Trevor Bauer has been accused of sexual assault, the details of which are horrific. A 27-year-old woman has accused Bauer of choking her until she passed out, penetrating her against her will and punching various body parts numerous times. Bauer claims all the acts were consensual, and the claims are currently being investigated by the Pasadena Police Department. So far, the team that employs Bauer is proceeding as if nothing has happened.
A temporary restraining order has been issued to prevent Bauer coming anywhere near the alleged victim. She has provided photos and medical reports to the police that included CT scans of her brain, face and neck. According to the piece in The Athletic, the victim suffered multiple injuries including, "two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face. In the woman’s declaration, signed under penalty of perjury of California state laws, she said that her medical notes state that she had 'significant head and facial trauma' and that there were signs of basilar skull fracture."
(UPDATE: While the woman was initially diagnosed with signs of a basilar skull fracture, a subsequent CT scan didn't find an acute fracture.)
Before Thursday night's game against the Washington Nationals, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts essentially said the team couldn't do anything about the situation. He claimed Major League Baseball told the team it was not allowed to take action against the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner. That almost certainly refers to the team's ability to suspend Bauer indefinitely, which would likely lead to a grievance from the players' union. But Roberts' hands aren't completely tied here.
Bauer is scheduled to make his next start on Sunday, which is July 4. Roberts claims the team is still planning for the 30-year-old to make the start. He absolutely should not see the mound. If the Dodgers can't suspend Bauer, they can skip his turn in the rotation. Do a bullpen day. Send down a reliver to bring up a Triple-A starter. Do something and keep him off the hill.
Roberts previously benched Yasiel Puig for showing up late and not hustling, are we supposed to believe he can't sideline Bauer while he's investigated for an extremely violent sexual assault? Sure he may not be able to actually suspend his pitcher, but he could prevent him from playing.
This smacks of a team trying to get every ounce out of a player before MLB swoops in and suspends him. Then the Dodgers can act appalled at the situation and wash their hands of it. If the league does nothing and the police decline to prosecute Bauer, LA can claim it had to stand by him because he was "part of the family" or whatever, despite the horrific injuries he inflicted on his accuser. It's all a disingenuous, calculated mess and everyone knows it.
Even if Bauer is completely innocent and all of this was consensual, removing him from the rotation temporarily is the right thing to do. In this kind of situation teams need to err on the side of caution. Because if Bauer is, indeed, indicted, the franchise will look exponentially worse for allowing him to pitch.
Bauer has a long history of harassing women online. He's never addressed his actions or expressed any remorse for them. No one should be surprised that he's causing problems for the Dodgers just months into his three-year, $102 million deal.
On Thursday, in the wake of the horrific allegations against him, what was Bauer doing? He was jogging onto the field at Nationals Park with his selfie camera pointed at his face.
Yeah, it really seems like he's taking all of this very seriously.