When word came down on Thursday that an arbitrator had reduced Trevor Bauer’s suspension and reinstated him effective immediately, Dodgers fans were caught off guard by the timing. And, according to Jack Harris in the Los Angeles Times, it wasn’t just the fans.
For much of Thursday, it was business as usual for the Dodgers front office. Most club personnel were preparing for the upcoming holiday weekend, and some executives had already scattered with Christmas Eve two days away.
Team officials weren’t anticipating any major news — especially regarding the status of Trevor Bauer’s appeal of a domestic violence suspension, a decision the club didn’t believe would be known for at least several more weeks, according to people with knowledge of the situation unauthorized to speak publicly. …
Ever since Bauer was suspended in April, the Dodgers received little information about where his appeal process stood.
Still, some team officials had been bracing in recent weeks for the suspension to be reduced. …
During his appeal, the prevailing industry belief was that the pitcher would never take the mound in a Dodgers uniform again.
Yet, as of Thursday night, club executives were still discussing how they would proceed, according to people with knowledge of the situation, and could wait to make a final decision until closer to the Jan. 6 deadline to either release Bauer or activate him.
There have already been calls for the Dodgers to release Bauer immediately, saying the team has had plenty of time to think about this over the past 18 months. But there were a huge range of possible outcomes from his appeal, and it would have been remarkably inefficient for the team to map out exactly how they’d react to each of them. They knew they’d have two weeks to figure something out of the suspension was reduced or overturned, and the smart move was to plan to use that time.
With the decision coming down just days before Christmas, with some of the decision makers already off for the holiday, it makes even more sense. They can each think about it individually, text each other if they want, and then get back together next week and start figuring things out.
In the end, it will be the decisions the team makes, rather than the timing, that matters.
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