Sport: You never have to root for guys like Trevor Bauer

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The Los Angeles Dodgers signed 2020 National League Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer to a $102M, 3-year contract on Friday afternoon, making him the highest paid MLB player in 2021.

a man in a baseball uniform throwing a ball © Provided by For The Win

Per USA TODAY Sports, the contract has an opt-out clause after the first two seasons and pays Bauer $40 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022. As far as pitching talent goes, Bauer had a standout pandemic curtailed 2020 season, topping the National League with a 1.73 ERA in 11 starts.

There was never any doubt that Bauer would be highly compensated after becoming a free agent, and only time will tell if the Dodgers screwed themselves with this massive deal. What I can firmly say though, is that despite his great arm and now, bags and bags of money, Bauer remains a deeply unlikeable online troll and harasser, and it’s OK to never root for guys like him.

Did Trevor Bauer troll Mets fans with his website before signing with Dodgers?

  Did Trevor Bauer troll Mets fans with his website before signing with Dodgers? -

Over the past few years, Bauer has taken a page out of another sports website playbook and repeatedly engaged in harassment campaigns on social media, turning his hundreds of thousands of followers on people even slightly critical of him. Most notably, Bauer went after a college Houston Astros fan after she tweeted he was her “least favorite person in all sports.”  Bauer barraged her Twitter account with messages, tagging her over 80 times in tweets, repeatedly calling her out even though she had long since stopped responding.

It was gross, despicable behavior that Bauer never apologized for. When pushed by the media, he instead made himself out to be the victim and described the harassment as “good natured.”

Despite his claim that he would be use the platform “more responsibly” Bauer’s continued to invite his Twitter fans to pile on to everyday users as recently as October of 2020, going after a fan who said she didn’t want to see Bauer end up in LA, as well another user who pushed Bauer on his behavior.

It’s clear that, after repeated attempts at it, Bauer knows exactly what kind of harassment he’s endorsing. Not only does he not care, but seems to revel  in it, glorying in punching down without acknowledging the deep power imbalance he wields as a high-profile athlete.

Harassment is just the tip of the Bauer experience though. He’s tweeted climate change denials, transphobic jokes and thinks Obama wasn’t born in the US.

Not only is his Twitter presence especially toxic, but it’s clear he hasn’t learned anything from his bad behavior nor is he interested in changing. Bauer sees himself as a rebel or an outcast or whatever seems fashionable, but in reality he’s just an unlikable dude who has leveraged the ability to throw a ball.

“I try to make the things that I say be based in reality, based in facts, and truthful,” Bauer says. “And if that’s the case, and you want to be upset at me for stating the truth, that’s your choice. I don’t know if I’m not afraid of sticking middle fingers in people’s faces, or if I enjoy it. But I end up doing that a lot,” Bauer said in a Sports Illustrated profile.

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Professional sports has always valued talent over character, and rewarded far more reprehensible behavior than that of Bauer’s steady online outbursts, but that doesn’t mean fans have to stomach it. Yeah, Bauer has a good arm and is going to make Scrooge McDuck money, but you never have to root for a guy who thinks harassing women online is a fan pass time.

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