MLB: Bauer suspended for two seasons
Content warning: This section contains mention of sexual assault.
The GIST: After spending nearly 10 months on paid administrative leave, LA Dodgers pitcher and 2020 National League Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer — who is facing sexual assault allegations — was handed a 324-game (aka two season) suspension by MLB on Friday. Good riddance.
The background: Bauer was first placed on administrative leave in July 2021 after a woman accused him of sexual assault and requested a restraining order against him. She was denied a permanent restraining order in August and the LA County District Attorney’s Office declined to file criminal charges against Bauer this past February.
- But MLB can suspend players even in the absence of criminal charges and decided to exercise that power after speaking with other women — including one woman who came forward last week — who said they had been assaulted by Bauer.
Zooming out: Since the introduction of the MLB and MLB Players Association’s joint domestic violence policy in 2015 (yes, that recently), Bauer’s suspension is by far the longest. In a sport where top players are often welcomed back despite their off-field behavior, it’s a major (and long overdue) shift to see a big-time pitcher face actual consequences.
- The bar is on the floor, but MLB is stepping in the right direction and setting the tone for other leagues (looking at you, NFL) to follow suit.