On Baseball: Trevor Bauer is suspended for two years

This was before his biggest dreams began to blossom, and before his career fell apart. This was Trevor Bauer from Cleveland three years ago, over lunch in Cleveland, describing the forces that drove him.

“I want to be a billionaire,” Bauer said, the same way you might order a sandwich. “Not because I care about the money at all, just because it is the highest level of achievement in the business world. That ‘s a marker of a successful business person. So I would like to do it just to do it.

“I want to win three Cy Youngs to do it. I want to win a World Series to do it. When I went to college, I wanted to win the Golden Spikes Award, and when I won it I was like, ‘OK, great,’ and I moved on to the next thing. It ‘s part of what makes me so unhappy a lot in my life, is that I don’t celebrate my successes. I just move on to the next one. “

Bauer would win his first Cy Young Award the following year, for Cincinnati, and then sign a three-year, $ 102 million contract with his hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in February 2021. He pitched for his final game last June, And may not pitch again for a very long time.

Major League Baseball suspended Bauer for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy on Friday. The suspension covers 324 games, without pay, and runs in the 2024 season. Bauer, 31, had been on administrative leave with pay since last July 2, and because he did not reach an agreement on a penalty, he was not paid credit retroactively for time served.

“In the strongest possible terms, I refuse to commit any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer said in a statement. “I am appealing to this action and expect it to prevail. As we have throughout this process, my honor and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings. “

Under MLB’s joint policy with the union, which began in 2015, a player is subject to discipline for “just cause” by Commissioner Rob Manfred even without a conviction or a guilty plea. Bauer’s ban is the longest of the 16 players suspended under the policy, and he will be the first to take his case to an arbitrator. No date has been set for a hearing.

Bauer was investigated by the Pasadena Police Department after a woman accused him of assaulting her during sex in Pasadena, Calif., Early last season. Prosecutors decided not to pursue criminal charges against Bauer, who filed this week against his accuser and his lawyer against a defamation and tortious interference lawsuit.

Bauer’s accuser sought a temporary restraining order against him last June, but a Los Angeles Superior Court officer dissolved it in August, calling for some aspects of the request to be “materially misleading.” The judge noted that photographs of the woman’s injuries were “terrible,” but ruled that Bauer had not exceeded the limits set by rough sex.

Baseball’s investigation did not cover just that incident, but another reported last summer by The Washington Post, which detailed how an Ohio woman had sought a protective order against Bauer after accusing him of punching and choking her without consent during sex. Bauer has called that report false.

Friday’s announcement did not specify how the league determined Bauer had violated the joint policy. But it is a formal declaration that Bauer, for now, is barred from the league he has chosen as the vessel for his life ambitions.

Some of his goals, Bauer has insisted, are designed to help the game thrive; If he were solely in it for himself, he reasoned, why else would he be so public about his training methods? It was, of course, an early adapter and eager promoter using technology to improve pitch design and increase velocity. Early in his career he spent $ 30,000 on a high-speed camera system to use in his personal training.

“The opportunity cost in not investing is way higher than the cost of investing,” Bauer explained in 2015 – and sure enough, he has become very rich, and many of his training tools have become mainstream.

Bauer has also styled himself as a crusader against baseball’s stuffy adherence to tradition. On Thursday he posted a video Of a Pittsburgh prospect, Oneil Cruz celebrated by a homer flipping his bat and checking his wrist – time to end the game? time for a call-up? – On his trot. Bauer announced Cruz was the latest winner of his contest awarding cool stuff for minor leaguers. (He didn’t use the word “stuff.”)

“He turned a boring walk-off homer into the minor leagues that no one would have seen in a shareable moment that everybody gets to see now,” Bauer says in his post. “That’s worth $ 2,500.”

Of course, Bauer also stands to profit by sharing Cruz’s homer: In the post, he is wearing a headband with his personal logo, which sells for $ 25.95 on Bauer’s personal website. That item is sold out now, but the site does have a $ 32.99 T-shirt in stock with this timely slogan: Bring Bauer Back.

Manfred replied that plea on Friday with an emphatic no. For the next two years – barring a successful appeal – Bauer must pursue his billion dollars outside of MLB. It will take a lot of T-shirts to get there.

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