Will Trevor Bauer ever play again? Here's what MLB's 'administrative leave' means
Major League Baseball (MLB) has announced Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer will be placed on a seven-day administrative leave. The announcement came after a Los Angeles judge granted a temporary restraining order against the baseball star, who has been accused of sexual assault by a San Diego woman.
Bauer has vehemently denied the allegations, made by a woman identified as Ms. Hill. Bauer isn't the only MLB star to be implicated in legal woes. In December 2020, White Sox star Omar Vizquel was accused of domestic abuse by his ex-wife. In March 2021, Mets coach Mickey Callaway's sexual harassment scandal came to light after five women spoke to The Atlantic about "the worst-kept secret in sports."
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The scandals are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the last year, numerous MLB personalities have been implicated in various legal woes, leaving the organization red-faced. However, on very few occasions, the body has stepped forward to directly intervene. Most of the time, they've preferred to sit back and let the associated team deal with the situation. That won't be the case with Bauer though. On July 2, the MLB announced Bauer would be placed on administrative leave. If you are wondering what that is, here's a quick guide to the policy and what it means for Bauer.
What does MLB's policy mean?
Firstly, you should know that administrative leave is not considered a suspension. Much like similar policies in police forces, educational institutions and other places of work, the administrative leave will simply mean Bauer cannot represent his team for the duration. In this case, he will not be able to represent the Dodgers or be seen in public with the team during the duration. He will, however, still get his full salary despite not being on the active roster. Bauer will instead be placed on the restricted list.
The leave policy was adopted under a joint domestic violence policy between MLB and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA). Under the policy, the player won't be eligible to represent his side while the MLB undertakes an investigation. Right now, he will serve seven days, but it can be extended to a further seven days should the MLB require for its investigation, according to ESPN. In order to extend the leave, MLB will need the consent of the MLBPA, which represents Bauer.
In case Bauer is charged or if the Commissioner's Office (which investigates the claims) receives "credible information corroborating the allegations", it has the ability to defer the extension to a later date. Bauer can request an appeal via MLB's Grievance Arbitration Panel. If a hearing takes place, the panel will have to rule within 24 hours. In the meantime, Bauer will be able to participate in non-public workouts and practice sessions with the Dodgers.
"MLB continues to collect information in our ongoing investigation concurrent with the Pasadena Police Department's active criminal investigation. We will comment further at the appropriate time," the body said in an email to ESPN. Until the investigation is complete, Bauer will have to stay away from the Dodgers. He will have his hands full, with a formal hearing on the case set for July 23. It is important to remember that placement on administrative leave is not a pronouncement of guilt, or considered a disciplinary action. It is simply a method that will allow the Dodgers to play without being drawn into Bauer's legal woes.
Bauer's agents confirmed that the player would not appeal the placement, "in an effort to minimize any distraction to the Dodgers organization and to his teammates." The placement means Baur will miss the series against the Washington Nationals, being played in Washington DC in the coming days. If Bauer is found not guilty by the MLB, he will be allowed to resume playing. In case he is found guilty, he will face a suspension without pay. Until the MLB's investigation is complete, it is too soon to say Bauer will never play again.
The future of Bauer's career depends on the police investigation, and what it turns up. If he is found not guilty, he should be able to return to the Dodgers. In the meantime though, the team will just have to do without him.