GUEST COMMENTARY - So, last Thursday, I (and possibly lots of others) predicted that the Los Angeles Dodgers would DAF (i.e. Designate For Assignment) Trevor Bauer. Surprise...I guessed right, and the Dodgers had until tomorrow Friday to either trade him or release him. Surprise again... as I again predicted last Thursday, they would eat what they still owed to him and just release him outright, which they did earlier today. Not a single other team wanted to trade even a bucket of used baseballs to acquire him.
So, now that the Dodgers dumped him, Mr. Bauer is free to negotiate with any major league club to play next season for the $700,000 league minimum (which is what the lowliest bench warmer earns).
However, the Dodgers might have considered reinstating him if he would have taken my suggestion to do a good deed, which would have greatly improved his tarnished image. Even now, he still can add his name to and promote my created and suggested "Trevor Bauer Anti-Sexual Violence Against Women Agreement". On January 5, in a CityWatchLA article, I explained how that might work. Much like a pre-nuptial agreement, it would hopefully contractually protect women from unwanted sexual or violent behavior by a partner. And again, though I am not an attorney (nor purporting to be giving legal advice), this seems like a potentially useful tool in setting "ground rules" for a new couple, who are seriously contemplating a romantic relationship.
Since Trevor Bauer has shown not the slightest interest in turning this debauchery into something positive, he may unfortunately have sealed his professional pitching fate. Well, to be fair, now that the Dodgers declined to dramatically upgrade their depleted pitching staff, maybe another American or National League team would like to win a whole lot more games.
When you listen to athletes and managers, it's considered "tacky" to hear anyone say they mostly want personal awards. No, the "politically correct" thing is to say, "I care about team wins only". So, if that's the case, how on earth isn't every MLB team jumping through hoops to add Trevor Bauer to their starting pitcher ranks? It's the Dodgers who are still on the hook for the remaining $22.5 millions of his remaining 3-year contract.
So, let's see, any major league team can have a recent winner of the Cy Young Award (which is given to the very best pitcher in each league) for near free??? An incredibly talented pitching addition would probably make some "also-ran" team an instant play-off contender. So, again, how on earth can all these teams seemingly thirst for nothing other than a World Series Championship, refrain from acquiring a "sure thing"? It seems unthinkable that while I'm writing this, multiple teams aren't expressly courting Mr. Bauer and possibly offering him the moon.
So, what the heck is up? "Winning is the only thing" and no one seems to want a once in a life-time deal. Well, I could spend a couple hours writing reasons why every single MLB baseball team will probably consider Mr. Bauer too toxic to touch. But bottom line... Major League Baseball is family friendly entertainment. What ball club wants legions of sign waving protesters outside their stadiums?
Fans screaming about alleged sexual and violent abuse is not a good look. Editorial pages filed with outrage against your team is not a good look. Player wives and girlfriends insisting their partners demand a trade off of your favorite team is not a good look.
A good look would be a Trevor Bauer sponsored and heavily promoted "Trevor Bauer Anti-Sexual Violence Agreement....but don't hold your breath.
(Ken Ross is a former Burbank dentist and UCLA Dental School Associate Professor. Currently, he is Northridge East Neighborhood Council 1st VP and staff writer for Valley News Group and a contributor to CityWatchLA.com)