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For His Old Team, Bauer Was Addition By Subtraction of Distraction

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Cy Young Winner May Be In For a New Nickname, Such as Trevor "Pound Her"

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Roy Clark turned the sentiment into a Top Ten country hit, when he said “Thank God and Greyhound She's Gone.” Substitute the bus for the term free agency and make the pronoun masculine, then you have the feeling the front office of the Reds is experiencing at the latest news besetting baseball.

When they saw the first Cy Young Award winner in the history of the organization sign a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers last winter, Cincinnati's brass had to fret over his departure. After all, the club had finished just two games over .500 and barely squeaked into the expanded postseason, so trying to return to the playoffs minus your pitching ace would be an unenviable task.

Yet the Reds have a slightly better record halfway through the season without the services of Bauer, which points that the right hander's presence has made little difference in the success while saving the club a lot of money. While Bauer is making $40 million this year for the Dodgers, the Reds are in second instead of the third place where the Cy Young winner had left them.

The Reds smartly decided not to shell out a contract that averaged to $1,250,000 per start for Bauer, especially since he went just 5-4 last year. He has won seven of twelve decisions so far for L.A. but, because of the recent controversy, Bauer may be getting fewer than the anticipated 32 starts.

His career has been halted by MLB, which has begun an investigation about accusations a female has made concerning the defending Cy Young winner. The woman claims Bauer physically asaulted her in April, offering photographic evidence of bruises on her body.

“Mr. Bauer had a brief and wholly consensual sexual relationship initiated by the woman beginning in April 2021,” stated Bauer's attorney Jon Fetterolf. “We have messages that show the woman repeatedly asking for rough sexual encounters involving requests to be choked out and slapped in the face.”

Even if the woman did initiate the relationship, the episode still reflects negatively on Bauer. The fact that he would agree to such sadistic behavior is bound to follow him from city to city, exposing him to callous greetings from fans of the opposing teams.

As defending World Series champions with a huge market and deep pockets, the Dodgers will probably be able to compensate for any absences or distractions around Bauer. Such would not have been the case had the Reds decided to break the bank to keep their ace.

Not only would they be much poorer, but they would also have to try to compete without Bauer's services for what looks to be a long period of investigation. Too, the controversy would be magnified in the small town of Cincinnati, which does not offer the news stories that change daily in the City of Angels.

To his credit, Bauer has seemed to thrive on controversy in the past. Through Twitter he has boldly challenged some of baseball's authorities and traditions, but he has continued to develop as a star pitcher.

Prior to his Cy Young season, Bauer drew disfavor in Cleveland when manager Terry Francona pulled him from a game. The irate pitcher, instead of handing the ball to his manager, turned on his heel and hurled the ball toward the outfield.

One week later he was traded to the Reds, who had experienced a similar tirade decades before. Reliever Rob Dibble drilled a fan in the center field seats at Riverfront Stadium, which essentially marked the end of his career.

Acting in anger is a forgivable offense according to most baseball fans, as long as no one gets seriously hurt. Engaging in violent sexual acts, whether consensual or not, should be taboo for even the best players in the sport.

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