Jala Norman shines a spotlight on Team USA pitcher and former MLB journeyman Edwin Jackson, who has pitched for an MLB-record 14 squads and grew up all over the map as the son of a military man. She says that experience gives him an edge in Tokyo Olympics.
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.
Millions watched as Giancarlo Stanton lay sprawled out across home plate after getting hit by a pitch in the fifth inning of the Miami Marlins versus Milwaukee Brewers game. The pitch had nailed Stanton in the face, and things weren’t looking good.
With the pitch coming in at 88 mph, the damage was just as bad as it looked. Stanton had suffered multiple fractures in his face as well as facial lacerations that would require stitches.
Despite the setbacks that the injury brought for Stanton’s career, they say that when one door closes another one opens. Stanton was no exception. While the injury ended his baseball season, it began a new season in his life. The injury birthed a passion for giving back and started a new chapter in Stanton’s life as a man dedicated to helping others.
After experiencing firsthand the challenges and stresses that receiving dental care can be, Stanton partnered with Spodak Dental Group, which is a dental office in South Florida. Through the partnership, Stanton and Spodak Dental Group helped elementary students in South Florida receive free dental care throughout the school year.
So why Spodak Dental Group? It is the office where Stanton was treated for his dental needs after that infamous day in September. For anyone to go into a medical office and actually enjoy their experience is a rare occurrence in itself, so Stanton’s affinity for Dr. Craig Spodak and Spodak Dental Group has been unique from day one. He fell in love with the culture at Spodak Dental Group. Pretty soon, he wanted a partnership.
The partnership then got a name: All-Star Smiles. The ultimate goal of All-Star smiles is to fight tooth decay among children in underserved communities. However, not only does the organization aim to help children, but Stanton and the staff at Spodak Dental Group have a goal of making each child’s dental experience as fun and comfortable as possible.
Just like Stanton’s career, the organization and its influence have grown tremendously since 2014. This is in part to Dr. Spodak’s vision of networking across the country and getting other dental offices involved.
130+ kids arriving to Spodak Dental in Delray for free dental care. Part of Miami Marlins Giancarlo Stanton's "All Star Smiles Foundation" pic.twitter.com/pekX2NZUIX
While it is incredibly common to see athletes start different charities and organizations, the unique part about All-Star Smiles is the personal connection that Stanton has with the organization. His season-ending injury birthed an idea that has now served hundreds of children in the United States.
However, the organization also fills in a space that is oftentimes overlooked amongst other nonprofit organizations. Transformational dentistry provides services that help people transform and improve their smiles, a service that Stanton himself has benefited from firsthand. Underserved children have the opportunity to get teeth extractions and other services to improve the overall look and feel of their teeth.
Ultimately, it’s not every day that you see an athlete turn a gruesome injury into a positive that actually ends up helping children around the country. Despite the losses in his personal career after the fateful game against the Brewers, the gains have been much greater.