The superstition: Trever Bauer does long toss from foul pole to pole (among other unorthodox warm-up routines) before he pitches.
The skinny: Pitchers begin on the more idiosyncratic side of the baseball spectrum, but Trevor Bauer takes dancing to his own drumbeat to a new level. The Cleveland Indians' right-hander has been known to throw the ball up to 400 feet for his pregame long-loss routine to get loose.
"It’s done with a very fluid motion," Bauer told SI.com. “It appears to be effortless because the body is very synced up. It’s not effortless. It’s actually max effort, but it can only happen when the body is connected. To launch a ball 300, 350 or 400 feet, it takes a high level of athleticism. That’s a big reason why I like it."
Other players are impressed. "So strange. So, so strange," former major league shortstop Brendan Ryan once said. "Everyone has got their routines and stuff. But he was almost in our bullpen, throwing into their bullpen. That's crazy."
That's not all. During games, Bauer channels Happy Gilmore for his warm-up pitches, getting a running start behind the mound and firing a pitch to the catcher. Or the backstop. He's also thrown a 3 ounce ball 117 miles an hour.
So far, the unorthodox methods are working. Since making his major league debut in 2012, in 172 career games (162 starts) over eight seasons, Bauer is 63-51 with a 3.95 ERA.