Trevor Bauer is the kind of player who would have been hyped before the Internet. I'm not sure how, but it would have happened. Ditto machines, Clapton-like graffiti all over the buildings of London, Tonight Show appearances where he appeared with zoo animals … we would have figured out a way.
As is, we don't have to worry about that. This is the Internet Age, and if you want to get Trevor Bauer hype, you can have it shot to your phone via a satellite in space. Even better: Trevor Bauer will provide it for you himself.
Bauer posts interesting videos like this on his own YouTube page, and if you have questions about the specifics, Bauer will respond to your comments. This is the first time in the history of YouTube that the comment section has been anything other than an argument for a nice, cleansing pandemic.
Earlier today, Bauer posted a highlights clip from his start against the Mississippi Seth Pollack of SBN Arizona had the details:on April 5. It had everything: horrible, screamy metalcore for the kids, and clips of Bauer abusing his fellow minor leaguers. It was titled "Weekly Whiffs: Episode 1", suggesting that this was the first part of a year-long series.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with fans or even agents and marketing people making promotional clips like this (and man, that's some nasty stuff), but for Bauer to post it and boast about his strikeouts is not the kind of baseball the Arizona Diamondbacks promote.
Kirk Gibson is kind of a traditionalist, see. He doesn't seem the type to cotton to a rookie who makes and distributes video proof of indisputable badassery. Bauer was a dark-horse rotation candidate this spring, but he bypassed triple-A and went straight to double-A. There might have been a baseball reason for that -- a specific coach, a lack of pressure, or to prevent hitter-happy places like Reno or Las Vegas from messing with his head -- but it was still surprising. It could also be that the Diamondbacks don't want Bauer to get ahead of himself.
And a few hours after it was posted, the Bauer highlight video was removed.
It's a shame because the strikeouts were truly fun to watch. The metalcore, not as much -- I'm thinking it was a band of anthropomorphic raccoons covering Between the Buried and Me at some sort of raccoon county fair -- but the strikeouts were awesome.
This might be nothing -- maybe the lawyers of the Mississippi Braves are exercising their copyright muscle! -- or it might be a sign that someone from the Diamondbacks gently hinted that this kind of self-promotion isn't what the organization was looking for. Maybe it was Bauer's agent who made the suggestion. Maybe Bauer thought better of it.
When Twitter first burst on the scene, one of the first megausers in the baseball world was Brian Wilson. But after using it like a normal person instead of a PR bot, the account was deleted. It was rebooted last year, and it might be the most boring, nerfed account in existence. In between the real Wilson and the manufactured Wilson, other players like Brandon Phillips, Brandon McCarthy, and Logan Morrison took to the medium in different ways. There have been hiccups -- if you haven't heard, Ozzie Guillen can be a little brash -- but players and managers on Twitter are now the norm.
And I'm thinking that the attention that's paid to prospects -- certainly an Internet creation -- isn't going away. YouTube will be a way to build awareness; awareness often builds popularity; popularity is parlayed into bigger arbitration awards and contracts. But that's the cynical explanation.
YouTube is also a way for a pitcher to say: "I'm a mechanics wonk. Look at my mechanics. Pitching is awesome. Let's interact." Which is all I'd guess Bauer was doing. But someone didn't think the highlights clip was that cool. And if the Diamondbacks were responsible for Bauer's video getting pulled, they might be right -- too much, too soon. It's a viable argument, so I don't want to lambast the Diamondbacks or paint them as out-of-touch fogies trying to harsh the buzz of the kids these days, man.
Right or wrong of Bauer to post the clips, though, this is another example of technology throwing curveballs that teams in baseball aren't sure what to do with just yet. They'll read the scouting reports and take some more hacks their second time around. Until then, we'll have to dig, dig, dig to find out just how awesome our favorite prospects are, even if they're willing to tell us themselves.