Mookie Betts is going to bat for former teammate Trevor Bauer after the latter was exiled from Major League Baseball amid sexual assault allegations.
The Dodgers star said that Bauer, who played the 2023 season in Japan after being released, is a “great guy” who should get a second chance in North America.
“My experience with Bauer is not anything remotely close to what everyone else’s experience is. I love him,” Betts said earlier this week, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I think he’s an awesome guy. The personal things? I have no control. I have no say. Obviously, nothing ever came from it.
“He’s an awesome pitcher. He’s a great guy, somebody who wants to take the mound every fifth day. But, at the end of the day, I don’t make the decision. That’s a decision that’s not as simple as baseball.”
Bauer was accused of sexual assault – but never charged – during the 2021 season and was placed on administrative leave by MLB. Before the 2022 season, the former Cy Young Award winner was suspended for 324 games by the league, which was later reduced to 194.
The Dodgers released Bauer before the 2023 season and he decided to sign with the DeNA BayStars in Japan after failing to receive interest from an MLB team.
In October, Bauer and accuser Lindsey Hill agreed to drop lawsuits against each other, seemingly paving the way for the right-hander to return to MLB.
Bauer has maintained that sexual relations between he and Hill were consensual.
Whether or not a team is as forgiving as Betts and signs the former ace remains to be seen.
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