Sexual assault allegations against Dodgers pitcher: 3 revelations from The Times’ Trevor Bauer expose
Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, July 27. I’m Justin Ray.
Trigger warning: This newsletter discusses sexual violence.
I’m not a big sports person. But Times sportswriter Mike DiGiovanna published a deep dive into Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer that captivated me. Bauer’s career is in free fall after a woman alleged he assaulted her over the course of two sexual encounters. Through his agent, Bauer has denied the allegations, saying the encounters were consensual.
Bauer has been placed on paid administrative leave — a non-disciplinary action — by Major League Baseball and he has remained there while the organization investigates whether he violated its joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Meanwhile, the Pasadena Police Department is conducting a separate investigation for a possible felony assault charge.
Three revelations from DiGiovanna’s reporting stood out:
- The allegations have turned Bauer into a “pariah in his own clubhouse.” None of his teammates have spoken publicly about him or come to his defense. But DiGiovanna gives us a glimpse of what’s happening behind the scenes: “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.”
- Bauer was a controversial choice from the beginning. “He had a history of harassing and bullying women online, mocking transgender people and spreading conspiracy theories,” DiGiovanna writes. But his durability and dependability allowed the team to overlook his internet controversies. A prolific Twitter, Instagram and YouTube user, Bauer hasn’t posted on social media since the allegations surfaced.
- Bauer’s case also raises questions about the team’s vetting process and decision to hire him. Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers president of baseball operations, said background checks included conversations with Bauer’s former teammates, coaches, clubhouse personnel and athletic trainers from Arizona, Cleveland and Cincinnati, where Bauer previously played. Additionally, Friedman and team President Stan Kasten had multiple conversations with Bauer about his use of social media.
DiGiovanna explains a lot more in his piece, including the disturbing allegations against Bauer, a text-message exchange that Bauer’s representatives provided to The Times, and the Instagram post that started everything. You can find the full story here.
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day at (800) 656-4673.
And now, here’s what’s happening across California.
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A city grapples with ‘dehumanization and injustices’ in its past. More than a century ago, Antioch was home to Chinese people until white residents burned their neighborhood to the ground. Officials have recently acknowledged the past injustice by apologizing to early Chinese immigrants and their descendants. The city will also create a Chinatown Historic District and fund murals and museum exhibits commemorating the city’s Asian history. Reporter Anh Do explains what we know about the events that took place before the burning, and the mayor at the center of the city’s reckoning. Los Angeles Times
Dixie fire scorches nearly 200,000 acres, doubling in size in days. What’s become the 15th largest fire in California history has doubled in size in less than a week, destroying homes in its wake. The massive Dixie fire burning in Butte and Plumas counties, north of Sacramento, had ballooned to nearly 200,000 acres Monday morning, according to an incident report. It is 22% contained. More than 5,400 personnel are attacking the blaze around the clock, laying containment lines and adding contingency lines as a backup. Los Angeles Times
Restaurant calls for unvaccinated diners in rebuff of COVID precautions. Some establishments require proof of vaccination. Well, Basilico’s restaurant in Huntington Beach is asking for proof that patrons have not been vaccinated. “We have zero tolerance for treasonous, anti-American stupidity,” a sign on the Italian restaurant reads. Los Angeles Times
POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT
Gov. Gavin Newsom denounced high-profile conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in a rare public rebuke as COVID-19 again spreads in California and adds political pressure on the governor ahead of the recall election. “We’re exhausted by the right-wing echo chamber that has been perpetuating misinformation around the vaccine and its efficacy and safety,” Newsom said Monday. Los Angeles Times
California state and healthcare employees will soon be required to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 — with those who remain uninoculated subject to a regular testing regimen, officials announced Monday. The new guidance is not a vaccine mandate, the likes of which have been announced for municipal workers in some areas of the state, but effectively removes the “honor system” in which some workers were able to self-attest to their vaccination status. Los Angeles Times
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HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Ramil, a 9-year-old male snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo, has tested positive for the coronavirus, the facility said. Zoo staff first tested the animal’s stool for the virus after noticing last week that he had a cough and runny nose. In a statement, the zoo said keepers are monitoring Ramil and that his symptoms haven’t progressed. San Diego Union-Tribune
California’s weed is the Beyoncé of ganja. A new Bloomberg report explains that California weed has national recognition for being in a league of its own, making it well positioned to dominate the market if/when it becomes federally legal. “Californian product will be like Napa wines,” said Kyle Kazanan, chief executive of Santa Barbara-based weed grower Glass House Brands. Kazan notes that in New York’s illicit market, some products are labeled as California brands — and they are more expensive. Bloomberg
Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport is getting nearly $55.5 million from the federal government to help it recover from COVID-19. The grant funding comes from the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9-trillion economic stimulus bill passed by Congress to help the nation recover from the pandemic. President Biden signed it into law in March. The city-owned airport saw a 53% drop in passengers in early April of this year compared with before the pandemic. KRON4
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Los Angeles: It’s gonna be a hot one! 93. San Diego: Good weather for a hike! 78. San Francisco: Cloudy, 75. San Jose: 86. Fresno: Girl, dis tew much. 103. Sacramento: 97.
Today’s California memory is from Ruth Deshazer:
I have only pleasant memories of my youth in Glendale in the 1950s.... Coyotes at night up in the dry reservoir behind our hillside home; trips to Baskin-Robbins in Pasadena for Sunday evening ice cream cones (in our pajamas); watching reels of film at a neighbor’s home showing “The Flintstones” before their TV debut; sea urchins at Catalina Island where we floated around on see-through rafts.... It was the Golden Age of Southern California and I miss it!
If you have a memory or story about the Golden State, share it with us. (Please keep your story to 100 words.)
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