How Cy Young winners Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber motivated each other – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Posted: November 16, 2020 at 7:55 pm


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Trevor Bauer became the first Reds pitcher to win a Cy Young Award on Wednesday. Cincinnati Enquirer

Trevor Bauer sent a text message to his former teammate Shane Bieber before the season when he saw the odds from a sportsbook on the 2020 Cy Young winners.

The two players, who had lockers right next to each other in Cleveland, had the same odds.

All I replied back was, hey, why not go two for two? Bieber said. (Bauer) said, That sounds like a deal.

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Trevor Bauer (27) delivers the ball in the day baseball game against Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. Reds win 3-1. (Photo: Meg Vogel)

They lived up to their word. Bauer became the first Reds pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in club history and Bieber became the 10th American League pitcher to win a Cy Young by a unanimous vote. Bieber kept a screenshot of the conversation.

Teammates in 2018 and 19, Bauer and Bieber have a friendly competition between themselves. Bauer likes to joke that Bieber was the only member of Clevelands rotation in 2018 that didnt have more than 200 strikeouts. Bieber, however, was only in the rotation for half the season. The 25-year-old Bieber will point out that he beat Bauer in strikeouts in each of the past two years.

He beat me in strikeouts again, that little I cant, Bauer said, laughing. Ive got to find a way to get up on him. It probably serves me right for ribbing him so much when he didnt strike out 200 in 2018.

Bieber learned from his veteran teammates in the rotation when he was beginning his big-league career. Along with Bauer, he could pick the brains of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Mike Clevinger.

We were able to develop a consistent culture, Bieber said. Whats special about it is that it carried over even when guys went to other teams. Thats kind of what we saw this year. I was able to share a bunch of cool moments with Trevor even though we werent in the same clubhouse anymore. To be able to do what we did is extremely special and Im always confident well have that friendly competitiveness and always competing against each other whether were in the same league or not.

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Shane Bieber (57) throws a pitch in the first inning of the MLB interleague game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. The Reds led 2-0 after five innings. (Photo: Sam Greene)

Bauer kept close tabs on Biebers incredible season. Bieber finished fourth in the AL MVP voting after he posted an 8-1 record and 1.63 ERA in 12 starts with 122 strikeouts across 77 1/3 innings. He led the Majors in wins, ERA and strikeouts.

We talked a little bit throughout the year about how cool it would be to have ex-teammates win the award together and here we are, Bauer said. Im really happy for him. Being able to share that with his family and the amount of success hes been able to have since walking on at Santa Barbara his journey has been quite spectacular from going a walk-on in college and not pitching a whole lot when he first got there to being a fourth-round draft pick, flying through the minor leagues and coming up.

I think hes one of the best human beings that Ive had the pleasure of meeting in professional baseball. There are too many positive things to say for this call, but just really happy for his success.

Bieber enjoyed watching Bauers dominant season. He knew how much the Cy Young Award meant to Bauer and all the work he did behind the scenes.

All that hes gone through, how bad hes wanted this and how public hes made it and hes gone after it, man, Bieber said. Thats all you can really ask for somebody that is a little bit outspoken is that they put in the work and actually go out there and do it. Thats what hes done.

Bauer respects the quite spectacular journey that Bieber had from a walk-on at Santa Barbara to the best pitcher in the world in 2020.

I think hes one of the best human beings that Ive had the pleasure of meeting in professional baseball, he said. There are too many positive things to say for this call, but just really happy for his success.

Bauer and Bieber have different personalities, but they became friends because of their competitiveness and desire to improve. Bauer never hid the fact that he chased the Cy Young Award throughout his career. Bieber is more reserved.

Shane is a little bit more of the traditional, I dont want to say superstitious necessarily, but dont count your chickens before they hatch type of thing, Bauer said. There is a little bit of that push and pull there between us.

But talking about doing that and mainly, I was looking at him, Dude, youre the frontrunner. Its going to be so cool for you. He was like, Well, might as well make it two for two, and have you do it as well.

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How Cy Young winners Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber motivated each other - The Cincinnati Enquirer

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November 16th, 2020 at 7:55 pm

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