Mookie Betts and many baseball fans around the country have one major thing in common: they have a ton of respect for Trevor Bauer’s accolades.
Forget the controversial social media posts regarding touchy subjects such as racism and political conspiracies.
Forget about the allegations of him using social media to harass women. Bauer is a Cy Young Award winner, and for some, that was all that mattered.
Last February, as talk buzzed about the Dodgers signing Bauer, Betts said in an interview that getting a Cy Young Award winner “would be exciting.”
When asked about Bauer’s controversial past actions, Betts gave the human answer.
Bauer’s past didn’t worry him. At the time, he said he felt the Dodgers knew what they were signing up for.
Bauer had the talent and the accolades to make so many willingly turn a blind eye to his poor character. Betts could have used that interview to acknowledge that Bauer was wrong, without necessarily chastising Bauer before the season even began.
However, Betts chose to simply state what was so painfully obvious already.
The Dodgers wanted to win, and anyone who could help them win was a justified addition to the team.
No questions asked. Internet trolling was nothing more than that.
Controversial tweets posted in a shameless manner couldn’t possibly be a small reflection of someone’s character. It’s almost as if there was no reason for Betts, or anyone else on the team, to embrace Bauer as a new teammate while still acknowledging right from wrong.
Fast forward to 2021, and the actions of Bauer have every member of the Dodgers organization tongue tied.
The star pitcher is currently under criminal investigation for sexually assaulting a woman, and the allegations are backed up by significant evidence. The Pasadena Police Department even admitted that this investigation is a lot bigger than what anyone initially thought. The highly decorated pitcher is now on leave, which was administered by Major League Baseball.
No active Dodgers player has spoken publicly about the new allegations or criminal investigation surrounding Bauer. There is no telling how Betts, or any other player in that locker room now feels about having Bauer as a member of the team.
Majority of Dodgers players do not want Trevor Bauer to rejoin team, per reporthttps://t.co/38hV6Z7MIJ
— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) July 26, 2021
Bauer’s career is in jeopardy, and his stay with the Dodgers could be over, the sexual-assault allegations having turned a pitcher in his prime into a pariah in his own clubhouse, where no teammate has spoken publicly about him or come to his defense. Two people with knowledge of Dodgers clubhouse dynamics, who are unauthorized to speak publicly about the situation, said that a majority of players do not want Bauer back under any circumstances.
Many members of the team, including Betts, have unfollowed Bauer on social media. Nevertheless, social media follows are all up for interpretation; either you read into them or you don’t.
We might never get another quote from Betts about anything Trevor Bauer related. If not, there is no reason to hold Bett’s past comments over his head forever.
However, the words by Betts, along with the actions from the Dodgers organization in itself, highlight a common issue: so many people are too eager to let accolades be the justifying factor in giving an athlete the benefit of the doubt as it regards to their character.
No one would have guessed that the Dodgers would be in this situation after signing Bauer. It doesn’t change the fact that the point still stands. It is easier to get your past actions forgiven, or in Bauer’s case, completely ignored if you are an accomplished athlete.
At the same time, the wheels of justice move slowly but they do move and eventually we will know the fate of Trevor Bauer.