rosenthal and The Athletic.
Bauer has put his head down and slowly is making fans out of some of the early detractors here in Los Angeles. He’s done it with his performance on the field (2.70 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 20 innings over 3 starts). He’s done it with his charitable efforts that have raised $29,000 and counting toward youth learning programs. And he’s done it with fun, behind the scenes content on his vlog.
Still, to people on the outside of baseball, and to fans around the league who don’t watch him day in and day out, he’s a villain. Or at least he’s made out to be. For the most part, he feels people likely just don’t get the show he’s putting on.
“Reds fans and Indians fans seem to like me alright,” he told Dave Vassegh. “But outside of that, there’s some bad blood there I guess. Mainly probably because fans just really don’t understand what the purpose of all of it is. I’m just trying to bring entertainment — I’m joking around. I’m not serious 99% of the time.”
It boils down to the fact that Bauer is the number one heel in baseball. So how does he feel being the heel?
“I definitely embrace the heel roll. Someone’s gotta do it. Story sells and conflict sells. You can’t watch the Kardashians or the Paul brothers on YouTube and come to a different conclusion… personality and conflict and story sells. Having more of that in baseball… if you look at what goes on in the NBA, in wrestling, what goes on in MMA, you have these conflicts between people. Real or fake, it doesn’t really matter, but people buy into it. But baseball needs more of that in my opinion.”
Trevor Bauer gets his first shot at the national spotlight with the Dodgers tonight as he faces the rival Padres for the first time. The marquee matchup pits Bauer against offseason acquisition Blake Snell with first pitch set for 1:10 at Petco Park.