The New York Yankees need pitching help! There has been a lot to talk about with that need, suggesting that Trevor Bauer is the answer to the Yankees pitching problems. That suggestion has also brought up the feud between Bauer and Yankee’s ace Gerrit Cole. Many writers have written about it, and my broadcasters have spoken of it, but neither have really explained it or examined its origins.
I will attempt to dig deeper into the feud and try to determine if it’s real and if it could derail any attempt by the New York Yankees of trying to sign him, now that he is a free agent. For the most part, the feud is a feud on Trevor Bauer’s part, not the other way around. Cole went to high school at Orange Lutheran. After his senior year, the New York Yankees selected Cole in the first round, with the 28th overall selection of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. Bauer attended Hart in Santa Clarita, California. Bauer was smart and graduated early, then attended UCLA. Cole refused the Yankee offer, instead attended UCLA. This is where the two high school baseball stars first met.
The first thing to understand is that both of these young men weren’t typical college jocks, they were both brilliant and very academic, and both studied their pitching crafts to levels seldom seen. That is where the similarities ended. The two personalities are polar opposites. Cole is quiet, and all business with an extreme work ethic. Bauer’s mouth sometimes flapped when it shouldn’t, and his work ethic early on was questionable, noted by his coaches. Cole also noted it called out Bauer for it. This is when the bad feelings between the two first came about.
Later Cole indicated that he felt that Bauer didn’t have a future in baseball. What caused him to say that is anyone’s guess. But Bauer admits many said the same thing, but it intensified the hurt feelings when his competition Cole said it. At the end of their college careers, they both were at the top of their game and the most wanted in the 2008 draft. Cole was selected number one and Bauer number three, but the supposed feud went on for years. It should be noted that Cole has never spoken of the feud, and avoids talking about it, and to this day, doesn’t talk to or look at Bauer.
In 2018 when Bauer was with the Indian’s it happened, Bauer was to face off against his old college foe for the first time, that was now pitching for the Houston Astros. Upon the news that the two would face each other, the feud talk made headlines again. Trevor Bauer decided to address it while Cole again remained silent.
He also made this statement:
“And it’s good to see, because it’s good for him, it’s good for me, it’s good for the tapestry of our lives. Regardless of how each of us feels about anything, we’re intertwined forever. I don’t know if two teammates have been drafted as high out of college ever. I’m not sure if that’s a thing. I can’t imagine it would be, but we’re part of a historic team at UCLA. We’re part of a historic Draft. We’re part of, hopefully, historic careers on both ends. I’d love nothing more than to trade Cy Youngs with him for the next 10 years, because it’s good for everybody involved. So I’m happy for him. I’m happy that he seems to be healthy this year.”
At the same time, former UCLA assistant coach Rich Vanderhook spoke of the feud and said of the likelihood that hey would make up and be friends:
“I would have to say the odds of the earth burning up are better than that, told USA TODAY Sports. “That’s not going to happen. It’s just not. They are opposites, just such complete opposites.
Fast forward to the 2020 postseason. Bauer was with the Cincinnati Reds he went 5-4 with an ERA of 1.73 and WHIP of 0.79; Cole went 7-3 with an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 0.96. Both sets of stats are admirable, but Bauer seems to have the edge. However, when it comes to the postseason, the edge reverts to Cole. Bauer is 1-4 with an ERA of 2.94; the hardened postseason Cole has a record of 8-4 with an ERA of 2.68. Cole won both of his 2020 postseason starts.
Now Trevor Bauer is a free agent again. Bauer is outspoken and controversial and is now toning down that he and Cole have an ongoing feud. He has stated again that that is far in the past. But don’ let that fool you; these two being so opposite probably will never like each other. At the same time, Bauer doesn’t want to lessen his chances of becoming a New York Yankee, one of nine teams that may be interested in him.
The bottom line is that both of these pitchers are now adults; they will not let a teenage dispute kill their chances of obtaining a World Series ring. They may be opposites, but at the same time have many similarities; both are excellent pitchers, both are analytic nuts and love to talk about the technicalities of pitching. They both freely discuss their craft. There is no question that if the Yankees try to get Bauer, they definitely will run it by their $324M ace first.
But Gerrit Cole is no fool either. He knows that if the New York Yankees acquire Bauer, he knows that the one-two punch of he and Bauer will put the Yankees in a unique situation to get a 28th World Championship, and maybe, just maybe they can show off their Championship rings together.
For New York Yankee fans, can you imagine a starting rotation of Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Luis Severino, Domingo German, and Deivi Garcia? Sounds to this writer like a dream come true and a sure path to that elusive 28th World Championship once and for all. Sure there is some controversy there, with Bauer and German, but with the Yankees, it’s all about winning.
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