In the days leading up to Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, when Trevor Bauer sat in the Cleveland Indians’ trainer’s room getting treatment on his mangled right pinky, he kept asking the medical staff to use a soldering iron and burn shut the wound he suffered at a hotel when a drone he was repairing went haywire and sliced his finger from the nail to second knuckle. They laughed, even though they understood Bauer was dead serious and regretted not cauterizing it himself the night of the injury.
“I even had a soldering iron in my hotel room,” Bauer said. “Instead of going to the ER, I probably should’ve sealed it closed myself.”
Had Bauer done so, he may well have robbed the ALCS of the instantly iconic moment that unfolded fewer than 20 pitches into Game 3. (Not to mention risked infection, burns and other undesirable conditions.) Because major league rules prohibit any foreign substance on a pitcher’s hand, Bauer could not wear the gauze that snuggled his pinky in the days since the injury. All dried blood and stitches and awfulness, like a Walking Dead gore bomb except totally real, Bauer’s exposed pinky grossed out teammates and TV audiences alike, and that was before it started to bleed on the mound.
Bauer said his relationship with the drone (which he brought with him to the press conference), is like a good marriage. “We argue all the time.” He also explained that his interest in drones grew out of his love for Star Wars, because drones reminded him of the speeder bikes used by the Empire (and then by Luke, Leia, and at least one Ewok) on the forest moon of Endor in Return of the Jedi.
That led to what will undoubtedly be the most controversial moment of the session, when Bauer revealed that his favorite Star Wars movie is The Phantom Menace, the entry remembered by many for its detailed discussions of the Galactic Senate’s parliamentary procedures and the inclusion of Jar Jar Binks, perhaps the least popular character in movie history. Bauer’s explanation for his fondness for The Phantom Menace (in the interest of fairness, I’ll acknowledge that Bauer said he loves all the movies, and it’s sort of a 1A, 1B situation) is that he loves Darth Maul, one the movie’s villains. This affinity for Maul may explain by Ben “Obi-Wan” Revere has a career OPS of 1.548 against Bauer.