GOODYEAR, ARIZ.: Trevor Bauer has become the Indians’ Rapper in Residence after his friend tweeted out their latest collaboration Wednesday night.
No big deal, you say? That’s what Bauer apparently thought until the hip-hop piece was viewed by many as a retort to Miguel Montero, the catcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks who made critical remarks about Bauer, a right-handed pitcher, after working with him last year.
“When you get a guy like that, he thinks he’s got everything figured out,” Montero said recently. “He never wanted to listen.”
Bauer said ripping Montero was the farthest thing from his mind, and the rap was intended to answer Twitter followers critical of Bauer.
“People on twitter would say things like my ERA is terrible, and you need to work on it,” Bauer said. “And I didn’t choose to put it out there.”
Bauer estimates that he and Connor Garelick, who plays baseball at Pepperdine University, have composed 25-30 raps, strictly for their own amusement. One of Garelick’s duties is to put the finished product on Twitter.
“He is getting ready to play a game, and he’s getting blown up,” Bauer said of Connor. “He had no idea what’s going on.”
The rap is entitled “You Don’t Know Me,” and its message can be interpreted provocatively.
Here are some of the words.
“You can say what you want, even if hate’s all you got. But you don’t know me (Nope). You don’t know me (Why not?)
“All the speculation out there about my reputation. It’s because you don’t know. (Nope). You don’t know me (Why not?)
“You hide behind a mask to facilitate a task. But you don’t know me (Huh). You won’t know me.”
Hiding behind a mask could refer to Montero, and Bauer understands that the timing of the rap’s release makes it appear that his former catcher is the target.
“I have no hard feelings against the Diamondbacks,” Bauer said. “I enjoyed my time there. I have no hard feelings toward Montero. Hopefully, the whole thing can die and go into oblivion.”
Bauer was asked why he retweeted the rap after Garelick initially made it public.
“I never thought about it,” said Bauer, who insisted he retweeted the rap before he knew it had become a point of controversy.
However, the day before Garelick made the rap public, Bauer tweeted, “Look for a new song on my soundcloud tomorrow called “you don’t know me.”
“I have a hobby,” he said. “What if fishing was my hobby, and all I could do was catch two-inch fish. Would I get blown up for that?”
Manager Terry Francona asked Bauer what was going on.
“He was genuinely upset,” Francona said. “It’s a non-story as far as I’m concerned. Trevor is a pretty thoughtful young man. He does everything we ask. He’s been terrific.”
General Manager Chris Antonetti also was forced to jump into the fray.
“Part of my job is managing a lot of different things and different personalities,” he said.
Delivering the message
Even though Francona isn’t a big fan of meetings, he concedes that today’s pre-workout address to the Indians is important.
“I’m not a meeting type of person, but for me this is the biggest meeting of the year, because it sets the tone for us,” he said Thursday.
The message he wants to impart is the significance of hard work and diligence.
“We don’t want to re-invent the wheel, just do it better,” Francona said. “The important thing for our staff and our players is that these guys should want to show up every day and do the right thing.
“The way to get everybody on the same page is to understand our expectations. The quicker we do things together, the better.”
No practice games
In contrast to recent custom, the Tribe will play no intrasquad games preceding exhibition season, which begins next Friday.
“No, I hate them,” Francona said. “If we’re sloppy the first couple of Cactus League games, that’s all right. I think our pitchers hate facing our hitters, and our hitters hate facing our pitchers. I never liked intrasquad games as a player, and I never liked them as a manager.”
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.