MLB, please don’t reinstate Trevor Bauer


Commissioner Rob Manfred has to make sure Trevor Bauer doesn't end up back on the hill anytime soon.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has to make sure Trevor Bauer doesn’t end up back on the hill anytime soon.
picture: Getty Images

Trevor Bauer will eventually be reinstated by Major League Baseball. We might as well accept it from the start. We don’t know when the reinstatement will come. Earlier this week, MLB extended Bauer’s administrative leave through April 22.

No one knows what happens after that, and indeed, the LA Times reports that Bauer could argue that extending his leave isn’t binding, and there’s a chance he could Show up at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

What we do know is that allegations of sexual assault and assault, no matter how vicious, will never be enough to stop a man from playing professional sports. Check out the long list of defendants and how many of them are still active players. A certain type of man on Twitter will yell about Ray Rice, but let’s face it, that had more to do with his declining skills than slapping his wife in the face on camera. Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant and even Antonio Brown have all had long and successful careers following rape allegations.

For the women (and they almost always are) who write about athletes facing allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence, so much of it feels like screaming into thin air. The allegations are made, the police are investigating, someone is digging up dirt on the victim, the prosecution refuses to bring charges, the player gets on with his life and the whole world forgets except for the Twitter brigades who are constantly on the lookout for everyone molest who dares to address the player’s past sins.

At the same time, we are a country that cherishes the maxim “innocent until proven guilty,” although that argument seems arguably reserved for famous men accused of crimes, as opposed to, say, alleged subway shooter Frank James in Brooklyn. (No one has cried out about unfairly woke mobs and feminazis who want to crush him. Strange!) With the LA district attorney declining to press charges against Bauer, he could play baseball again when his current administrative leave ends. On the other hand, MLB conducts its own investigations into allegations against players and has previously issued lengthy suspensions in cases that have never been criminally charged.

The longest suspension MLB has imposed to date was on pitcher Sam Dyson, who was banned from playing for the entire 2021 season after his ex-girlfriend came forward accusations that Dyson threw objects at her and her cat, injuring them. We’ll never know what Dyson’s ex told MLB investigators, but it was apparently enough to warrant a season-long suspension.

However, Trevor Bauer is different. Not just because he’s a star pitcher, an ace, the hottest commodity in the trade or free agent market every time he hits. Bauer also has a large following on the social media he uses Harassing and bullying women and his critics. In fact, a woman from Ohio too accused Bauer of sexual assault, including choking and hitting during sex without her consent. That was way back in 2017, well before the second woman came forward to accuse Bauer of making similar claims in 2021. Bauer has denied both allegations, but the Ohio woman has obtained a restraining order against Bauer, in part over SnapChat messages he sent her (Bauer’s attorney and agent questioned the validity of the messages):

“I don’t want to spend time in jail for killing someone,” one message said The post. “And that would happen if I saw you again.”

In an undated Snapchat message, Bauer reportedly wrote, “As if the only reason I would ever consider seeing you again is to choke you unconscious, punch you in the face, shove my fist into your skull and kick you out naked And of course I would never do that to anyone. So I can’t even enjoy what I sometimes enjoyed with you.”

This is the point where full disclosure requires me to inform you that Bauer met The Athletic, sportswriter Molly Knight (one of the best in the business in my opinion), Peppystores editor Chris Baud, and Peppystores’s parent company, G/, is suing. O Media for defamation in connection with the coverage of the allegations against him. Bauer was downright gloating when the lawsuits were announced:

In addition to the constant bitching about the media and the New York Times’ ignorance of Sullivan (Google it), farmer also recently lost a lawsuit in which his team attempted to obtain the LA accuser’s cellphone records, arguing that she fabricated the allegations against Bauer for financial gain. A significant portion of Bauer’s Twitter feed is him whining about the media making up lies about him (we don’t do that), whining about other things he sees as unfair, or trying to convince people that everyone is after him. Oh, and then there’s this:

I’m not sure what kind of “We’ve both been charged with sexual assault and aren’t you mad, bro?” fraternity that Bauer is trying to establish here, but it gets to the heart of the real problem with Trevor Bauer, which is his apparent desire to destroy anyone he feels has wronged him, including the women who have made allegations against him. His allies? Other men who are accused of similar things do not look for remorse or regret or even a “Maybe I should be a little more careful when dealing with women”, is not what Bauer says. Or his agent Rachel Luba, who delivers cover for Farmer using the tried and true trick of having a woman defend you against allegations of sexual assault.

It’s worth noting that Luba previously represented Yasiel Puig, who was also charged with sexual assault from several women. Puig denied the allegations (as well as another accusation of sexual assault in 2018) and done with the first two accusers.

Trevor Bauer has strenuously denied doing anything wrong and has loudly and bluntly claimed that everything that happened between him and his accusers was consensual. He has a legal team behind him who are clearly willing to go the extra mile to punish anyone who says otherwise. Bauer can argue with consent all he wants, but the women who have come forward against him say they didn’t consent, and their state of mind is really all that matters. The Nurse of the Sexual Assault Response Team who testified of the injuries inflicted on the LA accuser, said she observed red and purple bruises around the woman’s genitals and said: “I had never seen that before. It was frankly alarming.”

pawn answer Above all, this was “rough sex” with a woman he “barely knew”. He claims the “disruptive actions and behaviors she described simply did not occur.”

What I’ve realized after following Bauer for a while is that he enjoys harming women. Sexually, physically, socially, professionally, financially. And he’s not afraid to do so publicly, making it more likely that other victims who allege sexual assault by other men will be reluctant to come forward. It seems everything Bauer has been doing lately revolves around discrediting women: his accusers, Molly Knight at The Athletic, me here at Peppystores (some of my reports are mentioned in his lawsuit against G/O Media) . In his world, every woman is after him.

I think all of this is a long-winded way of saying that unless Bauer gets a lengthy suspension, MLB and Rob Manfred will do a lot of damage. Because returning to baseball’s favor means that MLB is putting MLB’s stamp of approval on everything Bauer has done since the allegations came to light. It would be an affirmation (and, I’m afraid, a roadmap for other athletes) to yell at a suspected victim until they shut up and walk away, something we already see far too often in society at large.

Do the right thing, Mr. Commissioner, don’t reward Trevor Bauer for his past behavior. Have him sit out all of 2022 as well.

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