Playing on Trevor Bauer Is Not the Dodger Manner

LOS ANGELES — What a large number. What an terrible, ugly mess. And what a stain on baseball and one among its most venerable groups.

As he sidled subsequent to his lawyer at a downtown Los Angeles courtroom final week, Trevor Bauer, the polarizing pitching star for the hometown Dodgers, wore the centered look of a person who knew his future was on the road.

Roughly 40 ft away, seated at a slim desk in entrance of a decide, sat the 27-year-old lady who has accused Bauer of sexual assault, a cost he vehemently denies.

It was Aug. 19, the final day of an almost weeklong listening to in Los Angeles Superior Courtroom to determine the girl’s request {that a} non permanent restraining order positioned on Bauer be made extra long run.

When the Dodgers signed Bauer to a three-year, $102-million contract in February, they willfully appeared previous his bristling character, his status as a me-first clubhouse most cancers, his penchant for bullying on-line habits, his objectification of ladies, and even his personal evaluation that he’s good at two issues: “throwing baseballs, and pissing individuals off.”

Bringing on Bauer was an odd and grasping gamble for a workforce that had simply gained the World Sequence. Already loaded with expertise, Los Angeles needed further ammunition for its quest to repeat as champion. Bauer, who gained the 2020 Nationwide League Cy Younger Award with Cincinnati earlier than turning into a free agent, after all, appeared to supply simply that.

However because the workforce continued to jell throughout the again half of this grinding season, Los Angeles’s star pitcher discovered himself sitting earlier than a decide on the Stanley Mosk Courthouse.

This was not a felony trial meant to determine innocence or guilt. With a police investigation nonetheless underway, such a continuing could come later — or it could not. As an alternative, the listening to would determine whether or not to increase the restraining order positioned on Bauer in June.

Bauer pleaded the fifth in order to not incriminate himself. However his accuser’s testimony was so disturbing that I’ll give solely the shorthand.

She described being punched, bruised and bloodied. She claimed that in intercourse Bauer strangled her to the purpose that she handed out, and that she was assaulted whereas unconscious.

Bauer’s lawyer denied few of her claims however described the encounter as tough intercourse that the girl had consented to. Not assault. The decide, taking the view that Bauer won’t pose a menace to his accuser sooner or later, canceled the restraining order altogether.

Bauer, although, continues to face severe penalties. Police in Pasadena, Calif., the place the assault is claimed to have occurred, are nonetheless investigating. The Los Angeles County District Legal professional might nonetheless press felony prices.

Main League Baseball positioned Bauer on paid administrative depart shortly after the accusations grew to become public. Even when no felony prices are introduced, it may hand down a prolonged suspension based mostly on its home violence prevention coverage, maybe so long as a season or extra.

Commissioner Rob Manfred’s response will inform us all we have to find out about baseball’s priorities. Does it condone Bauer’s actions that evening, consensual or not?

Does it take severely ladies who say they’ve been sexually assaulted?

Does it have the heart to take a stand?

The evening after the listening to, a mere three miles and a world away from the tense downtown courthouse, followers streamed into the gilded baseball temple referred to as Dodger Stadium.

When the season started, the sport in opposition to the Mets had been slated as Trevor Bauer Bobblehead evening. Then got here the accusations of brutality. The Dodgers backpedaled. They stopped promoting their new pitcher’s attire of their workforce outlets. The Bauer Bobblehead promotion was changed by a Clayton Kershaw T-shirt giveaway.

What timing. Kershaw has been the workforce’s ace for years. He’s thought to be one among baseball’s most excellent residents, with a picture of humility and rectitude. His basis helps the poor and susceptible. For followers of the Dodgers, he can do no improper. In different phrases, he’s the anti-Trevor Bauer.

“He represents what the Dodgers are presupposed to be about,” stated one of many workforce’s longtime followers, Kevin Fernandez, as he waited for the sport to start. “Bauer? He ought to by no means play for this workforce once more. He mustn’t have been right here.”

In July, when the Dodgers visited the White Home to have a good time their 2020 World Sequence win, President Biden spoke of the workforce’s deep which means. “The Dodgers are much more than a baseball membership,” he stated to an assemblage of the workforce that didn’t embody Bauer, absent as a result of he was not on the championship workforce. “They’re a pillar of American tradition and American progress.”

The president went to hail a small however important slice of Dodgers greats: play-by-play announcer Vin Scully. Sandy Koufax. Fernando Valenzuela.

“Above all else,” he stated, “the guts of Jackie Robinson.”

The Dodgers aren’t simply any membership. Within the final century, they stood on the vanguard of civil rights in sports activities. Mythology developed round them, handed down by means of a long time of consistency: The Dodger Manner, which suggests not simply profitable, however profitable with class.

Bauer, 30, has all the time been an immense expertise, however class has hardly been his calling card. One instance of many: The time he responded to on-line criticism from a school scholar by repeatedly baiting and tagging her on social media. He’s savvy sufficient to know what would occur subsequent: The coed confronted days of brutal on-line assaults from his social media followers.

One other occasion: A Washington Publish investigation lately discovered that an Ohio court docket granted a short lived restraining order in opposition to Bauer to a girl who says she was threatened by him in 2020 when he performed for the Cincinnati Reds.

Bauer and his brokers have denied the allegations.

His Los Angeles teammates have saved tellingly quiet about his absence. They don’t seem to overlook him, or want him.

Not after final month when the Dodgers brass, as if contrite, traded for Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer, a workhorse star greater than able to filling Bauer’s sneakers.

The workforce has been on a tear ever since. They entered the sport in opposition to the Mets nipping on the heels of the San Francisco Giants for the highest report within the N.L. West. They jumped on the Mets early and coasted to a seventh consecutive win.

Sitting within the low-cost seats, I took be aware of the additional measure of Kershaw jerseys — and the way the stands have been dappled as nicely by Dodgers T-shirts and duplicate blue-and-white jerseys that includes the workforce’s greats of the previous and current.

Steve Garvey’s No. 6. Justin Turner’s 10. Valenzuela’s 34.

In fact, Jackie Robinson’s 42.

I didn’t see any followers carrying Bauer’s 27.

He has, for now, been excised from the temple.

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