Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Trevor Bauer told Sports Illustrated's Ben Reiter that the All-Star's viral Twitter exchange with college student Nikki Giles wasn't a wise decision, but suggested that he was defending himself.
“It probably isn’t smart,” Bauer said. “It probably isn’t ideal. I don’t go out of my way to harass anybody. But, I mean, if you’re going to come at me, that’s just what I do.”
In January, Bauer mentioned Giles, a Texas State University senior, in 80 different tweets. It prompted Giles to report Bauer to the Indians for repeated harassment.
Below is an excerpt from Reiter's story:
"At first, Bauer dismisses the exchange as competitive trolling. “It’s a mental chess match, to me,” he says. Eventually, he admits that it runs deeper. “I ignore the vast majority of things people say to me online. Sometimes, I respond. But all you see is the response. You don’t see people wishing that I have my throat sliced open and bleed to death in front of millions of fans on TV, or saying not to come to Detroit because they’re going to kill me and my family for hitting a couple Detroit batters.”
Giles, though, didn’t say anything nearly so nasty. Besides, shouldn’t Bauer, a wealthy celebrity, be above trolling?
“People pull the role model card,” he says. “The way I see it, I am a role model because I show people it’s O.K. to stand up for yourself. That you can stand up to a bully. And I get that a lot of people won’t see it that way. But that’s what it is. When someone goes out of their way to tweet me that I’m a piece of s--- or whatever, that’s a bully.”"
Bauer beat the Indians in arbitration for the second consecutive year and said that the final 10 minutes of the case were "trying a character assassination" against him. Bauer is not expected to become a free agent until after the 2020 season but has said that he never plans to sign more than a one-year contract. He finished last season with a 12–6 record and 2.21 ERA.