Bauer addresses controversial tell-all story
By Mandy Bell / MLB.com
Tuesday, February 19, 2019 8:53 PM ET
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- All publicity is good publicity, according to Trevor Bauer.
On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated released a story with the headline: "Trevor Bauer Is More Concerned About Being Right Than Being Liked." It took a deep dive into his professional career and personal life including a wide range of topics, from training to social media. But the overall theme was clear: Bauer does not care what people think.
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Bauer received a lot of backlash after the story broke, but he said Tuesday afternoon that his focus remains on breaking barriers when it comes to honesty and being true to himself. He noted that Tim Lincecum paved the way for him to be a first-round Draft pick by being a smaller-sized right-hander, and he hopes to do the same for other people in other ways.
"Hopefully at some point, someone else behind me will have an easier time with training methods, with being honest, with being true to who they are or whatever, because I broke down some sort of barrier," Bauer said. "I care about making the game, the industry and the people I'm around better because I'm around. Ultimately that's what creates a legacy. … But you have to be OK with making people mad because people don't like change.
"I finally at some point in high school just decided that's what I was going to do. I was going to be true to myself. I like who I am, trying to handle myself with integrity, character, honesty, treat people well and how I would like to be treated. And as long as I do those things, I can look at myself in the mirror and be proud of who I am at the end of each day."
One of the more controversial topics that arose in the feature was Bauer's romantic life. He said his three rules of dating are: making sure there are no feelings, no social media posts while the two are together and keeping the relationship open without commitment. Although his Twitter has been full of negative responses, he does not see the issue with it.
"I don't view that as being sexist," Bauer said. "I want to give the other person the relevant information, so they can make the best decision for themselves. If they are looking for something more than that, then I'm not the right fit. They shouldn't waste their time thinking that I will be, and I have no problem telling them that because I'm not afraid of that not working out.
"That seems like the most fair and respectful thing to do. So when I look at myself in the mirror, having had a conversation like that, that's how I view things. I can be proud of that. I can tell the truth about that. It doesn't matter to me what someone says or calls me. ... It's been quite fun reading all those comments, seeing how mad people get about someone who is themself and tells the truth."
Although he doesn't become a free agent until after the 2020 season, Bauer told Sports Illustrated that he will not be with the Indians next year and thinks it's logical to trade him for prospects. On Tuesday, he noted that athletes who remain with a single team their whole careers are a dying breed. Those who root for Bauer will have to hop on board with this concept, given the fact that the 28-year-old has made it clear that he will only sign one-year contracts for his entire career.
"Gone are the days of athletes staying with the same team," Bauer said. "And so gone are the days of being super loyal to a certain team and a certain group of players. Fans now root for individuals more so than they root for teams. So, that's changing. But in order for there to be change, someone's got to go first. I want to be the one to go first."
As Bauer spent his entire Tuesday reading the negative headlines and Tweets, does he regret opening up to Sports Illustrated? Does it ever get old or tiring to get the backlash from his open and honest ways? He says no.
"Everyone's talking about me today. So, as a personal brand goes, is that bad?" Bauer said. "From a personal branding standpoint, all attention is good attention. You would much rather be in the press than forgotten about."