Three hours and 58 minutes after Major League Baseball announced it had suspended him for a record two full seasons for violating its domestic violence policy, Trevor Bauer uploaded his 426th vlog. Titled “I’m Staying Ready To Pitch, See You Soon!,” it shows him kayaking, attending a hockey game and working out. At one point he throws a bullpen session and pronounces himself happy with the results. “Maybe [MLB commissioner Rob] Manfred will at some point let me play again,” he crows. “I’m ready whenever he does!”
If Bauer’s appeal of the suspension is unsuccessful, that day will not come before April 2024. He will be 33 years old and nearly three years removed from his last major league pitch. Bauer, 31, has spent the last decade—when he was not having sex that, at a minimum, made some of the women involved feel violated—seeking fame. He has tweeted and vlogged and sold merchandise emblazoned with his logo. He won a Cy Young award, in 2020, and signed a record contract for a pitcher, with the Dodgers, in ’21. And now, as soon as the Dodgers make the obvious move and cut him, he will be unemployed. Fans should make the obvious move, too: Let’s never think about this person again.
When you must let him enter your mind, make sure it is not as he seems to want to be seen, as a famous baseball player, a champion of freedom and a defender of men, but as he is, a man accused of horrific acts who continues to show no concern for the people who say he hurt them.
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At least two women, one in California and one in Ohio, have sought orders of protection against Bauer after they said he took consensual rough sex too far, choking them during sex without their consent and hitting them without their consent. The California woman also said he anally penetrated her while she was unconscious. A third, who also lives in Ohio, told The Washington Post that he choked her during sex until she passed out, anally penetrated her while she was unconscious and slapped her without her consent. Bauer has denied all the allegations. If he has bothered to wonder why so many of his sexual partners end up pursuing legal action against him, he has kept such introspection to himself. On the contrary, he has sued the California woman for defamation and released text messages from all three.
One of the Ohio women withdrew her request for a restraining order after Bauer’s representatives threatened legal action, according to the Post, and a judge denied the California woman’s petition for a restraining order in August. The court found that her claims were “materially misleading,” and that the only evidence of anything happening while the woman was unconscious was from being “hit on the butt.” The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced in February that it would not press criminal charges. But the women’s testimony apparently made enough of an impact on MLB that Friday, after a nine-month investigation during which he has been on administrative leave with pay, it imposed a record punishment on Bauer, a 324-game ban.
Whatever the details of their encounters, those women and the people who love them will try to find a way to move forward. The Dodgers must reckon with the institutional arrogance that caused them to offer Bauer $102 million over three years. MLB and the players association will navigate the first appeal by a player of a domestic violence suspension since the policy took effect in 2015.
But other than as a case study, just about everyone else can—and should—excise Trevor Bauer from their consciousness. He will not go quietly. In addition to the California woman, he has already sued two media outlets for defamation. And he can’t seem to stop inserting himself in other news stories: In November, after Kyle Rittenhouse, who in August 2020 shot two people dead in Kenosha, Wisc., was acquitted of all charges, Bauer tweeted, “I guess it’s important to know all the facts before jumping to conclusions, huh? Apparently not everything written in the media is true.” In March, after the Browns traded for and gave an NFL record $230 million to quarterback Deshaun Watson, who currently faces 22 civil lawsuits brought by women who said he assaulted them during massages, Bauer tweeted his congratulations. “Happy to see the @nfl and their franchises are allowing you to continue your career after all the BS and lies you’ve been through recently,” he wrote. (Two grand juries in Texas declined to press criminal charges against Watson , who has denied the allegations. Civil suits are still pending.) Bauer sometimes tweets at other baseball players, who do not tend to reply. He will try to keep himself a topic of conversation.
But you can decide what that conversation is about. It’s not about a baseball player who made himself into a star. It’s about a bully who thing to behave badly. So mute him on social media. Ignore his lawsuits and his appeal. Stop giving him the thing he most craves from you: your attention.