Last Friday, I wrote about the whitewashing of the NFL’s investigation into the “toxic culture” in the Front Office of the Washington Football Team. If only 20% of the allegations made there are true, there were some bad boys resident there. Today, I am going to chatter about a couple of other “bad boys” leading me to wonder if I should consider adopting the theme song from the TV show, Cops:
“Bad boys bad boys
Whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When they come for you…”
MLB suspended Dodgers’ pitcher, Trevor Bauer, for 7 days with pay as it investigates allegations made by a woman seeking a temporary restraining order against Bauer. A judge heard the charges and granted the restraining order and both MLB and the local police are investigating what happened or did not happen in the events that led to the seeking of the restraining order. This imposition of what would be called “paid administrative leave” in a workplace less visible than an MLB team is indeed an action that is addressed and sanctioned in the existing CBA between MLB and the MLBPA. However, it is limited to a 7-day period and any extension beyond that point would require concurrence by the union.
The accusation made by the woman now in possession of that restraining order dealt with participation in and solicitation of “rough sex” between the parties. She asserts that she consented to sex with Bauer but that she did not consent to the behavior which she characterizes as sexual assault. In her statement to the court, she asserts that she was subject to strangulation, punches to the head/face and sodomy. It came as no surprise when I read that Trevor Bauer denies the accusations and will contest them. Should you want the details of the accusation, you can find them reported here.
Based on what has come to light so far, this is going to be a classic case of ‘He said…/she said…” In such circumstances, there are only two people who know what happened physically and emotionally before, during and after the event(s) in question. Notwithstanding the inability for outsiders to know what transpired, there will be plenty of speculation on the matter. Since I have no idea what happened or did not happen, I would prefer to focus on two other aspects of this matter:
- What happens next Friday when the 7-day suspension with pay runs out? It would be unusual for a matter of this kind to be resolved by the police in 7 days and I am hard-pressed to imagine that MLB’s “investigation” would be so thorough in a 7-day period as to be conclusive one way or the other. So, what do the leaders of MLB and the union do at that point? It seems to me that any position taken by MLB next Friday could blow up in its face AND any reaction by the union – concurrence with MLB or opposition – is also a potential stink bomb.
- I understand that Bauer would want to clear his name in matter like this one if indeed he is not a “bad boy” here. The “He said…/she said…” structure of the matter makes that a most difficult undertaking. So, absent criminal charges arising from the seeking of the restraining order, why contest the restraining order? It does not seem as if there is a basis for a long-term relationship of any kind between the two parties, so why contest the order and keep the story alive?
The other “bad boy” for today is Josh Gordon; he has applied to the NFL for reinstatement from his indefinite suspension from the NFL in 2019. Josh Gordon’s NFL career has been a tortured one indeed; it has taken more twists and turns than a plate of linguini and if that plate of linguini is adorned with clam sauce, the individual clams could represent speed bumps along the path. I will just try to hit the high points – or low points if you prefer – here:
- The suspension in 2019 was for violation of the NFL substance abuse and performance enhancing drug policy. He was reinstated briefly in December 2020 but suffered a “setback” almost immediately after the reinstatement and it never allowed him to show up on a playing field.
- In 2019, he played for the Pats and the Seahawks before being suspended. If I count correctly, that would have been his fifth instance of running afoul of the NFL policy on recreational and/or performance-enhancing drugs and/or running afoul of “team rules”.
- Gordon was drafted by the Browns in 2012; he led the NFL in receiving yards in 2013 despite his having been suspended from the first two games of that season due to “drug issues”. However, from that point through the end of the 2015/16 season, he only appeared in 11 games due to various suspensions and rehab events.
- In one instance, Gordon applied for reinstatement, and it was denied because he failed a drug test while in the process of seeking reinstatement.
I think you get the drift here… Josh Gordon is a very talented football player who either cannot or who chooses not to live by the rules that govern his eligibility to express his talents. Such circumstances are not unique to the NFL or its players; there are limitations on behaviors – personal and professional – on lawyers, doctors, law enforcement officers, CPAs and so on. Should Roger Goodell decide to reinstate Gordon once again, I believe he would be a free agent since it seems to me that his last contract with the Seahawks has run its course.
Josh Gordon as a free agent might be interesting to observe. There is no doubt about his skill as a WR – even though he is now 30 years old. Equally, there is no doubt that he is not a player who can be counted on as being allowed to suit up and play “on any given Sunday”. I would find it interesting to see which teams would be think about adding him to their locker room.
Finally, in keeping with today’s theme about “bad boys” let me close with an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times – – and let me use this opportunity to wish Dwight Perry well and hope for his imminent return to the paper with his column Sideline Chatter:
“Steelers CB Justin Layne got arrested in Ohio for felony transportation of a gun, speeding (89 in a 60-mph zone) and driving with a suspended license.
“Even worse, he gets to tell it to a judge in the state the rival Browns and Bengals play in.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………