Players' Weekend would last a lot longer than three days every season if it was up to Trevor Bauer.
The Cincinnati Reds right-hander believes Major League Baseball has an obvious solution to attracting younger fans.
"Let players have personalities,” he said, according to Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s the thing I’ve never understood about baseball. It’s the least marketable sport, but you have the most personalities, most different cultures in a clubhouse.
“How you can have the least marketable sport and the most diversity, most total players and most personalities, that’s just the culture of it. When you come into pro ball, you’re taught keep your head down, don’t have a personality, don’t stay anything, give cliches to the media. If you don’t, you’re branded like what’s going on with (Cleveland Browns quarterback) Baker Mayfield right now. That’s the state of that type of media today, talk shows, hot takes, some players are kind of scared away from being themselves.”
Bauer thinks a lot can be gleaned from Players' Weekend and implemented throughout the year.
“I understand that you have to have consistent uniform policies and stuff like that, but some of the league’s decisions on players having custom cleats, they literally have no effect,” Bauer said. “It’s just such an easy way to have fan engagement and draw younger fans in. The young generation is a big sneaker generation. That’s the one things that the NBA has done really well in.”
The outspoken 28-year-old also took a shot at broadcasters around the league.
“Let’s say you have a 10-year-old kid or whatever watching the game at home and all he hears about is how stupid the shift is, how players strike out too much, how baseball is boring because there are no balls in play,” he said. “You have these announcers calling every single game just taking (shots) on the current state of the game, the players, the product on the field. How is a kid supposed to get excited to go to the ballpark?"
The former All-Star was traded to the Reds on July 30 in a three-team blockbuster that included the Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres. Entering Sunday's action, he's 1-2 with a 5.87 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings since joining Cincinnati.