The Sunday Brief: Top Storylines to Follow This Week

All the stories you need to follow this week in the MLB.

History repeats itself. I mean, as a historian, I could tell you that myself or quote some author. You make the call! I’m sure some trigger warnings apply, but that’s kind of the usual every week, so, let’s jump in and see how much therapy we need afterward.




What does it say that I don’t even need to add another word for you to know both the subject of this section, and what I’m going to write about? Trevor Bauer has been suspended by Major League Baseball for two additional years, on top of the nearly one-year-long “administrative leave” he’s been serving since 2021. Details can be found in the article below:


Also this week, Trevor Bauer filed suit in the Central District of California, claiming defamation and interference against the woman who accused him of sexual assault.  Bauer also filed suit against The Defector and The Athletic media outlets, of which I’m obligated to say that I have no relationship with and Pitcher List has no affiliation with. Following MLB’s suspension, the Washington Post announced that more women had come forward with accusations against Trevor Bauer.

Using his social media accounts, Trevor Bauer has denied wrong-doing both for the accusations that resulted in his MLB suspension, and for the additional reports of sexual assault from the Washington Post. In these posts, Bauer explicitly and candidly notes his sexual relationships with these women. For readers who want to learn these details, they are welcome to look up Bauer’s Twitter account, where he spares few details in his account. Needless to say, between the suspension, additional accusations, and a lawsuit, Bauer will be spending significant time in court in the near future.

Covid, B2, and Vax


Somewhere in the media empire, people decided that Covid was over, despite the 1,000 humans in the United States falling dead of the virus every day and the massive supply chain nightmares that plague me from acquiring a new MacBook until June. That supply chain quip is a joke — like I could ever afford a new computer. But Tanner Houck and [checks notes] Kutter Crawford [stifles laughing] were placed on the restricted list this past week while the Red Sox traveled into Canada to play the Toronto Blue Jays. Despite what the Trucker Convey [capital letters make it formal] would have you think, Canada has an extensive vaccination requirement and won’t allow unvaccinated MLB players to enter the country. Enter Tanner Houck and Kutter Crawford. Or don’t. Actually, they didn’t. Houck and Crawford decided that they didn’t want the vaccine, and Canada decided that they couldn’t enter. Such is life. As multiple MLB teams struggle through major covid outbreaks that are landing players on the IL, the Red Sox went without at least one semi-important player this past week due to vaccination status. The New York Yankees, meanwhile, announced that their main players have all been vaccinated and are eligible to enter Canada. So, add that fact to the long-standing Yankees/Red Sox rivalry.


Coach Slam


The St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets clashed this week, and Cardinals coach  Stubby Clapp [that’s not a joke] tackled Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso during the resulting scrum. Cardinals’ manager Oli Marmol indicated he had “no issue” with the way Coach Clapp managed himself on the field during the clash. Cardinals players Nolan Arenado and Genesis Cabrera received short suspensions for their role in the clash, while Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty and Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker received fines for joining the conflict while on the Injured List. Although the scene was memed heavily for bullpen relievers throwing themselves over the wall to join the fray, the following video shows the full scene from start to finish:


Hit Batters, No Batters Hitting


There are so many hit batters in MLB this year that Pitcher List’s own Ben Palmer aired a segment on SportsCenter explaining the intense and dangerous phenomenon plaguing MLB Baseball in 2022:

Meanwhile, many baseball players are wondering if MLB changed the balls again. In 2021, MLB was using at least two different ball constructions, had humidors added to ballparks, and banned certain tacky pitching substances in the middle of the season. In 2022, MLB offense is at an all-time low, and naturally, players wonder if the ball is again changed.

Mets’ pitcher Chris Bassitt explained his concerns in an after-game interview, where he lamented at length that the baseballs were, in fact, different not only from previous years, but even within the same game. Regardless of the frequency of change, Bassitt insisted that the 2022 baseballs were inferior to previous baseballs. He worried that the different baseballs were a cause of the increased number of hit batsmen.

Bassitt’s complaints made the NBC Nightly News, and you can watch the segment here:


That’s all for this week! Have an awesome start to May, and I’ll keep you caught up on storylines to follow throughout the rest of the year.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Blair Williams

Blair holds a PhD in Japanese history and is the author of "Making Japan's National Game: A Cultural History of Baseball." He's a fan of sci-fi, prog metal, and sipping rums.

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