If baseball fans out there are feeling just a touch more exuberant, or looking in the mirror and thinking they’re having a good day — or maybe had the motivation to add just one more rep or set to their workout this morning — there’s a reason for it. We, as a society, have successfully punted Trevor Bauer out of our country!
While not being an actual deportation (and only a deportation via catapult onto a garbage ship would have seemed appropriate) It seems Bauer couldn’t find any employment opportunities on these shores. Or at least none to his liking, so he’ll be signing in Japan with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of the Japanese Central League. He’ll earn 4 million yen — roughly $3 million USD, according to the current exchange rate — which is obviously far too much but should keep him pretty deep in live toads and grubs to eat.
Bauer’s thoughts on Japanese culture ought to be a real treat, as we know there isn’t ever a thought he can keep to himself. He’ll also likely put up gonzo numbers there, which is probably his hope. Ideally for Bauer, he will put up stats so eye-catching that, come next winter, some MLB team will talk itself into giving him a deal through some rationalization involving time passing, his talents, whatever fake contrition he’s able to cobble together (maybe), and some farcical babbling about his dedication in going overseas for a year.
It’s honestly shocking that no MLB team did so this offseason, and is some measure of just how toxic Bauer has come to be. This is still an All-Star level pitcher that basically could have been had for as close to free as possible, with what the Dodgers are on the hook to pay him and the sheer nuclear waste of a personality and behavioral traits that Bauer comes with. It almost certainly wasn’t the misconduct Bauer was accused of (he was never charged and denies engaging in misconduct) that soured MLB teams on him, because there are plenty of players suspended for allegations of domestic violence on major league rosters these days. But it seems that the fact that so many of Bauer’s former teammates have come to revile him, as well as this bizarre statement he issued that appears to be misleading at best, were enough to convince 30 MLB teams that the trouble certainly wasn’t worth it.
It’s not the California Penal League, and Japanese baseball and its fans certainly don’t deserve what’s about to be inflicted upon them. But there are times when you simply have to say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys.” We can finally do that with Bauer. Can’t wait to find out who he decides to sue over there.