Welcome to Deadspin’s IDIOT OF THE YEAR festivities! Nos. 50 through 11 are available for your enjoyment here. And our top 10 thus far:
10. Thom Brennaman
9. Ted Cruz
8. Rob Manfred
7. Kyrie Irving
6. Sage Steele
5. Urban Meyer
3. Trevor Bauer
Though this honor used to be named after Trevor Bauer, it’s obvious that he’s an odd fit here. Not that he isn’t a world-class moron — he most definitely is, and he was able to just fool enough people by never shutting the fuck up that they labeled him “quirky” or “different.” This list is supposed to be full of people who accomplished things or became entities we could just laugh at. A town fool kind of thing. Bauer is clearly much more than that. He is dangerous. But then, he always has been.
We already knew that there was perhaps no human on Earth more up his own ass than Bauer. And thanks to the baseball’s media fascination with anyone (as long as they’re white) or anything that doesn’t just spout the normal cliches, no matter how toxic or stupid, Bauer was given all the oxygen he could possibly consume to get even more up his own ass. He could feed on himself unchecked. Even while it was clear that no one who played with Bauer could stand him, and more and more stories got out about how pretty much everyone hated him, broadcasters and writers couldn’t wait to tell us just how “interesting” he was because he built his own pitching lab or used “spin rate” in a sentence.
While Bauer wasn’t wrong about pitchers using foreign substances to increase spin rate, when he blatantly and nakedly started using them himself right before becoming a free agent, it was clearly the actions of someone who never even thought about consequences. Why would he, given the general fawning coverage he would get?
And being handed $40 million a year by the Dodgers certainly wouldn’t have dented his sense of self at all. Losing any sense of self-awareness and being constantly fed doesn’t lead one to have a ton of caring about others.
And we’ve known that Bauer thought of women as nothing more than trinkets for a while too. He couldn’t be more obvious if he just walked around with a flashing neon sash that said, “SOCIOPATH.” It was all there. So for him to allegedly violate a woman (or two) for his own pleasure really isn’t that huge of a shock, even if the details are horrifying. Bauer is a monster, and he was one in plain sight.
Perhaps it’s an indication of the uselessness or problems with MLB’s domestic violence policy that only Bauer may never play again after facing charges, whether he goes to trial or not. He had to be this much of a raging asshole that his teammates and employers want nothing to do with him and no other team could justify signing him (for now). This is what it takes to make crimes like these alleged ones to stick to a player to end his career. Which should happen more often, as we know.
We can’t laugh at Trevor Bauer, and he’ll still be rich however this all shakes out. All we can do is shake our heads at how readily he was promoted and protected, and how much of his success is a reflection of society as a whole.