Trevor Bauer has been one of the most outspoken players when it comes to the widespread criticism directed at the Houston Astros, but the Cincinnati Reds pitcher hopes the overreaching result from the sign-stealing scandal will usher in a “new norm” for Major League Baseball.
Addressing how he recently called out the Astros as “hypocrites” and “cheaters” in an interview with Marc Carig of The Athletic posted Friday, Bauer expressed some semblance of optimism about something potentially good coming out of the controversy.
“This is a very, very, very important time for the baseball industry. There’s two paths forward,” Bauer said. “One, it gets squashed, tries to get forgotten about … ‘Hey, let’s get back to life how it was and let’s go forward with that.’ That’s one route. The other route is you establish a new norm. You change the culture and move forward.
“This happens in politics. Any sort of leadership role, this happens. There’s certain moments that come across when you have to make a decision. Do I do A or do I do B? The decision drastically changes the future. My hope, and what I think is the right answer, is it establishes a new culture where players are willing to stand up and speak on the things that they’re passionate about, because I think the game desperately needs that.”
The Astros’ seemingly halfhearted attempts to make amends last week at the start of spring training completely backfired. What critics say were insincere apologies surely hasn’t helped stem the tide of overwhelming acrimony directed at both the organization and Major League Baseball.
While the evolving crisis shows no signs of slowing down in the near future, perhaps Bauer is right to hold out hope that, in the end, the entire scandal could lead to something positive.
What’s most interesting, however, is how Bauer invokes the role of leadership in changing things, which presumably is directed at embattled MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, a target of Bauer’s ire over an entirely different situation just a few weeks ago.
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