Dodgers and MLB must take action now on Trevor Bauer

Mar 6, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer points at his closed eye after pitching the first inning with it closed against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer points at his closed eye after pitching the first inning with it closed against the San Diego Padres during a Spring Training game at Camelback Ranch Glendale. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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Again, with fervor: rooting for the Los Angeles Dodgers is more difficult when Trevor Bauer is wearing the uniform.

There are those who believe that Bauer’s 2013-esque meme-ing, Fernando Tatis Jr.-baiting antics, and one-eyed strikeouts are helping to make the game interesting. I would disagree that those things are interesting.

There are those who believe Bauer when he says he had no intention of messing around with sticky substances, and only intended to raise awareness of the issue so MLB would eventually begin to police it and create an even playing field. He repeatedly said he would’ve cheated, but chose not to because he “had morals.” He then began utilizing those substances to beef up his resume in time for his first free-agent contract.

Again, I am dubious about the order of operations.

Then, on Tuesday, news broke of the horrific accusations of assault from a set of encounters earlier this year, which were recounted in gruesome detail in The Athletic (subscription required) on Wednesday afternoon.

This is not to equate Bauer’s more serious transgressions with his efforts to become the center of the baseball universe at any cost. This is just to note that Bauer entered the free agency cycle as an already-polarizing figure.

The Dodgers and MLB need to take action now on Trevor Bauer.

Another appalling detail that stands out is the insensitive decision by Bauer’s attorney to name the victim while attempting to clear his client’s name.

Every piece of this story, down to the PR push, comes off as self-preservation. Bauer’s attempts to contact the woman seem more to paint himself as caring rather than acts of genuine concern for her well-being.

Perhaps the most difficult sensation that surrounds rooting for a team with Bauer on it is the horde of defenders who circle every critical opinion to let you know that you were wrong to feel uncomfortable in the first place. In the past, when I’ve criticized Bauer’s online behavior, bullying tactics, and unrepentant need to feel aggrieved, Twitter trolls have circulated reports about his  reaching out to a bullied child, daring me to comment.

“You’ll never read about this on the news!” they’ll say, seconds after having learned about it on the news.

Bauer defenders will always have another answer. A hidden gotcha. An unrelated bit of public relations service that proves he’s actually a golden boy instead of a person with clear and escalating issues with women.

The loud, cackling “Whataboutisms” to numerous women who criticized Bauer for his previous Twitter tirades against a female Houston Astros fan, made the platform even less safe of an environment for accusers to speak out.

Whether or not his many defenders continue along the same path now following the newest developments will shed further light on their motivations.

Now that such disturbing details have emerged in the case, we’ll soon have definitive word on what the next steps for Bauer will be. The Dodgers aligned themselves with Bauer despite numerous red flags about the content of his character. After joining the team, he spent months engaged in an endless set of needling press conferences, online meltdowns, and attempts to make himself the leading expert on the many issues facing baseball’s next generation.

This extremely serious allegation must halt that power trip, and every part of the machine that allowed for Bauer’s unencumbered rise should be questioned as well. What MLB and the Dodgers do next will determine the value they assign to protecting and believing women.