For fans of great social media rants, Trevor Bauer put out some Twitter gold on Wednesday night with an eight-tweet response to an innocent question about overthinking on the mound. The diatribe was especially entertaining, given the number of references to his intelligence and the mention of Bauer activating his “prefrontal cortex.”
The conversation started with a question from Twitter user Corey Trevor (@Brill_Grates), who asked: “Honest question, man. Do you ever feel like you’re overthinking on the mound? Carrasco attributes success to not overthinking.”
To that, Bauer responded with eight separate tweets that amounted to this:
"I know that question shouldn’t make me mad but it kinda does. That term “over thinking” is so annoying. What does that even mean? So if an intelligent person explains why he’s doing something and no one else understands it’s overthinking. But if I say I’m not thinking on the mound and give up a run then everyone will say well maybe you should think on the mound. It’s such an oversimplification of a complex issue. Obviously you have to think on the mound. If I have success, great. If not, I am overthinking. And I’m doing nothing different, just the results change. So what gives? Now if someone said I was activating my prefrontal cortex or trying to run a bottom up system from the top down, then we might be able to have a productive discussion but I challenge you to even define what overthinking is. Where’s the line? How do you even quantify something like that? it’s just a way for fans who have no idea why something is happening to sound like they know something when they don’t. IMHO"
While funny to watch unfold, Bauer does make an interesting point.
The phrase “overthinking it” is one commonly used throughout the sports world, but does anyone really know what it means? It seems like more of a space-filler for individuals looking for a slight change to the monotony of “keep it simple” than it does a feasible fix to a pitcher’s production.
Part of the reason for Bauer’s ascension through the minor leagues is his cerebral nature. He is remarkably intelligent (see: he built a drone this offseason) and uses cutting edge technology in a unique offseason regimen. He mines data and reads scientific articles in search of enhancements to his mechanics and overall production.
Take this paragraph in a story by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, for example:
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"Bauer detailed one of the setups that he uses in the offseason. He will have a camera in each batter’s box mounted at eye level, so he can see the hitter’s perspective. Bauer also has a camera mounted from the center-field view in order to track the flight of the ball. He then films his pitches at 240 or 480 frames per second, and he can overlay the pitches on video to see variances in the movement."
In fewer words, Bauer has been so successful on his way to becoming a major league hurler largely because he plays the game of baseball similar to the way Billy Beane or sabermetricians and statisticians build teams today.
And in what has quickly become the information age of baseball, is there anything really wrong with Bauer taking the mound armed with as much information as possible?