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.
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.
Even though the Bros put on a post-All-Star week hitting clinic, the Met’s durag-rockin’ Black Knight from Long Island AKA Marcus “Stro Show” Stroman takes the top spot in Week 15 of our #HighFive list.
1. Marcus Stroman
Marcus Stroman had two very interesting starts this week, but we will start with the one that may be the best of his career:
Wednesday he was both a hit and a walk away from perfection against the Cincinnati Reds. In eight innings he struck out seven batters while only allowing one hit and one walk. What might have been most impressive is he accomplished this in just 90 pitches, on a day the Met’s bullpen needed off in the worst way.
Out of the 26 hitters Stroman faced, he threw a first-pitch strike to 21 of them. He became the first Mets pitcher with an eight-inning shutout allowing just one hit or fewer since Jacob DeGrom in 2016.
His Black Knight partner Taijuan Walker and former Cy Young rotation mate, Jacob DeGrom, got the accolade of being named 2021 All-Stars this season, but Stroman has been the one holding it down with consistency in the rotation.
He is one of 13 pitchers to make 20 starts this season and carries a 2.58 ERA.
Now, to Stroman and the Pittsburgh Pirates executing a classic WWE impression:
"Keep talking shit!" -John Nogowski
"Nobody is fucking talking shit to you!" -Marcus Stroman
After getting Pirates John Nogowski to line out in the fifth inning of Friday night’s game, Stroman pounded his glove and tried to fire up his dugout. Nogowski took exception to that, and after, words were exchanged and the benches cleared. No punches were thrown, but it might not be a good idea to have those two in the same room for a while.
In that game, he finished five innings allowing just two runs and striking out three.
2. Mookie Betts
Lately, Mookie Betts has gotten back to being one of the best hitters in all of baseball and before a hip injury caused him to miss a few days this week, he was on an absolute tear.
In his past five games before only appearing only as a pinch-hitter Monday night, Betts was 12-for-16 at the plate for a .750 batting average. Over that stretch, he had three home runs, four doubles, eight RBI and 12 runs. That earned him a spot on Rob Parker’s Home Boi Highlights.
Ever since Tim Anderson saw his name left off of the original All-Star Game Roster, he became a different animal at the plate, showing why he has a batting championship in his trophy case.
Despite having his 16-game hitting streak snapped on Tuesday, he is batting .323 with three home runs, four RBI, eight runs and two steals. That leaves him currently sitting in 10th place for the league’s batting title.
Baddoo Mania is back, as he has been putting the throttle down on his campaign to win American League Rookie of the Year. Over his last seven games, Baddoo has three home runs, including two during the team’s four-game sweep of the Texas Rangers.
Josh has answered the Bell at the plate lately as he lands the final spot on this week’s #HighFive list. Since June 1st he is one of three National League first baseman to have at least seven home runs and a batting average over .300. The other two being All-Star Starter Freddie Freeman and the Cardinals Paul Goldschmidt.
Bell had a seven-game hitting streak snapped after going 0-for-4 Wednesday but homered in back-to-back games to begin the week.
The Nationals are trying to tread water while trying to get their team back to full strength, but with Bell along with Josh Harrison and former World Series MVP Juan Soto holding down the lineup (and them only being six games back of the Mets for first place in the NL East) they may be in store for a run.
While the first half of the MLB season can seem to drag, the second half is where we really get some quality baseball.
Teams across the league will be making deals up to the trade deadline to strengthen their clubs for a pennant race, and for the MLBbros mentioned below, the remaining games have a lot more riding on them; the postseason.
Betts has been on fire in his last four games. After a perfect 4-for-4 night against Colorado on Saturday, Mookie has 12 hits in his last 16 at bats (.750 BA).
He’s raised his season average from .247 on July 4th to .271 and the second half of the season is looking like a monster mash for Mookie.
That’s good news for the Dodgers who sit one game behind San Francisco in the NL West division, with the Uber talented Padres sitting in the cut, 4.5 games behind LA and ready to make a run.
Dodgers’ fans held their collective breaths when Betts announced he wouldn’t be participating in this year’s All-Star game, but the superstar quickly put all worry to rest.
“There’s no break in baseball, so this is the only time I can really get a break of more than a day,” Betts said.” I just want to use it to the best that I can. I would love to be in the All-Star Game, but I think we all know the goal is to win a World Series.”
That last sentence is exactly what you want to hear from your superstar.
The fact that he’s having a down year by his standards probably played into his decision-making as well. This has been a rough start to 2021 for Mookie on many different levels.
I’m expecting Mookie to take his game to another level and send this team right back to the top of the West.
The Chicago White Sox have lived up to the offseason hype and Anderson is a major reason why.
The White Sox have continued to dominate their AL Central counterparts, despite major injuries to Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and other key players.
With the All–Star and 2019 batting champ at the top of the lineup, the White Sox have been able to maintain the 4th–best run differential in baseball, but will need even more if the want to beat powerhouses like Houston and Los Angeles.
Walker’s two-year, $20 million deal (with a third year team–option for $6 million) has turned into the steal of 2021 free agency, and the Mets have every reason to believe things will continue to get better.
Last season’s American League Gold Glove shortstop made his bat come alive in 2021. He was the biggest All-Star snub this season as he posted a first half statline including 92 hits, 31 RBI, 46 runs a .279 average and a 1.4 Defensive WAR which is the highest in all of baseball.