“Dodger Blue–Dark Days”
We’re into the second month of the season and the Dodgers are in first place.
They have the highest payroll in baseball history. They have been bold, under the Andrew Friedman leadership model, in making deals.
Think back to the Adrian Gonzalez-Carl Crawford trade. The Mookie Betts acquisition. More recently the Craig Kimbrel trade.
Money has never been an issue, and this season they have a payroll close to 290M, which will incur a massive luxury tax penalty for the second year in a row.
But Dodgers baseball credibility has taken a huge hit, not with the 102M investment they made on free agent pitcher Trevor Bauer, but because of the person Trevor Bauer has become.
He has been hit with a (324) game suspension by MLB, ageed to by the Union, for his sexual misconduct incidents, the latest with a rough sex situation with a San Diego woman, and prior to that with women in Cleveland and the latest revelation in Columbus, Ohio.
He was never charged with any crimes in the rough sex allegations.
But baseball has the right under its Domestic Abuse protocol, to discipline a player even if there is no police charge against the player.
Bauer says it was consensual sex with each of the women. They say they never agreed to be strangled into unconsciousness, or to be sodomized and beaten while unconscious.
Bauer says the San Diego woman tried to set him up for a payoff and he has evidence in text messages of the woman bragging to friends about a payoff and vacations she would take.
Bauer is now suing the woman for defamation, as well as two media groups, the Athletic and Deadspin for stories they wrote about the extent of the injuries the San Diego woman suffered.
He called the information ‘manufactured’ and says he has been the victim of a smear campaign from women who indicated they were willing to experience rough sex.
MLB has suspended 15-other players for this type of spousal abuse misconduct. The penalties have ranged from 15-games to 162-games.
His own LA teammage Julio Urias was suspended 20-games for shoving his fiance. A Giants pitcher received a 162-game suspension for spousal abuse.
A Pirates pitcher, who had sex with a 13-year old girl, is in prison and will be disciplined by MLB when released.
The details of Bauer’s relationship with the woman are indeed ‘sordid’. The violence that happened is over the line. It’s no longer ‘he said-she said’ when you have pictures and rape kits and public testimony.
Bauer thinks he has served his penalty, missing 111-games on administrative leave while this probe went on and on. But he fails to tell you, under Union protection, he received all of his pay last year and was paid for the first month of this season..
He has missed starts after going (8-5) before this case exploded at the end of June last summer. Thanks for his Union, he received 42M despite what he was involved in. By virtue of this suspension, he has horefeited 62M of what was left on his contract.
Bauer has been a free spirit his entire career, one that started in Arizona, took him to Cleveland, Cincinnati and the big payday at Dodgers Stadium.
His career record is (83-69) and the Dodgers have survived losing him, despite age-injury and youth in the starting rotation. But they may not survive this stain if Bauer wins his arbitration case appeal and they are stuck with his contract.
Imagine paying 102M to a sexual deviate like this? Imagine the stain on that Dodgers white uniform if this guy is part of your team? Imagine the luxury tax damage the franchise takes if his salary counts against tax penalty.
It may be just dollars and cents to a filthy rich organization, but the cost to Dodgers baseball reputation will be enormous.
Root-root-root for the home team, but I don’t know how any Dodgers fan could root for Trevor Bauer, what he did, what he represents, what he is trying to do now in the aftermath of the MLB decision.
Baseball lived thru the Pete Rose life time gambling suspension. Baseball dealt harshly with Alex Rodriguez and his steroid cheating ways, giving him a 211-game penalty. But baseball has never dealt with someone who had such utter disregard for morality and women, until Trevor Bauer showed up in Los Angeles with his macho-devil be damned attitude.
The story is not over because there may be lawsuits from these women. It’s not over till the arbitration hearing is held.
But this is unlike anything the Dodgers have had to deal with.
A truly dark side to the Dodger Way.