“Unusually, 2,860 spectators gathered.”
Trevor Bauer started on the 16th (Korean time) in Yokosuka Stadium in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, in a match between the Seibu Lions and the second group, and scored 4 in 4 innings. No hits, no runs, 6 strikeouts and no runs.
Bauer, who took the mound in 11 games of the last 2020 season while staying with the Cincinnati Reds and recorded a 5-4 ERA of 1.73, including two shutouts, and held the National League’Cy Young Young’ in his arms, his major league career was completely cut off after the 2021 season. The reason was the alleged assault while having sex with a woman he met through social media.
Bauer was not prosecuted for ‘insufficient evidence’, but the Major League Secretariat, which can punish players with ‘suspicions’ of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse, issued a heavy punishment of suspension for 324 games. Bauer reduced the penalty to 194 games last winter, but the Dodgers chose to part ways with Bauer. And 29 major league clubs didn’t reach out to him.
Bauer, who hoped to continue his career as a player, turned his eyes to the Asian stage, and in March of this year signed a contract with the Yokohama DeNA Baystars for 3 million dollars (approximately 3.9 billion won) for one year and opened a new nest. However, perhaps because of his long hiatus, Bauer’s beginning was not very good. Due to a pull in his right shoulder, all of his pitching schedule has been suspended.
The hiatus was not long. Bauer recovered his health through a break of about two weeks, and on the 16th he started against the Seibu 2nd Army. It was not a first-team game, but it was only 657 days after the San Francisco Giants match on June 29, 2021 that Bauer played an official match. Even in the long hiatus, Bauer was alive and well. He recorded a maximum of 156 km and blocked 4 scoreless innings.
In fact, the heat is very hot as active major leaguers have come to Japan. According to Japan’s ‘Full Count’, 2,680 spectators gathered at Yokosuka Stadium on the 16th, when Bauer’s first actual appearance took place. The media said, “Many fans opened to see Bauer’s appearance, and an unprecedented 2,860 spectators gathered in the second team game.” 메이저놀이터
Also, according to ‘Nikkan Gendai’, Bauer’s pitching broadcast exceeded 70,000 concurrent users. At the beginning of the first inning, when Yokohama DeNA attacked, more than 10,000 viewers missed, but when Bauer stood on the mound, the audience increased to more than 70,000 again. What this number means is very large. On the 16th, Bauer’s 2nd team match started at 1:00 pm, because at 2:00 pm at Yokohama Stadium, Yokohama DeNA and Hanshin Tigers’ 1st team regular season match was held.
“Full Count” said, “It is the second time in 61 years for a Cy Young Award winner to enter the Japanese professional baseball league. Fans are very interested in it. Even though it was a 2nd team game, a long line was formed, such as looking for tickets from the morning. The baseball field also opened 30 minutes earlier.” He said, “On this day, the outfield grass seats were not open, but the infield seats, including the catcher’s back net, were full. And there were fans standing at the top to watch the game,” he said of the atmosphere at the time.
According to the media, Bauer responded cautiously about joining the first team, saying, “I have to discuss with the team. But I have to increase the number of pitches and innings.” In response, ‘Full Count’ added, “The heat in the second group may continue for a little longer.”
No matter what kind of accident he had in the United States and how much he was punished, it seems clear that Bauer is a player who is currently receiving the attention of Japanese professional baseball fans.