Rosenthal: The Dodgers’ decision to cut ties with Trevor Bauer wasn’t hard at all

So that’s the risk, if you want to call it that, the Los Angeles Dodgers On friday by making, in my opinion, the right call to sever ties with Trevor Bauer.

the San Diego PadresThe Dodgers’ biggest threat in the NL West, Bauer can now be contracted for a minimum salary of $720,000. The Dodgers will owe the Power the rest of the $22.5 million he’s owed, potentially paying him to beat them to both the division title and the National League pennant.

There is only one logical response: who cares?

All teams want to win. All teams tremble at the opponent’s help. But all too often, professional sports executives have to ask themselves, “Who are we? What do we stand for?”

The Dodgers, up to Friday’s deadline to release Bauer or reinstate him to their active roster, have repeatedly failed to provide adequate answers about the pitcher. Even when they released him, they delayed their decision practically to the last minute because they worried about a potential competitive disadvantage, according to sources who have seen their thinking but are not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

And that was not all. the The Dodgers issued a statement announcing their decision on Bauer, but still have to say they will not tolerate the behavior that led to his suspension. Meanwhile, Bauer issued his own statement saying that the Dodgers’ leadership “told me they wanted me to come back and play for the team this year.” If this is true—and a Dodgers official said it wasn’t—then the Dodgers’ desire to keep Bauer may have hinged on him agreeing to several conditions he may have refused to meet.

The Dodgers selection shouldn’t be that difficult. Honestly, I don’t think it should have been that hard at all. Bauer’s 194-game suspension was the longest served by any player under the ADP Major League Baseball The Players Association. He was accused of beating and strangling several women during sex. He acknowledged such acts, but said they were agreed upon in advance and then demanded during consensual rough sex.

The league, in its notice of discipline to Bauer in April 2022, gave a different account According to The Wall Street Journalwho viewed a copy of the letter. The association said Bauer subjected two women to “violent, non-consensual acts during sex”. The letter also said he choked a third woman to the point of unconsciousness on several occasions, and had sex with her while she was unconscious. The league also cited a defamation lawsuit against one of the women and her attorney as “intimidation or manipulation” and said Bauer made verbal threats against another woman, all actions prohibited under its joint policy.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge One woman’s request was rejected of a restraining order against Bauer. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue charges against him. But two separate bodies, MLB and a neutral arbitrator approved by the league and guild, determined that he violated common policy. The referee supported the suspension of the league, but reduced it from 324 to 194 matches.

The Dodgers did not view the arbitrator’s decision, which, under joint policy, is considered confidential. But how much do they need to know? The woman who requested the injunction filed several times Court photos. In those photos, which Bauer’s team claimed “appeared to be altered,” the woman’s face was visibly swollen and bruised, including under her eyes. Bauer’s unprecedented 194-game suspension was reason enough for the Dodgers to let him go.

However, the Dodgers, the franchise that made Jackie Robinson the first African-American player in the major leagues and now includes former tennis player and socialite Billie Jean King, seemed more preoccupied with fearing Power’s success elsewhere than doing so. The right thing.

Another team may sign Bauer, who turns 32 on January 17, and is seen as a potential minimum salary deal. But Bauer has not played in a major league game since June 28, 2021. He will return to a league that has cracked down on adhesives. And while the Dodgers’ concern about Bauer signing the Padres would appear, on the surface, to be well founded from a baseball perspective, it is also shortsighted. The Padres would have plenty of explaining if they added Bauer when the woman who sought a restraining order against him is from San Diego.

Any club that wants to take a chance on Bauer will inherit all of his baggage. The Dodgers signed him to a three-year, $102 million free agent contract in February 2021 I heard it As a cyberbully, especially towards women. In his inaugural press conference, he said: “I’m doing everything I can to be better. I’m committed to being better on social media, being better on the field, being better at the club, and being better in life in general.”

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman added, “In our conversations, he alluded to past mistakes he made. We walked away from it feeling really good about it. Now, obviously, time will tell but I feel he’d be a tremendous addition, not just on the field, but In the club and society.

How do you work it out?

The alleged actions that led to Bauer’s suspension were far worse than his previous behaviour. However, the Dodgers, right up until the end, acted as if they were passive observers in the process. Their public stance, or lack of one, was on direct contrast to that of Washington Nationalswho in September 2021 made good on their pledge to release player Starlin Castro upon a 30-game suspension for violating the Common Domestic Violence Policy.

Castro, who was nearly $1 million in debt at the time, hasn’t played in the majors since, even though he’s only 32 years old. Bauer owes more money and is more talented, as evidenced by the National League Cy Young Award he won in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. But the team either has a zero tolerance policy or they don’t. With Bauer, it was as if the Dodgers were afraid to admit their mistake.

When the request for the restraining order against Bauer first became public, the The team said at the beginning He would make his next start, deferred to the league, which then placed him on administrative leave. Team boss Stan Kasten made blunt remarks after the sport’s investigation into Bauer began, prompting A reprimand from Commissioner Rob Manfred. Finally, it took the team a full 14 days to determine Bauer’s fate after the arbitrator announced his decision on December 21.

The source stated that holidays were one of the reasons for the delay. The death of Scott Minerd, co-owner Mark Walter at Guggenheim Partners, was another. But for months, the Dodgers knew the decision about Bauer was coming. Why were they not ready to take an immediate stand?

They did just that when they entered into an agreement to acquire Aroldis Chapman from reds In December 2015, he backed out after learning that the mitigator was the subject of a domestic abuse investigation. At the time, baseball writer John Heyman quoted Walter as saying, “Nobody[favored]getting Chapman. It wasn’t (just) ownership.” But Kasten noted that the Dodgers were also interested in the competitive side—a potential indefinite-length suspension for Chapman. “We didn’t know what the results would be,” Kasten said. “There was a lot of reason to be careful.”

the Yankees She acquired Chapman later that month amid the same uncertainty. The league suspended Chapman for the first 30 games of the regular season. the Cubs He acquired him from the Yankees near the trade deadline, then went on to defeat the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series and win their first World Series since 1908 with Chapman playing a standout role.

Could the Dodgers have won that series if they had kept Chapman? Maybe. Do the Cubs and their many fans care that the pitcher’s release from suspension due to domestic violence was part of their feel-good story? Mostly not. All professional sports franchises make compromises in one way or another, and decisions range from uncomfortable to embarrassing.

However, some decisions are very necessary and very important and should not require much thought.

The Dodgers parting with Trevor Bauer qualified, and after that some qualified.

(Photo: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

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