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MLB, please don’t reinstate Trevor Bauer

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Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to make sure Trevor Bauer isn’t back on the mound anytime soon.

Commissioner Rob Manfred needs to make sure Trevor Bauer isn’t back on the mound anytime soon.
Image: Getty Images

Trevor Bauer is going to be reinstated by Major League Baseball at some point. We might as well accept it from the outset. We don’t know when the reinstatement will come. Earlier this week, MLB extended Bauer’s administrative leave through April 22.

No one knows what happens after that, and in fact, the LA Times is reporting that Bauer could argue that the extension to his leave is not binding and there’s a possibility that he could show up at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

What we do know is that allegations of sexual assault and battery, no matter how vicious, are never going to be enough to keep a man from playing professional sports. Look at the long list of men who have been accused and how many of them are still active players. A certain kind of man on Twitter will scream about Ray Rice but, let’s be honest, that had more to do with his declining abilities than punching his wife in the face on camera. Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant, even Antonio Brown all went on to have lengthy and successful careers after allegations of rape.

For the women (and it’s almost always women) who write about athletes accused of sexual assault and domestic violence, so much of this feels like constantly screaming into the void. The allegations are made, the police investigate, someone digs up dirt on the victim, the prosecutor declines to press charges, the player goes on with his life and the whole world forgets, with the exception of the Twitter brigades who are constantly on alert to harass anyone who dares bring up the player’s past sins.

At the same time, we are a country that values the maxim “innocent until proven guilty,” even though that argument seems to be reserved for famous men being accused of crimes, as opposed to, say, alleged Brooklyn subway shooting suspect Frank James. (No one has been yelling about unfair woke mobs and feminazis hellbent on destroying him. Curious!) With the L.A. District Attorney declining to press charges against Bauer, he could be back playing baseball when his current administrative leave stint ends. On the other hand, MLB does its own investigations into allegations against players, and has handed down lengthy suspensions before on cases that were never charged criminally.

The longest suspension we’ve seen MLB impose was on pitcher Sam Dyson, who was prohibited from playing for the entire 2021 season after his ex-girlfriend came forward with allegations that Dyson hurled objects at and injured both her and her cat. We’ll never know what Dyson’s ex told MLB investigators, but it was apparently enough to warrant a season-long suspension.

Trevor Bauer is different, though. Not just because he’s a star pitcher, an ace, the hottest commodity on the trade or free agent market every time he hits it. Bauer also has a large social media following, one that he’s used to harass and bully women and his critics. In fact, an Ohio woman also accused Bauer of sexual assault, including choking and punching her during sex, without her consent. This was way back in 2017, long before the second woman came forward to accuse Bauer of similar claims in 2021. Bauer has denied both allegations, but the Ohio woman got a restraining order against Bauer, in part because of SnapChat messages he sent her (Bauer’s lawyer and agent questioned the validity of the messages):

“I don’t feel like spending time in jail for killing someone,” one message read, according to The Post. “And that’s what would happen if I saw you again.”

In an undated Snapchat message, Bauer allegedly wrote, “Like the only reason I’d ever consider seeing you again is to choke you unconscious, punch you in the face shove my fist up your a— skull f—- you and kick you out naked. And obviously I would never do something like that to anyone. So can’t even enjoy the one thing I sometimes enjoyed with you.”

This is the point where full disclosure demands that I let you know that Bauer is suing both The Athletic, sportswriter Molly Knight (one of the best in the business, in my opinion), Deadspin editor Chris Baud, and Deadspin’s parent company, G/O Media, for defamation related to reporting on the allegations against him. Bauer was practically gleeful in announcing the lawsuits:

In addition to constantly bitching about the media and not being familiar with New York Times v. Sullivan (Google it), Bauer also recently lost a legal motion in which his team sought to obtain the cell phone records of the L.A. accuser, arguing that she made up the allegations against Bauer to profit financially. A significant portion of Bauer’s Twitter feed is him whining about the media making up lies about him (we don’t do that), whining about other things he sees as unjust, or trying to convince people that everyone is out to get him. Oh, and then there’s this:

I’m not sure what kind of “we were both accused of sexual assault and aren’t you mad, bro?” fraternity Bauer is trying to establish here, but it gets to the heart of the real problem with Trevor Bauer, which is his apparent desire to destroy anyone who he feels wronged him, and that includes the women who made allegations against him. His allies? Other men who have been accused of similar things, If you’re looking for contrition or regret or even a “maybe I should be a little more careful in how I interact with women,” you won’t find it from Bauer. Or his agent, Rachel Luba, who provides cover for Bauer by using the tried and true trick of having a woman defend you from allegations of sexual assault.

It’s worth noting that Luba previously representsed Yasiel Puig, who was also accused of sexual assault by multiple women. Puig denied the allegations, (as well as an additional accusation of sexual assault in 2018), and settled with the first two accusers.

Trevor Bauer has strenuously denied doing anything wrong, loudly and crudely claiming that everything that occurred between him and his accusers was consensual. He has a legal team behind him that’s clearly willing to go the extra mile to punish anyone who says otherwise. Bauer can argue consent all he wants, but the women who came forward against him say they did not consent, and their state of mind is really the only one that matters. The Sexual Assault Response Team nurse who testified about the injuries inflicted on the L.A. accuser said she observed red and purple bruising around the woman’s genitals, saying “I had never seen that before. It was frankly alarming.”

Bauer’s response is mainly that this was “rough sex” with a woman he “barely knew.” He claims the “disturbing acts and conduct that she described simply did not occur.”

What has become clear to me after following Bauer for some time is that he enjoys harming women. Sexually, physically, socially, professionally, financially. And he is not afraid to do it publicly, making it more likely that other victims alleging sexual assault at the hands of other men will hesitate before coming forward. It seems like everything Bauer does lately is centered around discrediting women: His accusers, Molly Knight at The Athletic, me, here at Deadspin (some of my reporting is mentioned in his lawsuit against G/O Media). In his world, every woman is out to get him.

I guess all of this is a long-winded way of saying that MLB and Rob Manfred stand to do a lot of harm if Bauer isn’t handed a lengthy suspension. Because allowing him back into baseball’s good graces is putting MLB’s stamp of approval on everything Bauer has done since the allegations came to light. It would be an endorsement (and, I fear, a road map for other athletes) of shouting down an alleged victim until she shuts up and goes away, something we already see far too much of in society at large.

Do the right thing, Mr. Commissioner, don’t reward Trevor Bauer for his past behavior. Have him sit out all of 2022, as well.





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Pedro Porro speaks about Tottenham for first time as flight and medical booked

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I

ncoming signing Pedro Porro has spoken publicly for the first time about his move to Tottenham ahead of boarding a plane to London.

Standard Sport understands the right-back will complete a £39million move from Sporting later on Tuesday, the final day of the January transfer window.

The move was thrown into doubt on Monday after Sporting reneged on the deal by asking for more money, despite Porro having said his goodbyes and with a medical in London booked.

Further talks have revived the transfer and Porro, who was absent from training and understood to be distraught by the hold ups, will now finalise the move on Deadline Day. He spoke to reporters at Lisbon airport on Monday evening.

He told CMTV: “I’m grateful to Sporting, I love the club.

“I didn’t train as I was only focused on the transfer to Spurs but I will always be thankful to the club.”

Porro is expected at Hotspur Way on Monday evening, where he will stay overnight before becoming a Spurs player on Tuesday.



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Derby 0 – 2 West Ham

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West Ham booked a fifth-round FA Cup tie at boss David Moyes’ former club
Manchester United with a comfortable 2-0 win at Derby.

Jarrod Bowen’s third goal in two games gave the Hammers a first-half lead and Michail Antonio headed home their second five minutes after break.

The Londoners made it back-to-back wins after beating Everton 2-0 to climb out of the Premier League’s bottom three nine days go and rarely needed to hit top gear as they halted League One side Derby’s 19-game unbeaten run.

West Ham's Michail Antonio, left, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English FA Cup 4th round soccer match between Derby County and West Ham at Pride Park stadium in Derby, England, Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Image:
Michail Antonio also got on the scoresheet for the Hammers

West Ham boss Moyes now faces a reunion with former side Man Utd at Old Trafford in the last 16 after being drawn to face the Red Devils in the draw just before Monday night’s routine win at Pride Park. The match will take place in the week commencing February 27.

How West Ham eased past Derby

Paul Warne’s side are flying high in fourth place in the third tier and there were high hopes of an upset among the home faithful before kick-off in a Pride Park crowd of 25,308.

Derby forward Tom Barkhuizen wasted no time in breaching West Ham’s defence, scampering clear in the opening minute before his cut-back was scrambled clear.

Bowen shot tamely at Derby goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith soon after, but was not so wasteful in the 10th minute.

Antonio’s ball over the top caught Derby flat-footed and Bowen volleyed home Tomas Soucek’s neat headed pass from six yards.

Derby’s best move of the half saw James Collins volley just off target after Barkhuizen had run on to Craig Forsyth’s dinked pass to pick out the Derby striker with a fine cross.

Barkhuizen and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing offered Derby’s best hopes of getting back on level terms before the break, but they had no shots on target in the first period.

The good news for Rams fans at the break was their side were still in the tie against a top-flight side who were not at their best.

But five minutes into the second period the home side fell 2-0 behind. Derby skipper Curtis Davies’ sliced clearance span into Bowen’s path down the right and his cross was headed in at the far post by Antonio after deflecting off Forsyth.

Warne sent on four substitutes – Eiran Cashin, Liam Thompson, Lewis Dobbin and Tony Springett – soon after and their fresh legs gave Derby a lift.

Haydon Roberts was an inch away from connecting fully with Dobbin’s excellent cross, but the Rams were soon back-pedalling again.

Bowen was denied in quick succession by Wildsmith’s point-blank save and Cashin’s last-ditch tackle before Ben Johnson’s angled drive was kept out by the Derby goalkeeper.

The Rams were full of endeavour until the final whistle and Dobbin was close to being rewarded for an impressive cameo display when shooting straight at Alphonse Areola, but on the night County could not bridge the gulf in class.

Bowen: You’ve got to beat the best to win the cup

Jarrod Bowen said “to be the best you’ve got to beat the best” after West Ham were drawn to face United in the fifth round.

“I found out (about the draw) on the bench. We’ve got Man Utd away so listen it’s never easy and if we want to be successful in these competitions we’ve got to beat the best teams,” Bowen told ITV Sport.

“With respect to Man United they’re a top top team but we’ve been there plenty of times before and you’ve got to beat the best to be the best.”

Bowen added: “It was nice to score against Everton and tonight as well. I think the situation that we’re in, any sort of confidence from any player…

“The last two to be involved with was very good for me but I think for us, two wins on the bounce as well, two good results for us and it’s all about momentum in this game and I think we can use this going forward.”

Warne: We can’t knock the lads

Derby manager Paul Warne told ITV Sport: “In fairness West Ham played a professional performance, at times I thought we went toe-to-toe but I don’t think we did enough to score unfortunately.

“We can’t knock the lads tonight, we asked them to be the best versions of themselves against a Premier League team so not bad.

“But we probably didn’t have enough graft in the final third but I can’t really knock them and we know West Ham haven’t got an easy draw next but I wish them a sincere good luck.

“I thought the lads gave a good account of themselves at times and at times they were punching.”

What’s next?

Derby return to League One action on Saturday at home to Morecambe – kick-off 3pm – before travelling to Wycombe on Saturday February 11; kick-off 3pm.

West Ham’s next game is away to Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.


Saturday 4th February 5:00pm


Kick off 5:30pm

The Hammers then host London rivals Chelsea on Saturday February 11; kick-off 12.30pm.



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NFL’s ratio of Black QBs to Black head coaches is all wrong

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Jalen Hurts

Jalen Hurts
Photo: AP

Marlin Briscoe is smiling in heaven. Doug Williams probably has a huge grin on his face. The first Black starting quarterback in NFL history — Briscoe — and the first Black quarterback to start and win Super Bowl MVP — Williams — are the giants whose shoulders Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts are standing on. And between Rihanna’s halftime performance and the fact that we’re about to watch history made as two Black quarterbacks take center stage in sports’ biggest game — you could make the case that it’s destiny, given that it will all take place during Black History Month.

But, don’t let this moment distract you from the fact that Black coaches are still getting a raw deal at a time in which Black quarterbacks are being elevated like never before. Two things can be true at once, this is why this moment is such a joyous, yet infuriating one.

Sixteen years after we watched Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy make history as the first two Black head coaches to appear in the Super Bowl, we’re watching Mahomes and Hurts do it for Black quarterbacks. But since that February day in 2007, things for Black coaches have seemed to fall apart as they’ve improved for Black quarterbacks.

Eleven Black quarterbacks started Week 1. Now compare that to the three Black coaches who had jobs when the season began — Mike McDaniel doesn’t count, as he chooses to identify as a human being with a Black dad.

When Lovie Smith got fired in Houston, three became two. And as we wait for the remaining hires to be made, there isn’t a track record or feeling that anything will be done in the next few weeks to greatly improve these dismal numbers. We’re at a point in which the league, the owners, and fans are fine with having a Black man be their quarterback — but not their coach.

Over the years, the trajectory for Black quarterbacks has steadily risen in a way that hasn’t happened for Black coaches. By the time we reach kickoff, it will mean that eight Black quarterbacks have started in the Super Bowl. It’s a direct result of evolution over the years. What was started by Fritz Pollard, Briscoe, and Williams led the way for Michael Vick to be the first Black quarterback drafted No. 1 and for Steve McNair to be the first Black quarterback to win MVP — which was followed by Mahomes and Lamar Jackson.

Progress on the field, not on the sidelines

This type of progress isn’t something we’ve seen with Black coaches, though. At roughly this point last year, there were only two Black head coaches in the league — Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh and David Culley in Houston. As we know, Culley would get fired after one season by the Texans and would get replaced by Smith, another Black coach that would be fired after a lone year on the job. Brian Flores’ class-action lawsuit (which was joined by Ray Horton and Steve Wilks) is still hovering over the league. But, you wouldn’t know it the way that Wilks wasn’t able to keep his interim tag — which is a death sentence for Black coaches — with the Carolina Panthers despite doing a wonderful job.

In 2000, Dennis Green (Minnesota) and Dungy (Tampa) were the only two Black full-time head coaches in the NFL. Twenty-three years later, we’re in the same place, but worse. The XFL is just weeks away from rebooting and their eight-team league already has four Black head coaches. It’s a jarring stat that embodies just how big this problem is, despite what Todd Bowles thinks.

“I think the minute you guys stop making a big deal about it, everybody else will as well,” one of the two Black coaches in the league had the audacity to say earlier in the season.

In less than two weeks, a league that’s majority Black will make history when two Black quarterbacks play in a game that will feature entertainment before the game and during halftime from Black performers in a month that’s dedicated to recognizing the contributions to what Black people have made to this country. It will be a joyous occasion.

However, while you’re enjoying the game, I beg of you to ask one question to the company you’ll keep on that day. “If the NFL, America and the world can accept all this Blackness, then why won’t they accept Black coaches?” And while you’re waiting for people to answer that question, realize that “End Racism” was etched on the field all season. 





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