With baseball nearing its return in late July, players are back in their respective facilities and undergoing COVID-19 tests. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer recently celebrated a negative test, but he also threw shade at a different MLB team. He talked about using technology to get a win while mocking the Houston Astros' cheating scandal.
Bauer posted a photo showing him sitting in front of his locker. He revealed that his intake testing was done and that baseball was back. However, Twitter users shifted their focus to his clothing. The Reds pitcher wore a shirt featuring the orange test of the Astros. It read, "Houston Cheated. 2017 Chumps." Additionally, the designer of the shirt added extra letters to the "H-Town" nickname so that it read "TRASH-TOWN."
Baseball is back everyone!! Intake testing done, lots of really high tech stuff goin on here but anything to help us win is in, right?! pic.twitter.com/9smfaui36r— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) July 3, 2020
"Your shirt is awesome," one baseball fan commented. Multitudes of Cincinnati Reds supporters agreed with the opinion and proclaimed that the Astros cheating shirt was next on their purchase list. Houston fans, on the other hand, did not particularly support Bauer's statement on social media.
When he posted the photo, Bauer faced criticism from several Astros fans. They responded by talking about how he "choked" in the postseason against their favorite team. Many others said that the pitcher is just bitter about not winning a title with H-Town.
The cheating reportedly took place during the 2017 season and into the postseason, according to former Astros player Mike Fiers. He was one of the multiple sources that spoke to The Athletic in November and detailed the ways in which the team "stole signs" from their opponents. The Astros relied on electronic methods, which Bauer referenced in his tweet.
As the sources explained, the team hooked up a camera in center field to a television monitor in the home dugout at Minute Maid Park. The players would reportedly examine the feed and determine which signals correlated with specific pitches. Once the Astros determined exactly what each signal meant, they would transmit that information to the batters. Banging on a trash can was the primary source of information mentioned in the report. The bangs would normally mean a breaking ball or off-speed pitch.
MLB investigated the cheating and handed down major punishments to the Astros. The league suspended manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow, and the team later fired both men. Additionally, MLB fined the team $5 million, the maximum amount according to league rules. Finally, the Astros lost their first and second-round picks for the 2020 and 2021 draft.