Trevor Bauer managed to disrespect his new teammates before making his first start, and Cleveland Guardians radio voice Tom Hamilton is not surprised.
After striking out on joining a Major League Baseball team this season, Bauer signed a one-year contract with Japan’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars in March. As he prepares to make his debut for Yokohama, the team posted a video of Bauer doing his sword strikeout celebration, inviting fans to join him.
Trevor Bauer does the sword celebration in a Japanese Minor League game pic.twitter.com/WTDmCRi2Sr
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 16, 2023
From #バウアー 選手🎥
— 横浜DeNAベイスターズ (@ydb_yokohama) May 1, 2023
However the team’s closer, Yasuaki Yamasaki did not appreciate the suggestion, and appears to have an issue with Bauer’s sword celebration being used in Japan, responding to the BayStars tweet.
DeNA Baystars closer Yasuaki Yamasaki calls out teammate Trevor Bauer and the Baystars social media team for inciting fans to do his strikeout sword celebration at the stadium.
“Don’t be an idiot. That is disrespectful. There are better ways to go about this.” pic.twitter.com/1QwxK1Z3iF
— Yakyu Cosmopolitan (@yakyucosmo) May 1, 2023
The above translation that circulated on social media was later clarified:
“(The club) Official (Twitter) shouldn’t encourage (the fans to do sword celebration action). Foolishness.
No respect. There’s a different way,” the tweet from Yamasaki, translated to English, reads.
Tuesday night, the Cleveland Guardians, who Bauer played for from 2013-2019, were facing the New York Yankees. During the game, Guardians radio play-by-play voice Tom Hamilton noted Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole was the top player selected in the 2011 MLB Draft, while his college teammate, Trevor Bauer, was picked third overall. After briefly broaching Bauer’s name, Hamilton relished the opportunity to rip the pitcher for his latest controversy.
“Now Bauer’s making enemies in Japan,” Hamilton said. “Bauer wants to celebrate a strikeout by pretending he’s shoving a sword into a sheath. And his Japanese teammate said on Twitter, ‘that’s disrespectful.”
“Absolutely shocking that Trevor Bauer would go to another country and make enemies with teammates. Nobody could have seen that coming,” Hamilton said sarcastically. “What an idiot.”
After his criticism of the sword celebration made headlines, Yamasaki attempted to temper the controversy with a follow up tweet.
— 山﨑 康晃 (@19Yasuaki) May 2, 2023
“My message was received by the media in the US in a way that I did not intend, and it was taken as if I was saying something bad about him. After talking with Bauer, I was able to convey my feelings clearly. Bauer is an important teammate with whom I aim to win the championship,” his tweet, translated to English, says.
Even though Yamasaki directed his initial tweet at the team, it still appears as though he does not approve the promotion of Bauer’s sword celebration.
Bauer is preparing to make his first professional start in nearly two years after serving a 324-game suspension (later reduced to 192 games), the longest since MLB implemented its domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. The 32-year-old pitcher has faced several disturbing allegations of sexual assault since 2021, but he has not been charged criminally and maintains the encounters were consensual. Bauer was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers in February, with the team providing the following statement:
“Two extensive reviews of all the available evidence in this case – one by [MLB] Commissioner [Rob] Manfred and another by a neutral arbitrator – concluded that Mr. Bauer’s actions warranted the longest-ever active player suspension in our sport for violations of this policy. Now that this process has been completed, and after careful consideration, we have decided that he will no longer be part of our organization.”
[WTAM Radio; image from YDB Yokohama on Twitter]
Update: A previous version of this post did not include the corrected translation of Yamasaki’s tweet.