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On Baseball: Trevor Bauer Is Suspended for Two Years

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

“I need to be a billionaire,” Bauer said, the identical way you would possibly order a sandwich. “Not because I care in regards to the money in any respect, simply because that’s the best level of feat within the business world. That’s a marker of a successful business person. So I might need to do it simply to do it.

“I need to win three Cy Youngs to do it. I need to win a World Series to do it. After I went to school, I desired to win the Golden Spikes Award, and after I won it I used to be like, ‘OK, great,’ and I moved on to the subsequent thing. It’s a part of what makes me somewhat unhappy loads in my life, is I don’t have a good time my successes. I just move on to the subsequent one.”

Bauer would win his first Cy Young Award the next yr, for Cincinnati, after which sign a three-year, $102 million contract together with his hometown team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in February 2021. He pitched his final game for them last June, and will not pitch again for a really very long time.

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

“Within the strongest possible terms, I deny committing any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer said in a press release. “I’m appealing this motion and expect to prevail. As we’ve got throughout this process, my representatives and I respect the confidentiality of the proceedings.”

A season that was doubtful is suddenly in full gear.

Under M.L.B.’s joint policy with the union, which began in 2015, a player is subject to discipline for “just cause” by Commissioner Rob Manfred even with out a conviction or a guilty plea. Bauer’s ban is the longest of the 16 players suspended under the policy, and he will probably be the primary 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 lady accused him of assaulting her during sex in Pasadena, Calif., early last season. Prosecutors decided in February to not pursue criminal charges against Bauer, who this week filed a defamation and tortious interference lawsuit against his accuser and her lawyer.

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

Baseball’s investigation covered not only that incident, but one other 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. A third accusation was reported by The Post on Friday.

Friday’s announcement by M.L.B. didn’t specify how the league determined Bauer had violated the joint policy. But it surely is a proper declaration that Bauer, for now, is barred from the league he has chosen because the vessel for his life ambitions.

A few of his goals, Bauer has insisted, are designed to assist the sport thrive; if he were solely in it for himself, he has reasoned, why else would he be so public about his training methods? He was, indeed, an early adapter and eager promoter of using technology to enhance pitch design and increase velocity. Early in his profession he spent $30,000 on a high-speed camera system to make use of in his personal training.

“The chance cost in not investing is way higher than the price of investing,” Bauer explained in 2015 — and sure enough, he became very wealthy, and lots of of his training tools have turn out to be 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, celebrating a homer by flipping his bat and checking his wrist — time to finish the sport? time for a call-up? — on his trot. Bauer declared Cruz the newest winner of his contest rewarding minor leaguers for doing cool stuff. (He didn’t use the word “stuff.”)

“He turned a boring walk-off homer within the minor leagues that nobody would have seen right into a shareable moment that everyone gets to see now,” Bauer says in his post. “That’s value $2,500.”

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

Manfred answered that plea on Friday with an emphatic no. For the subsequent two years — barring a successful appeal — Bauer must pursue his billion dollars outside of M.L.B. It’ll take loads of T-shirts to get there.

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