The Sunday Brief: Top Storylines to Follow This Week

All the stories you need to follow this week in the MLB.

Well, you probably know what the lead story is today, and it has nothing to do with Spider Tack. The majority of this post is about Trevor Bauer. A sexual assault content warning applies for this entire post.

 

Trevor Bauer

 

MLB has dealt with some major crimes this year: Roberto Alomar and Mickey Callaway were banned from MLB due to sexual harassment and assault, while Marcell Ozuna is awaiting trial for domestic abuse. Meanwhile, players like Odúbel Herrera, Domingo Germán, Julio Urías, and Aroldis Chapman — who’ve all served suspensions for domestic abuse — continue to play and even be the face of MLB. This week, The Athletic revealed that Trevor Bauer — one of the highest-paid players in MLB with nearly half a million followers on Twitter and a small media empire to his name — is being investigated for sexually assaulting and battering a woman in April of this year. For details on the allegations, please read The Athletic article. The article is graphic and shocking

Trevor Bauer denied the allegations, although his agent and lawyer promptly posted texts that they claimed to be from Bauer and his victim, where the victim implied consent for some of Bauer’s actions. Although the texts are unverified to be from either the victim or Bauer and should not be considered legal evidence, two things should be noted: A) both the police report and the texts indicate that Bauer rendered the woman unconscious, at which point consent cannot be willingly granted, and B) giving people to consent to commit a crime does not justify the crime. Because both Bauer’s agent and lawyer tweeted the image of the texts, it’s assumed by the public that Bauer’s defense would be along the lines of, “she told me to be rough.” I’ve redacted the next part that I was going to write because the site managers want to keep articles on this topic at a PG-13 rating.

Despite the police investigation and the revealing evidence from Bauer’s agent and lawyer, MLB took zero action against Bauer in the first few days. Bauer continued to appear at Dodgers games and was recording media for his vlog. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts claimed that the choice to bench Bauer was “out of his hands,” despite Roberts having previously benched players like Cody Bellinger for not running hard enough on deep fly balls. On Friday afternoon, MLB placed Trevor Bauer on administrative leave.

Bauer’s actions do not come as a surprise to many fans. Fans had long known that Trevor Bauer harassed women online, and that he did it multiple times to multiple women, and he even got a respected female member of the baseball community put in Twitter jail when she dared make a thread cataloging Bauer’s many attacks. When Bauer was a free agent this past winter, many teams refused to sign him because of his toxic online presence. The Dodgers seemed like a natural landing spot for Bauer, as a team that featured domestic abuser Julio Urías and Justin Turner, who joined his teammates after the World Series win while knowingly positive for Covid-19.

If you are in an abusive situation or need assistance, the national hotline for help is 1-800-656-4673. You are loved and deserve love.

Santiago Suspended

 

While Trevor Bauer continued to take the field and while all the can-banging Astros have continued to play, Héctor Santiago of the Seattle Mariners received a 10 game suspension for an inappropriate grip enhancer found on his glove. Or, at least we think there was a grip enhancer on his glove. Turns out, MLB never actually tested Santiago’s glove, but still levied the 10 game suspension, which was more severe than any Astros player received for cheating, and more severe than the suspensions leveled against players for fighting and intentional targeting. Santiago is appealing the 10-game suspension that is currently more punishment than Trevor Bauer is receiving.

 

USA Baseball

 

The Olympics are about 3 weeks away, and the United States will be represented by a combination of minor leaguers and major league veterans who no longer have a job. Some minor leaguers who are thought to be on the docket to arrive in MLB in the near future were excluded from the team. Meanwhile, MLB vets like Todd Frazier, Edwin Jackson, and Scott Kazmir will travel to Tokyo to help the US pursue a gold medal. It should be noted that 83% of the Japanese population doesn’t want the Tokyo Olympics to go on, as the country is in the middle of a Covid-19 emergency. The vaccination rollout in Japan has been extremely slow, and the teams that are arriving have already tested positive for the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, which is the most virulent and damaging form of the virus known so far. Best wishes for the health and safety of the Japanese people and the Olympians who compete there.

 

Timeline Cleanser

 

Let’s clean the timeline before we let you go. Here are some highlights of Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Brett Phillips warming up and taking the field to be a reliever this past week:

All right, friends, that was a hard one to write, and I bet it wasn’t pleasant for you either. Be a beacon of loving-kindness for yourself and the world right now, and we’ll check in next week.

 

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Blair Williams

Blair holds a PhD in Japanese history and is the author of "Making Japan's National Game: A Cultural History of Baseball." He's a fan of sci-fi, prog metal, and sipping rums.

One response to “The Sunday Brief: Top Storylines to Follow This Week”

  1. Alec Owen says:

    Turner’s taking the field with the COVID protocols shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as those other really serious crimes.

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