Every-Thing Sports

An open letter to Trevor Bauer and Astros trolls

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images.

The 2020 MLB season is about to get started (*provided the 'rona doesn't ruin it) on July 23. The schedule was announced on July 6 for the 60-game schedule for each team. The schedule was developed by region in order to make travel easier on teams. With all that worked out, you knew it wouldn't be long before the trolls came calling. I've decided to pen this letter to all the trolls out there.

Dear Astros trolls:


The obvious

We all know the Astros were caught cheating in their run to the 2017 World Series title. They stole signs using means banned by MLB. Guess what? So did a lot of other teams! It's been going on since the invention of the game! The Yankees and MLB actually collaborated to get a sealed document suppressed because MLB couldn't have their Golden Goose outed as one of the cheaters. This is despite them already being fined, along with the Red Sox (the Silver Goose), prior to the 2017 season for using Apple Watches to steal signs. Those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. There's a glass house in every MLB city.

Astros accepted their fate

This team didn't do the best job accepting their fate initially. Owner Jim Crane went scorched Earth firing GM Jeff Luhnow and Manager A.J. Hinch. The initial statements by players were awkward. Crane didn't make it better by being awkward himself. However, they managed to get it together and rallied around one another. Carlos Correa's interview with Ken Rosenthal on February 15 of this year was the best piece of rebuttal from the Astros because it was heartfelt, unscripted, and was out of character for a guy who's normally very buttoned up or calculated (go to the 13:05 mark for the buildup to the STFU comment).

Snitches get stitches

The only reason this got out was because Mike Fiers (a pitcher on the 2017 Astros) decided to spill the beans in November 2019. He acted like a scorned lover because the Astros refused to pay him what he wanted after the 2017 season. He had to take $6 million from the Tigers to play in 2018, then got traded to Oakland where he signed a two-year deal. He had no reason to snitch other than being bitter after two years. In sports, what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room. Seeing as how he violated this law, I don't know how his teammates can trust him.

Clowns

Guys like "Tyler" Bauer, which he was once called by Alex Bregman, are clowns. (So let's continue to have some fun with his name throughout this article). They could never get the job done when it counts, so they troll as hard as they can. He's never won anything of any significance. He's only been an All-Star once (2018), and has never won any other team or individual awards. I gave him credit for going after Curt Schilling on Twitter for his outrageous views, but realize he's only pandering for an audience and reaction, therefore, rendering anything he does irrelevant. The tweet above is typical of failure culture: you cling to anything that prevented you from the successes you failed at and make fun of them because you couldn't beat them. "Timmy" Bauer should concentrate on being a better pitcher instead of catering to social media. You make more money when you're actually good at your job than when you're a social media troll.

In conclusion

"Travis" Bauer should probably work on getting onto a team that may actually have a chance at winning something instead of the Reds who haven't won anything in 30 years. Maybe the trolls should be concentrating on why their team sucks as bad as they do, instead of why they can't hit breaking balls or field balls hit into the gaps sharply. But hey, what do I know? I'm just a columnist for a Houston website that happens to be an Astros fan. "Timothy" Bauer is a decent pitcher, but his trolling of the Astros for kicking his and everyone else's ass in 2017 has grown to pitiful levels. This is looking like a group of kids upset that the new kid has figured out how to pass the new math testing standard better than the rest, so they're pissed! "Theodore" Bauer and company should chill and STFU like Carlos Correa suggested. Trying to throw stones from a glass house doesn't work well. The 2017 World Series win will stand for the same reasons Correa listed in that interview with Rosenthal. Bauer and his band of trolls need to recognize that won't change. Say what you may, print shirts, tweet, post on IG and whatever else, but it won't change the fact that the Astros are the 2017 World Series champs and that's something you can suck on for the rest of your miserable lives!

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The Astros suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Yankees Thursday. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

After an impressive two-game sweep of the NL-best Mets at home earlier in the week, the Astros took to the road to begin a four-game series with the league-best Yankees on Thursday night. To little surprise, the series started with a bang (no, not a trash can bang) in more ways than one, confirming that this series should be a must-watch this weekend.

New York's comeback proves no lead will be safe

Right from the get-go, the loud Yankee Stadium faithful had their chance to rain boos down on Jose Altuve before showing some pleasure as he led off the series by being hit by a pitch. They were quickly, though only temporarily, quieted as Altuve would come in to score two batters later on a three-run blast by Alex Bregman.

Three-run homers seemed to be a theme, as New York would get one of their own to tie the game off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to tie the game, then Yordan Alvarez continued his dominant June by pushing the Astros back in front by three with another three-run bomb in the third, making it 6-3. That lead held through to the bottom of the ninth, where instead of holding it, Ryan Pressly issued two walks to set up the fourth homer of the game to tie things again before Aaron Judge would get a walk-off single to complete the impressive comeback.

Not only will we get to sit back and watch the slug-fest between Yordan and Judge this weekend, but it looks like with Alex Bregman swinging well again to round out the top of Houston's order, the Astros may be getting closer to their full power. So far in June, these two teams sit third and fourth in on-base percentage, with the Astros at .351 and the Yankees right behind at .350. That means we should continue to see scoring opportunities on both sides that can tilt momentum one way or the other as these lineups try to battle against the opposing pitcher.

How will the aces fare

Verlander vs. Judge, and Cole vs. Alvarez, need I say more? Although we won't see Justin Verlander go up against Gerrit Cole in the same game in this series (they should go head to head next Thursday, however), they will pitch on back-to-back days, with Houston's ace going Friday night and New York's on Saturday afternoon. Verlander is coming off his worst start of the year, a three and two-thirds inning outing where the White Sox put up seven runs, four earned, against him and knocked him out early to give him his third loss and increased his ERA from 1.94 to 2.30.

The last time he faced the Yankees was in the Bronx in the 2019 playoffs, in ALCS Game 5, where he went seven frames while allowing four runs, all on two homers in the first inning, which is all New York needed to grab the 4-1 victory to make it a 3-2 Houston lead in the series, which the Astros would go on to clinch in Game 6. So, with the double dose of bad taste in his mouth, it will be interesting to see if he can use that as the fuel to get back to the phenomenal form he's had this year or if the Yankees try to jump on him early like they did nearly three years ago.

Cole, meanwhile, is fresh off of two quality starts in a row against the Rays, where he allowed just one run on six hits with nineteen strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. He's had his share of strife this season, though, including a seven-run shelling by the Twins earlier this month, along with a start in April where he couldn't make it through two innings against the Tigers. He's had success against his former club, most notably a complete-game shutout in Houston last July with twelve K's and holding the Astros to just three hits.

If the series opener was any indication, we are in for the treat of a playoff-caliber matchup, if not a potential ALCS preview that we may see in October. The Yankees showed why they have the best record and are the hottest team in baseball on Thursday night, but the Astros were only a good outing from their closer away from having a relatively lopsided win. The rivalry is real; the competition is close, and we get to enjoy the show.

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