Twitter can be an awful thing. If you’ve spent more than 45 seconds on the social media platform, you’re likely well aware of this fact. It presents a great opportunity for people to say awful things to anyone they want, things they likely don’t have the courage to say to someone’s face.
Or, in the case of Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, it provides a chance to pick a fight with said people.
Anyone who follows the Tribe’s mercurial starter knows he’s never one to hold back his opinions on Twitter, nor does he shy away from responding to any dissenters. Things were no different last night, when he decided to jump into the toxic wasteland that is political commentary.
Bauer expressed anger about his timeline being flooded with what he called “liberal slanted anti Trump articles.” As you’d expect, said tweet caught a lot of attention and negative responses. And, as you’d expect, Bauer responded to a ton of them.
In said responses, Bauer made claims like hearing way worse “locker room talk” than what we heard from our current president, that he’s yet to find a single Native American offended by Cleveland’s logo and the majority of his teammates are Trump supporters.
To get it out of the way, I’ll personally say I disagree with Bauer’s political stance and go ahead and end it with that. Consider this a shift from the likely far more intense and angry takes you’ve probably seen on Facebook for the past year and a half.
I also don’t intend to take Bauer to task for expressing his beliefs. Such a thing is something we’re all entitled to, even if we disagree with what others say.
My issue, though, is what Bauer does after expressing his beliefs. What comes from his engaging with any dissenters is hardly subtle and often messy. The more he continues to fire back at Twitter users, the more he becomes an unnecessary distraction to his entire team.
Again, I don’t care who Bauer voted for. If he doesn’t like the kind of media populating his Twitter timeline, he’s within his own rights to voice said opinion.
What I’ll never understand, though, is why Bauer feels it necessary to make matters worse by getting into fights with everyone who disagrees with him. As you can see in his responses, such a decision only makes things worse.
Suddenly, Bauer is casually dismissing the idea his team’s logo is racist (another issue for another day). He’s unnecessarily giving attention to people who respond to his tweets with vile comments by following up with them. Worse yet, he’s lumping his teammates in with him by saying a majority of them share his beliefs.
The latter backfired quite quickly, when the wife of Cleveland reliever Dan Otero jumped in to say this statement wasn’t the case.
You can go on and on about how one player’s social media habits shouldn’t be seen as a distraction. The fact a family member of one of his teammates felt the need to respond and deny something he said implies otherwise.
All of this comes from Bauer’s incessant need to respond to people who lash out at his opinion. By letting Twitter users get to him, he just makes things uglier.
My question for him is a simple one – what good comes from this? How does winning on Twitter help the Indians? Why is it necessary to get into tweet fights with people who disagree with him?
I’m not here to tell Bauer anything along the lines of “stick to sports.” If he has strong political beliefs, then by all means share them.
As an athlete, though, he clearly knows anything he says will get responses, many of which he may disagree with, some of which will be cruel and uncalled for. Why does he have to fight back?
When he does, it just digs him into a deeper hole. Everything you read about this whole ordeal doesn’t exactly paint him in a positive light. Top that with the fact his teammates will probably have to respond to this and any other future rants, and you can see why nothing good comes from Twitter fights.
You’d like to think Bauer realizes this by now. At the same time, you’d think letting random Twitter users get under his skin, some of whom are probably kids giddy with the fact they’ve irritated a pro athlete, would be something he would’ve stopped a long time ago.
That said, I doubt anything changes. I’ll just continue hoping he’ll one day wise up and turn off his Twitter notifications. Getting into a back-and-forth with anyone who disagrees with him is just a disruption the Tribe just doesn’t need.