Sports

Trevor Bauer’s dark social media episode should disqualify him from Mets

As he fell on his sword this past week, performing a public mea culpa for the Jared Porter disaster, Sandy Alderson offered this:

“Suffice it to say, had we known about it in advance before Jared was hired, it would have been a disqualification.”

“It” was of course the disgusting revelation, reported by ESPN, that the new Mets general manager Porter had sent a series of unsolicited, lewd text messages to a female journalist from another country while he worked for the Cubs in 2016. Within 8 ¹/₂ hours of seeing the story, the Mets fired Porter for cause on Tuesday morning.

Moving on from that rubble, the Mets remain interested in free agent starting pitcher Trevor Bauer, an industry source said, and they consequently are scrutinizing the not-shy Bauer’s voluminous work on social media.

That work, for the Mets, should be a disqualification.

The Mets must draw a line here.

In light of the discrimination claims filed against new owner Steve Cohen’s firm Point72 Asset Management, in the wake of Porter’s disastrous departure, the Mets can’t dig a hole any deeper when it comes to the question of their sensitivity toward women. They can find plenty of other ways to bolster their club, even if they want to stay under the $210 million luxury-tax threshold, without signing Bauer, who has set off red flags with his online conduct.

The most glaring example, one that I admittedly hadn’t fully digested previously, occurred in January 2019 when Bauer engaged in a Twitter battle with a female college student, whose name won’t be reported here in the interest of protecting her from further attacks. What began as seemingly playful trash talk quickly escalated into something much darker, as Bauer (who currently has over 414,000 followers on the platform) researched the woman’s Twitter timeline to find and retweet posts of her drinking alcohol before her 21st birthday.

In all, over a span of three days, Bauer tweeted at least 17 times either directly at the woman or at others while discussing her and the argument. Predictably, the woman has said that she endured considerable abuse from Bauer’s followers.

Trevor Bauer
Trevor Bauer
AP

Through his representatives, Bauer released a statement (first provided to The Athletic) reading, “I have been made aware that some of the interactions related to a specific Twitter exchange may have had a negative impact. That was not my intention. I will wield the responsibility of my public platform more responsibly in the future.”

Every team in pursuit of Bauer will count on that. If provoked, the right-hander often responds with a phrase like, “Let me send some more followers your way.” When that goes to a familiar entity like retired ballplayer Aubrey Huff (an even more nuclear online personality than Bauer), it can be construed as silly braggadocio. When it gets launched against a less-known person, particularly a woman, as it has, it can be interpreted quite differently. As a call to action. So that should cease.

“I don’t shy away from confrontation and am often quick to defend myself, but I am by no means a bully and I take great offense to my character being called into question,” Bauer said. “I understand what comes with having a following on social media but I have never asked for nor do I condone anyone making threats or lewd comments on my behalf.”

Bauer needs to go even further than that. Even before he lands this upcoming contract, he can afford to hire someone to comb through his Twitter account and condemn and block anyone who attacks others in his name. Because it’s clearly a real phenomenon.

You can look in my body of work and find that I supported the Mets’ decision to bring back Jose Reyes after his domestic-violence suspension. If you want to call me a hypocrite, I get it. Yet at this point in time, given what has transpired in their world just since the 2020 season concluded, I think the Mets are not the team to count on Bauer to honor his apologies.

“We need more diversity at the Mets,” Alderson acknowledged this past week, and the best way to attain that is through mindfulness on all fronts. By proactively steering away from potential crises. By choosing options that will make the Mets not only great, but also exemplary.

Signing Bauer, right now, would push the Mets farther away from such a goal.

nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

Related Articles

Back to top button