Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, who threw a ball over the center field fence before being removed from Sunday's 9-6 loss to the Royals, apologized to the team and its fans for his behavior, which he characterized as a competitive fire that "just boiled over and consumed me."
"There's no place for it in the game," Bauer told reporters after the game (via Cleveland.com). "I'm happy it didn't result in any physical injury for anybody else. I realize I put people in danger."
Bauer, 28, gave up career highs in runs (eight) and earned runs (seven) on Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information, as his frustrations grew.
"Usually that fire drives me and today it just boiled over and consumed me," Bauer said. "That just can't happen. That's completely unacceptable."
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After Nicky Lopez's bases-loaded single in the fifth, Bauer apparently was unhappy with the baseball thrown to him by umpire David Rackley. Bauer fired the ball high into the netting behind home plate before getting another one.
That's when manager Terry Francona came out to pull Bauer, who when he saw he was being removed whirled and threw the ball some 375 feet to just in front of the the batter's eye in center field at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium.
Francona was visibly upset with his pitcher when he reached the mound, but the Indians skipper wouldn't comment after the game about his private conversation with Bauer afterward.
"We certainly discussed it, as we should," Francona said. "Today was a frustrating day. He did it out of frustration. I don't want to say something that I don't mean."
In the wake of the incident, a suspension by Major League Baseball wouldn't be a surprise. His outburst violates strict MLB policy against coaches or players throwing balls into the stands or out of the park.
It also comes as Bauer (9-8, 3.79 ERA) has been the subject of trade rumors ahead of Wednesday's deadline and the Indians (62-43) chase the first-place Twins (64-41) in the AL Central.
For now, he says his immediate focus is on his behavior's effect on the Indians as they wrap up their winningest July (17-5) since going 18-9 in July 1995, adding that he'll consider the impact of a potential suspension later.
"I'm trying to make reparations to the people that are in this clubhouse and this organization," Bauer said. "I'll handle whatever else comes my way from there."