How Cy Young winners Trevor Bauer and Shane Bieber motivated each other

Trevor Bauer sent a text message to his former teammate Shane Bieber before the season when he saw the odds from a sportsbook on the 2020 Cy Young winners.  

The two players, who had lockers right next to each other in Cleveland, had the same odds.

“All I replied back was, ‘hey, why not go two for two?’” Bieber said. “(Bauer) said, ‘That sounds like a deal.’”

They lived up to their word. Bauer became the first Reds pitcher to win a Cy Young Award in club history and Bieber became the 10th American League pitcher to win a Cy Young by a unanimous vote. Bieber kept a screenshot of the conversation.

Teammates in 2018 and ’19, Bauer and Bieber have a friendly competition between themselves. Bauer likes to joke that Bieber was the only member of Cleveland’s rotation in 2018 that didn’t have more than 200 strikeouts. Bieber, however, was only in the rotation for half the season. The 25-year-old Bieber will point out that he beat Bauer in strikeouts in each of the past two years.

“He beat me in strikeouts again, that little … I can’t,” Bauer said, laughing. “I’ve got to find a way to get up on him. It probably serves me right for ribbing him so much when he didn’t strike out 200 in 2018.”

Bieber learned from his veteran teammates in the rotation when he was beginning his big-league career. Along with…

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