While it seems much longer, the last time Trevor Bauer pitched for the Dodgers was June 28 against the Giants in Los Angeles. Having gone six full innings and surrendering two runs, Bauer wasn’t fantastic by his typical standards, but he threw well enough to earn his team the victory. When MLB closed for the day, the Dodgers found themselves with a 48-31 record, trailing San Francisco by 2-1/2 games in the NL West division.
Almost seven weeks later, it feels like Bauer isn’t connected to the team at all.
The 30-year-old Bauer has been accused by a woman of choking her until she lost consciousness on multiple occasions, punching her in several areas of her body and leaving her with injuries that required hospitalization, according to a domestic violence restraining order that was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court earlier this year.
The accusations have prompted the MLB to place Bauer on administrative leave until its own investigations, along with those of the Pasadena Police Department, have concluded.
The Second-Place Dodgers
Since Bauer began his administrative leave, Los Angeles has gone 22-15, remaining in steady control of second place in the division. The team made a huge splash at the summer trade deadline in late July, but it still cannot overcome a wave of injuries that have hampered its performance from the early days of the season, particularly in the forms of Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw.
Front-office boss Andrew Friedman was brilliant in his maneuvering to score Max Scherzer and Trea Turner. A secondary consequence of the deal seemingly had a huge public relations effect on the landscape of the team, as a significant amount of attention was pulled away from Bauer and steered more towards the club’s prospective 2021 playoff run.
As with any scandalous story, unwarranted rumors continue to attach themselves to Bauer’s absence. Three weeks ago, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times wrote a story in which he stated, “a majority of players do not want Bauer back under any circumstances.” On Saturday, the Washington Post published a feature outlining an alleged affair Bauer had with a Cincinnati woman who filed a protection order against him last summer.
According to sealed court records and other documentation obtained by the Post, the woman says Bauer punched and choked her without her consent while they were having sex.
Either way, the team has remained quiet about Bauer from the beginning of the saga, although some of his teammates have gone as far as unfollowing him on social media.
On Friday, the MLB extended Bauer’s administrative leave for a fifth consecutive time. Normally, a period of MLB administrative leave lasts seven days, but both the league and players union have consented to the extensions since the accusations against Bauer are still under investigation.
A preliminary hearing will take place Monday to determine whether a restraining order filed by a Pasadena woman will be upheld. The original hearing was scheduled for July 23, but Bauer’s team of attorneys was granted a continuance after claiming it needed more time to prepare for a surprise witness.
At the rate things have been transpiring, the entire ordeal could carry on for a long time, as there have not been any charges filed, which makes everything seem crazy from a chronological perspective.
In the meantime, Bauer continues to collect his salary. He is signed through 2023, which might complicate things for the team down the road, depending on how court proceedings go.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve always been a person who tries to reserve judgement until all the facts are presented. Still, as much as we attempt to stay neutral, we sometimes can’t control how our gut and instincts speak to us. Even if everything Bauer did stands up in court as consensual relations, the idea of how he conducted himself will not sit pretty with many fans of the game, perhaps even labelling him as a villain for life.
No doubt, if Bauer ever does take the hill again at Dodger Stadium, the amount of controversy will be huge. From the beginning, there have been heated political divisions among Los Angeles fans over Bauer’s plight, which is most unfortunate. As it stands, some fans still think that Bauer could return for a potential 2021 playoff run.
However, at the rate the situation is progressing, I feel the chances of Bauer coming back this year are about zero. I think Friedman knew this long ago, hence the deal for Scherzer.
Depending on how things transpire in court, Bauer’s playing days in Los Angeles might be over, as could his pitching career in the MLB.