After being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers back in January, 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer began looking for a new home.
Unfortunately for him, not a single one of the other 31 Major League Baseball teams made him an offer, or at least one he was willing to take.
So, Bauer decided to take his talents to Japan and signed a contract to pitch for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the Nippon Professional Baseball Organization in Japan.
Of course, Trevor Bauer immediately began spin doctoring the signing by claiming it was his “dream” to play baseball in Japan.
“I am very excited to be able to play for the BayStars this season. It is my dream to play in the Japanese professional baseball world, and I will be able to show that dream in front of the fans,” Bauer said in a statement.
Apparently, after just three starts and 16 innings pitched, that dream is already turning into something of a nightmare.
Why? Because DeNA Baystars closer Yasuaki Yamasaki has already publicly condemned Trevor Bauer for inciting fans to do his strikeout sword celebration at the stadium, according to Yakyu Cosmopolitan.
Trevor Bauer does the sword celebration in a Japanese Minor League game pic.twitter.com/WTDmCRi2Sr
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) April 16, 2023
“Don’t be an idiot. That is disrespectful. There are better ways to go about this,” Yamasaki reportedly said about Bauer.
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
One has to wonder, since he didn’t say specifically, if Yamasaki doesn’t like Bauer’s sword celebration because of the importance of the Samurai in Japanese history.
On the plus side for Trevor Bauer, he’s mowing down Japanese hitters so far this season. He’s struck out 17, walked just one and hit a batter in his 16 innings pitched. He also sports a 2.25 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP, allowing 4 earned runs and 14 hits in his three games thus far.
It will certainly be interesting to see, if Bauer keeps up this pace, if the 32-year-old will get any offers from Major League Baseball teams for the 2024 season.
UPDATE: Yasuaki Yamasaki issued a statement clarifying that he was directing his comments at fans, not Bauer.
“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,” he wrote. “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.”
The Yokohama BayStars also issued a statement which read, ““Before yesterday’s game, the club had a discussion with Yasuaki Yamasaki about the staging presentation by the club regarding Trevor Bauer’s Sword Celebration performance. The club explained to Yasuaki Yamasaki that the direction and communication were purely intended to share joy with the fans.
“The club also discussed with Trevor Bauer, after his arrival in Japan and before his appearance in a minor league game, to see if there were any problems with his Sword Celebration performance – as Trevor Bauer did not want to do anything inappropriate to Japanese culture. The club supported the idea and considered it as an action that would please the fans.”
So it’s all good.