When the Los Angeles Dodgers opted to sign Trevor Bauer late in the free agency period, they were aligning themselves with a person with a documented history of online harassment and many lesser malfeasances.
While they likely weren’t expecting Bauer’s transgressions to accumulate so quickly afterwards, it had to also be taken as a tacit endorsement of the person he appeared to be.
In the aftermath of the horrific accusations that have recently sent Bauer into semi-permanent leave from the game of Major League Baseball, though, the Dodgers have taken steps that the Yankees never pursued with Aroldis Chapman, nor the Blue Jays and Astros with Roberto Osuna. They’ve removed him from the promotional schedule and the team store. A few days after Dave Roberts claimed the team’s next moves were out of his hands, they made several sweeping statements to the contrary.
The Dodgers players appear to have put up a somewhat similar force field, too.
According to sources, a wide swath of influential Dodgers teammates, from Mookie Betts to Justin Turner, have unfollowed Bauer on Instagram, which is certainly the most painful form of social shunning to someone so perilously online.
Dodgers teammates have unfollowed Trevor Bauer on Instagram.
This concerted effort to shun Bauer from team activities and advertisements comes too late for our liking, but certainly sends a unified message: until this situation plays itself out fully in a court of law, you are not welcome here.
And yes, for the “innocent until proven guilty” crowd, possibly long after that judgment has been rendered, too.
While the decision to import Bauer to the 2020 World Champions’ rotation in the first place can still be questioned, this team-wide about-face from Roberts’ assertion that a Sunday start in Washington was what MLB had ordered and wouldn’t be changed certainly shows progress in handling this matter internally and projecting clues externally.
As it stands, Bauer’s administrative leave has been extended for another seven days during the league’s investigation, and could be extended further still.
In the meantime, don’t expect to see any Bauer paraphernalia displayed proudly at Dodger Stadium, nor any teammate cameos in his vlog.
That door, at the very least, has closed.