Dodgers need to cut ties with Trevor Bauer amid assault allegations

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated on July 4, 8:30 a.m., to include additional information, clarification and quotes relayed via email from Trevor Bauer’s representatives.

The Dodgers need to release Trevor Bauer. Now — or as soon as contractually possible. It doesn’t matter how well he has pitched for them. There is no place on this team — in this franchise — for him. There’s no statistic, no formula, no anything that could make me overlook Bauer’s transgressions.

I wrote about the initial allegations against Bauer made public on Tuesday. On Wednesday, The Athletic obtained details of the restraining order taken out against him by the victim. Normally, I’d tip-toe around the subject and try to make it as reader-friendly as possible. However, this is not the time for that. It doesn’t do anyone any good to sugarcoat this.

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CONTENT WARNING

There are graphic descriptions of violent sexual encounters. Please be aware.

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From Britt Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic.

“A domestic violence restraining order filed against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer and executed on June 28 includes multiple graphic images from the woman who filed the request. The woman, in the 67-page ex-parte document, said that Bauer assaulted her on two different occasions. Together, the woman said those two incidents included Bauer punching her in the face, vagina, and buttocks, sticking his fingers down her throat, and strangling her to the point where she lost consciousness multiple times. The alleged assaults described by the woman, which are extremely graphic in nature, happened during what she said began as consensual sexual encounters between the two. According to the woman’s declaration attached to the request and obtained by The Athletic, she suffered injuries as a result of the second encounter, including two black eyes, a bloodied swollen lip, significant bruising and scratching to one side of her face. In the woman’s declaration, signed under penalty of perjury of California state laws, she said that her medical notes state that she had “significant head and facial trauma” and that there were signs of basilar skull fracture. She also said that, in one of those incidents, while unconscious, Bauer penetrated her anally, which she did not consent to in advance.”

“The pair first met on Instagram and, after messaging back and forth, on April 21 the woman said she drove from San Diego to Los Angeles to meet Bauer. After conversing, they had sex which she described in the report as initially consensual, which involved Bauer asking the woman if she had ever been choked. She responded yes, “meaning that his putting his hands around my neck and applying light pressure.” She alleges Bauer then began putting his fingers down her throat in an aggressive manner to which she asked him to stop. ‘He stopped, but then without asking me or telling me in advance, he wrapped my hair around my neck and choked me,’ the report states. ‘I lost consciousness.’ The woman says she did not know how long she was unconscious. ‘I woke up face down on the bed, disoriented. I began realizing that he was having sex with me in my anus, which I never communicated that I wanted, nor did I consent,’ the woman said in her official declaration attached to the requested order.”

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: What I assume is Bauer’s public relations firm reached out to me and requested clarifying information and corrections. The Athletic has updated their article, where the above quote is from, to read as follows:

“After publication, Trevor Bauer’s representatives emphasized that medical records showed that while the woman was initially diagnosed with signs of a basilar skull fracture, a subsequent CT scan found no acute fracture.”

There is so much more that I didn’t include here, so I recommend you read the entire piece for yourself, if you haven’t already. I don’t think I’ve ever had that visceral a reaction to the written word as I did with the graphic details of this. It’s sickening.

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: The temporary restraining order is an ex parte, which doesn’t allow the accused party to respond. Instead, the party being accused is made aware and a formal hearing — set for July 23 — is where and when the accused can respond to the allegations. Bauer’s representatives “confirmed they plan to refute and defend him against the allegations at this hearing.”

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Far be it from be to judge what consenting adults do in the bedroom, but it’s quite clear that — at some point — there wasn’t continued consent (which can be revoked at any time) because there was no chance for the woman to continue to consent … you know, because she was literally unconscious.

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: The previous paragraph has been updated to include “continued.” Also, Bauer’s representatives want it known that, “As per our statement on Tuesday, Bauer and [redacted] had a two-time consensual sexual relationship. By no means does that imply or affirm that the entirety of her allegations in her uncorroborated and unsubstantiated civil court temporary ex parte restraining order petition occurred or that we acknowledge they occurred.”

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: Sheryl Ring at Beyond the Box Score wrote about consent when it comes to this specific case regarding the text exchanges between Bauer and the alleged victim.

With this background, you probably now see what the problem is with the text messages released by Bauer’s team…and why they haven’t yet used them in a court proceeding. First, the messages essentially confirm that some sort of encounter occurred and that violence was involved. Second, they do not, in and of themselves, constitute consent for either encounter; at best, they constitute ratification of the first encounter only. Flirtation, in and of itself, is never consent. Third, nowhere do the messages mention punches or concussions, which means that even if Bauer’s victim consented to rough sex and choking, those messages don’t excuse the concussive blows. And fourth, Bauer admitted to performing sex acts on his victim without her knowledge whilst she was unconscious, and she cannot legally consent to those acts.

I’m not going to claim I or anyone knew Bauer would, allegedly, end up doing something far, far worse to a woman than he had already done in his past. But this isn’t a new pattern. The progression from verbal/online harassment to physical violence — sexual or otherwise — is not surprising.

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: The previous paragraph has been updated to include “allegedly.” Bauer has not been charged with a crime.

I’m also not going to claim to be an expert when it comes to this subject. From a layman’s point of view, the acts described in the woman’s declaration seem on the extreme side of the rough sex spectrum. This may or may not be the first time something like that has happened with Bauer and a sexual partner. Regardless of that, if a couple or group of people is going to engage in these types of sexual acts, there is usually a lot of communication and both/all parties are on the same page, and it’s difficult to be on the same page when one of the parties is unconscious. This article from Healthline.com breaks it down well, while this article from Women’s Health echoes a lot of the same points. It seems, with the information that is public, that this was not that kind of situation.

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If you’re going to say “we have to hear both sides” or “let the legal system work its way out,” then you haven’t been paying attention to the way the legal/justice system has (or hasn’t) been working. The woman has nothing to gain by doing this. I cannot imagine the horrors she has faced, is facing and what she will face in the future. Her well-being is the most important aspect of this entire situation. I don’t give a shit about his stats, the Dodgers’ rotation, their number of wins — none of it. There are more important things than baseball.

Update, July 4, 8:30 a.m.: Bauer’s reps want it noted that “.. these are uncorroborated and unsubstantiated allegations in a temporary ex parte restraining order petition in civil court that bears no influence or relation to criminal court.”

And the Dodgers need to be held accountable for this mistake of a signing. Stan Kasten, Andrew Friedman, et al, all had input on this signing. They chose to look the other way or claim they did their due diligence or whatever talking points they used during Bauer’s introductory press conference. Some tangentially connected to the team and some fans chose to excuse his previous harassment of women as “trolling.” Others saw all the warning signs and red flags and implored the Dodgers not to sign him (for whatever that was worth, which wasn’t much). And yet, here we are.

The Dodgers don’t need him. Baseball doesn’t need him.

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If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, abuse or intimate partner violence, there are resources available such as the National Domestic Violence Hotline — 1-800-799-7233and RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) — 1-800-656-HOPE.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosted a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He was a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times and True Blue LA. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.