By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Terry Francona’s big league career began all the way back in 1981. And in nearly 40 years in baseball as a player and manager, the man affably known as Tito has seen just about everything there is to see on a diamond.
Yet, in all of his years in a dugout, he never witnessed what he saw on Sunday afternoon in Kansas City.
As you’ve likely heard and/or seen by now, Indians stater Trevor Bauer reacted quite poorly to a run of bad luck in the fifth inning, chucking a baseball over the protective netting before unleashing an absolute bomb of a throw over the center field wall. (Poor Mike Freeman flinched, and we know the repercussions of such an offense.)
Bauer’s temper tantrum instantly blew up on social media, and the mercurial right-hander contritely issued an apology when speaking to the media after the game. It was quite the hubbub.
Through the madness, the way Francona handled the incident was perhaps slightly overlooked. And so, in an effort to raise awareness of the brilliant way the MLB lifer handled the moment, let’s shine a light on exactly what Francona did in the moment.
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) July 28, 2019
(It’s worth mentioning that this outburst took place exactly two days after Bauer mocked “the traditional media” for suggesting he couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in New York.)
From that clip, you can only tell that Francona was nonplussed at Bauer for the shenanigans. But you don’t know exactly what Francona was saying.
Fortunately, we’ve got multiple cameras at these here baseball games. And from an alternate angle, we can see that a bewildered Francona simply asked Bauer, “What the [bleep] is wrong with you?”
Never seen Terry Francona this angry at one of his players in a game. This after Trevor Bauer threw a ball over the CF fence from the pitcher’s mound in frustration)
Pretty easy to read Tito’s lips saying, “What the f—- is wrong with you?” to Bauer
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) July 28, 2019
That’s certainly a question that many baseball fans and observers have wanted to ask Bauer for quite some time.
Bauer instantly regretted his decision, seemingly apologizing to Francona. But the manager was having none of it and went into complete Angry Dad Mode by pointing directly where Bauer needed to go.
Even hours later, after the game — which the Indians lost 9-6 — Francona didn’t seem to have gotten past the escapades, seemingly biting his tongue when speaking to the media about the incident.
“Today was a frustrating day. He did it out of frustration,” Francona said. “I don’t want to say something I don’t mean out of frustration.”
Tito, say no more. On behalf of a baseball world that has often wondered what the bleep is going on with Bauer, your reaction on the field was more than enough to say what needed to be said.