The Sports Report: An update on the Trevor Bauer situation
Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.
Mike DiGiovanna on Trevor Bauer: What could be Trevor Bauer’s last public comment in a Dodgers uniform was uttered in frustration as the pitcher stood up to leave a videoconference following a 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on June 28.
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“I can’t believe they didn’t ask me about f — ing Angel Hernandez,” Bauer said, making no attempt to hide his disdain for the much-maligned umpire.
Bauer had pitched well that Monday night, limiting the National League West-leading Giants to two runs in six innings and striking out eight. Nearly halfway through the season, Bauer was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA and a then NL-best 137 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings .
He received a rousing ovation from a Dodger Stadium crowd of 47,835 after escaping a sixth-inning jam, pounding his chest three times and pointing both arms toward fans above the third-base dugout as he walked off the mound.
A day later, a San Diego woman obtained an ex parte temporary restraining order against Bauer in Los Angeles County Superior Court. In the 85-page document, the woman alleged that the pitcher had choked her to the point of losing consciousness during two sexual encounters in the spring and injured her during the second. Bauer, through his representatives, said the encounters were “wholly consensual.”
Three days would pass before Bauer was placed on paid administrative leave — a non-disciplinary action — by Major League Baseball and he has remained there while MLB investigates the right-hander for a possible violation of its joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. Separately, the Pasadena Police Department has continued its investigation of Bauer, launched in May, for possible felony assault.
Already one of the game’s most polarizing players before these allegations, Bauer, 30, has sparked an outcry among fans, some who want the Dodgers to immediately sever ties with the 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner and question why a defending World Series champion signed him in the first place, and some who are concerned about a rush to judgment before Bauer has had a chance to defend himself in court.
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.
Bill Shaikin on the Dodgers: Max Muncy is expected to return to the Dodgers’ lineup for this week’s showdown series with the first-place San Francisco Giants. Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux and Corey Seager will not be back this week, and Cody Bellinger might or might not.
As the final two months of the season approach, the offensive help figures to come from within. The pitching help? This is the week we find out.
The trade deadline looms Friday. Clayton Kershaw and Corey Knebel are expected to return soon, but the Dodgers’ pitching staff could use an external boost.
That became clearer on Sunday, in a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies, when the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect made his first major league start but did not last beyond the fourth inning. And, in a potentially related development on the East Coast, the man who could become the best available starting pitcher in the trade market might have suddenly become available.
Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, has proven he can find an incremental update without a trade. He will give up prospects — although not elite ones — to get a potential difference-maker. In 2017, that difference-maker was Yu Darvish. In 2018, it was Manny Machado.
In 2021, could it be Max Scherzer? His Washington Nationals were swept this weekend by the lowly Baltimore Orioles. The Nationals are in fourth place in the National League East, eight games out of first place, 11 games out of a wild-card spot.
The Giants are looking for pitching too, and talk about a difference-maker: For the Giants and Dodgers, the three-time Cy Young Award winner could be the difference between an NL West championship — and a bye into the division series — or a one-game, sudden-death wild-card playoff.
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Bill Plaschke on the NFL: The serious tweet was the silliest of threats.
It was Arizona’s five-time Pro Bowl receiver DeAndre Hopkins standing up for his right to be dumb.
“Never thought I would say this, But being in a position to hurt my team because I don’t want to partake in the vaccine is making me question my future in the @nfl.”
The tweet was later deleted but still … Hopkins was saying he doesn’t want to partake in a potentially life-saving medical procedure that would safeguard his family, teammates and community? Fine. His future belongs somewhere else other than in the NFL.
Then there was the tweet from the Rams’ league-best cornerback Jalen Ramsey offering support for foolishness.
“I know 2 people right now who got the vaccine but are covid positive…I’m just saying..I wouldn’t look at a teammate as bad if he don’t get the vax, no pressure 5.”
Wrong again. There should be plenty of pressure. Teammates who don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine aren’t just bad, they’re selfish and misguided and dangerous.
As NFL training camps begin this week, our new national pastime is teetering on becoming a national disgrace.
Jack Harris on the Angels: Shohei Ohtani entered Sunday still trying to shake off his slow start to the second half of the season. Through the game’s first inning, Jaime Barria also looked shaky after giving up back-to-back home runs.
But by the end of the Angels’ 6-2 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, a victory that clinched a series victory and got the team back to .500 on the season at 49-49, both players seemed to be back on track.
Barria matched a career-long start by pitching seven innings, not surrendering another run the rest of the game while striking out four.
Ohtani, meanwhile, continued to show encouraging signs at the plate, collecting two hits for a second straight game including a go-ahead home run in the sixth inning — his MLB-leading 35th of the year.
There were other contributors too: Max Stassi had three RBI on three hits, coming up a double shy of the cycle. Brandon Marsh scored two runs and drove in one. Jack Mayfield also had an RBI double and made a couple more impressive plays defensively at third base.
And the Angels’ bullpen held up, with Steve Cishek protecting a one-run lead in the eighth before the lineup piled on three insurance runs in the ninth.
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THIS DATE IN SPORTS
1859 — The first intercollegiate Regatta is held in Worcester, Mass., with Harvard beating Yale and Brown.
1928 — Gene Tunney beats Tom Heeney on a technical knockout in the 11th round at Yankee Stadium to retain the world heavyweight title.
1952 — Bob Mathias wins his second Olympic decathlon in Helsinki, Finland.
1955 — Doug Ford defeats Cary Middlecoff 4 and 3 in the final round to capture the PGA title.
1981 — Pat Bradley shoots a record 279 total to win the U.S. Women’s Open. Kathy Whitworth, who finishes third, becomes the first million-dollar golfer in LPGA history.
1987 — Stephen Roche of Ireland wins the Tour de France by 40 seconds over Spain’s Pedro Delgado. Jeannie Longo of France wins the women’s race, finishing 2:52 ahead of Italy’s Maria Canins.
1992 — Miguel Indurain of Spain, the holder of the yellow jersey as overall leader for the final nine days, rides in the pack to clinch his second straight victory in the Tour de France.
1996 — American swimmer Amy Van Dyken wins the 50-meter freestyle to become Atlanta’s first quadruple gold medalist and the first U.S. woman to win four in a single Olympics.
1998 — Three spectators are killed — the first fan deaths at a major race in the United States in more than a decade — and six are injured by flying debris from a one-car crash at the U.S. 500 at Michigan Speedway.
2005 — Greg Maddux records his 3,000th career strikeout against San Francisco, striking out Omar Vizquel in the third inning of a 3-2, 11-inning victory for the Giants.
2009 — Alberto Contador wins the Tour de France for a second time. Andy Schleck of Luxembourg, Contador’s biggest rival among title contenders in the mountains, finishes second.
2013 — He Chong wins his record-tying third consecutive world title in the men’s 3-meter springboard at Barcelona, Spain, giving China its seventh gold medal in eight diving events. His victories in 2009, 2011, and 2013, matches Phillip Boggs’ record of three titles from 1973-78.
2015 — Christina Jones and Bill May of the U.S. win the first gold medal in new mixed duet technical synchronized swimming at the world championships in Kazan, Russia. The mixed duet is new to the world championships.
2015 — Kyle Busch’s incredible comeback continues with a weekend sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He wins the Brickyard 400 a day after winning the second-tier Xfinity Series race. Busch, who missed the first 11 races of the season with a broken right leg and broken left foot, wins the fourth of the last five Sprint Cup Series races, including three straight.
Greg Maddux gets his 3,000th strikeout. Watch it here.
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