MLB suspends Dodgers’ Trevor Bauer 324 games; a new accuser emerges

Trevor Bauer was suspended for two years by Major League Baseball on Friday, sparking a new front in Bauer’s efforts to fight sexual assault allegations that could keep him off the field well into the season. 2024.

The Dodgers pitcher may pursue an expedited appeal to the league’s independent arbitrator. He cannot play during the appeal process.

Of the 16 players suspended under baseball’s sexual assault and domestic violence policy, Bauer is the first not to agree to a negotiated settlement. He could argue that he warrants no suspension because he did nothing wrong and Commissioner Rob Manfred suspended him for unconventional but consensual sex rather than sexual assault.

“In the strongest possible terms, I deny any violation of the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy,” Bauer said in a statement. “I am appealing this action and expect to prevail.”

In a statement, Manfred said the league’s investigation was complete and he determined that Bauer’s conduct violated policy and warranted a suspension. In statements announcing such suspensions, the league does not disclose the specific conduct that triggered the discipline, in accordance with collectively negotiated policy.

A referee can reduce or cancel a suspension. In 2014, when MLB suspended Alex Rodriguez for 211 games for “use and possession of numerous forms of banned performance-enhancing substances…over several years,” a referee reduced the suspension to 162 games. In 2012, after Ryan Braun was suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, the suspension was overturned by arbitration because testing protocols had not been followed.

Previous suspensions under the policy ranged from 15 to 162 games. Negotiated settlements are not considered precedent, so the league cannot tell a referee that its suspension of Bauer is consistent with previous suspensions under the policy.

However, the policy negotiated with the players’ union calls for sexual assault and domestic violence policies “comparable…in scope and discipline” for team employees, league officials and owners. The league could argue that a precedent was set in 2019 by the four-month suspension of San Francisco Giants president Larry Baer, ​​whose wife fell to the ground after picking up her cellphone during a game. dispute.

Bauer’s case is the first with more than one publicly identified accuser. An Ohio woman has filed for a restraining order against Bauer amid her sexual assault allegations, according to The Washington Post. The claim was later withdrawn, and Bauer’s attorneys dismissed those allegations as “baseless.”

The league would not comment beyond Manfred’s statement and declined to say whether league investigators discussed Bauer’s conduct with a woman beyond those two.

On Friday, after the league announced the suspension, the Post reported that a third woman reported similar allegations against Bauer and had cooperated with the league’s investigation. Representatives for Bauer told the Post that the new allegations were “libelous and baseless.”

The woman said she decided to come forward, the Post reported, “after Bauer denied similar allegations made by two other women and accused them of lying for potential financial gain.”

In a statement, the Dodgers said they cooperated with the league’s investigation and supported league policy. They declined to comment further “until the process is complete,” citing Bauer’s right to appeal.

The Dodgers paid Bauer $38 million last year. His contract calls for him to be paid $32 million this year and $32 million next year. Players are not paid while suspended.

If the suspension is upheld, the Dodgers would be off the hook for the remainder of the contract.

If Bauer was willing to consider a settlement, he could have negotiated for some or all of the 111 games he missed on leave to be counted as part of the settlement. Bauer is quite attractive, and if he loses, he will miss 435 games.

Bauer hasn’t pitched for the Dodgers since June 28, the day before a San Diego woman accused him of sexual assault during two sexual encounters at his Pasadena home. In the meantime, with Bauer on paid leave until the end of last season and the start of this one, a judge denied the woman’s request for an injunction against him, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney refused to press charges against him.

Under baseball’s sexual assault policy, Manfred has the authority to suspend a player for violating the policy even if he is not charged with a crime.

For example, the judge at the restraining order hearing ruled that “the only evidence of anything that happened during [the woman] was unconscious had been kicked on the buttocks,” despite her claims of other injuries sustained while unconscious during the two encounters last spring. The judge also said her injuries, as depicted in the photographs, were ‘terrible’, although she was ‘unambiguous about wanting rough sex when first met and wanting sex more brutal in the second meeting”.

The woman provided medical records in which doctors diagnosed her with “manual strangulation assault” and an “acute head injury” following the second sexual encounter with Bauer. His legal team disputed the accuracy of the medical report. Bauer said that when she left her home after each encounter, “she certainly did not look like the photos that were later attached to her family court statement and released by her attorneys to the media.”

Although the district attorney said he couldn’t prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt, Manfred doesn’t need to meet that standard and assessed Bauer’s conduct against a league policy that defines a non-consensual sex act in part as “when a person uses force…or when the victim is…unconscious or legally incapable of giving consent. The policy states that “a single incident of abusive behavior…may subject a player to disciplinary sanctions”.

Said Bauer: “I never assaulted her in any way, at any time.”

During the restraining order hearing, the judge said the woman had been “substantially misleading” in her written testimony in court.

However, the judge of April 4 refused Bauer’s access request to her cellphone records, which her attorneys say could have shown how the woman enacted “a plan to seek out rough sex so she could later seek to profit from it.” Her lawyers, who had previously denied the woman had sought fame or profit, said the request was simply a way to continue harassing the woman months after the restraining order was denied.

On Monday, Bauer sued the woman, claiming she set him up, filed a false police report, then waged a “malicious campaign” against him that included providing “altered and filtered” photographs of alleged injuries to the court and to the media, leading him to lose “revenue and revenue opportunities provided by his contracts and potential contracts with sponsors and others”.

If the appeal stands, Bauer would receive approximately $41.5 million of his $102 million contract. Bauer could cite that loss in his lawsuit against the woman.

Bauer also sued Deadspin and the Athletic for defamation.

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