Los Angeles Dodgers fans watched Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night wondering why it wasn’t their team on TV trying to get revenge on the Houston Astros.
The defending champs were handled almost effortlessly by the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. It may have taken six games, but the series never felt close. The Dodgers’ starting pitching began to tire and the offense fell flat on its face.
And we can’t forget about the largest offseason expenditure that ended up setting them back. Yes, this will hopefully be one of the final times we speak of Trevor Bauer again. The exiled pitcher made his return to social media just in time for the MLB playoffs and likely provided the Dodgers with bad juju.
But in the end, this was the Dodgers’ fault. They got themselves into a bidding war with the New York Mets (????) over Bauer’s services and then overpaid beyond belief, making him the highest-paid player from an average annual salary perspective.
Even with his “Cy Young” campaign in 2020, Bauer’s career ERA still sat at 4.00 after seven MLB seasons. That isn’t good. And the Dodgers, for some reason, failed to realize that Bauer was an internet troll first and a starting pitcher second.
Now they’ll get to engage in an offseason battle to void his contract. Sounds riveting. The problems continue to grow legs.
Anyway, here are three reasons signing Bauer ahead of the 2021 season derailed the Dodgers’ attempt to repeat as World Series champs.
Here’s why the Dodgers signing Trevor Bauer was a colossal mistake.
3. He Brought Negative Publicity From the Jump
The Dodgers print money, but apparently they don’t have enough to pay a public relations department? Or a minimum-wage researcher?
Despite numerous character concerns stemming from troubling online behavior (multiple women accused him of harassment) in addition to his idiotic antics on the field (throwing a baseball over the center field wall after being taken out of a start) that prompted the Cleveland Indians to trade him in 2019, the Dodgers pretended like none of it mattered.
Bauer was asked about such behavior in his introductory press conference with the Dodgers and then mentioned it “wasn’t the time” to discuss any of that. Seems like the exact time to discuss it. But who are we to determine that, right? Additionally, after the signing, multiple players were asked about Bauer’s fit in the locker room because he’s so clearly a personality that would throw everybody else off their axis. There’s a reason people ask questions, especially when something’s obvious.
Then came the heinous sexual assault allegations that forced the Dodgers to conduct damage control. The team had to answer questions about him, taking away their concentration from the game, further adding to the distraction he inherently brought along.
This team just won the World Series and had exemplary individuals on the roster. The Dodgers disrupting the status quo by letting a number of important players go in favor of a disruptor like Bauer was the wrong move from the moment it was even considered.