Wanna know what happened to the guy who threw the beer in Toronto last fall?

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In the seventh inning of last October’s American League Wild Card game between the Blue Jays and Orioles, a fan threw a beer can at outfielder Hyun Soo Kim in an attempt to interfere with a fly ball catch attempt. It didn’t work, as Kim still caught Melvin Upton, Jr.’s fly ball for the final out of the inning, but the incident sparked immediate outrage.

In the aftermath the Internet, quite predictably, went crazy, mocking and/or excoriating the beer-thrower. Eventually Toronto Police sent out a picture of the person they suspected to have thrown the beer. He was soon identified as Postmedia journalist Ken Pagan. Pagan at first told a half-truth, seemingly attempted to mislead — telling the press “I was drinking out of a cup” — but he soon came clean and was charged with “mischief.” He’d eventually be given probation and 100 hours of community service. He’d also lose his job with Postmedia.

Today there is a long — a very long — article from CBC News about Pagan, what led him to throw that beer and what has happened to his life since October. The short version: he was drunk and it was an impulse and, after some Internet infamy, the legal proceedings and some time delivering pizzas, he has managed to find a stable job outside of media. His girlfriend stuck with him and, though he’s banned from MLB ballparks and can’t really bring himself to watch Jays games yet, he’s gotten really involved in amateur baseball, his long time love, and seems to be in a pretty good place, all things considered.

Throwing a beer is not a capital crime, so at some point a guy should stop having to pay for such a transgression. As such, I’m happy that the guy is coming out of his bout with infamy mostly intact. Still, something about this whole story irks me.

Probably because of how deep a dive it is. We’re given Pagan’s whole life story, chronicling his love of baseball from childhood and his career arc. We’re given a play-by-play of that entire night, of course. We’re given a much longer account of his thoughts and feelings in the aftermath and the bouts of shame and embarrassment he went through and the now de riguer passages about just how mean the Internet can be to people.

All of which is important to Pagan — I don’t mean to diminish anyone’s suffering — but most of it seems calculated to make us forget that this is a pretty simple story: “Guy got drunk and did a stupid thing.” That’s really the alpha and omega of it, yet even that much is hidden by the writer’s misleading and inapt comparisons to Steve Bartman and other people made infamous due to mistakes at a baseball game or on social media. Bartman, of course, committed no crime and his act couldn’t have hurt someone like Pagan’s did. He also wasn’t acting like a drunken lout like Pagan was. Pagan is not public enemy number one by any stretch, but he’s not a Canadian Steve Bartman.

I suppose everyone is the lead actor in their own personal drama. This story is, no doubt, a formative one for Pagan and the lessons he learns from it will impact the rest of his life. I likewise don’t begrudge him the chance to give the world a better impression of who he is than that which it got last October. But people do dumb stuff everyday and rarely if ever do they get the full-blown, soft-focus redemption tale like Pagan gets here.

When we see stuff like this we should ask why it’s appearing. And why similar treatments do not appear for others who find themselves suddenly infamous for what, to them, are likely similarly uncharacteristic transgressions.

Trevor Bauer pulls on No. 96 for Yokohama’s BayStars

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YOKOHAMA, Japan – Trevor Bauer apparently was shunned by every major league team, so he’s signed a one-year deal with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

Before about 75 reporters in a Yokohama hotel, he slipped on the BayStars uniform – No. 96 – on Friday and said all the right things. Not a single Japanese reporter asked him about his suspension in the United States over domestic violence allegations or the reasons surrounding it.

The only question about it came from The Associated Press. Bauer disputed the fact the question suggested he was suspended from the major leagues.

“I don’t believe that’s accurate,” he said of the suspension. “But I’m excited to be here. I’m excited to pitch again. I’ve always wanted to play in Japan.”

He said the suspension dealt technically with matters of pay, and he said he had contacted major league teams about playing this year. He said he would have been eligible, but did not say if he had offers.

The 2020 NL Cy Young Award winner was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers on Jan. 12, three weeks after an arbitrator reduced his suspension imposed by Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred from 324 to 194 games.

The penalty followed an investigation into domestic violence, which the pitcher has denied.

Manfred suspended Bauer last April for violating the league’s domestic violence and sexual assault policy, after a San Diego woman said he beat and sexually abused her in 2021.

Bauer has maintained he did nothing wrong, saying everything that happened between him and the woman was consensual. He was never charged with a crime.

Bauer joined his hometown Dodgers before the 2021 season and was 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA in 17 starts before being placed on paid leave.

Bauer said his goal with the BayStars was to strike out 200 and keep his average fastball velocity at 96 mph – hence his uniform number. He said he is also working on a better change-up pitch.

He said he hoped to play by mid-April – about two weeks after the Japanese season begins – and said he has been training for the last 1 1/2 years.

“I’ve been doing a lot of strength training and throwing,” he said. “I didn’t really take any time off. So I’ve had a year and a half of development time. I’m stronger than ever. More powerful than ever.”

Yokohama has not won a title in 25 years, and Bauer said that was his goal in the one-year deal.

“First and foremost, I want to help the Stars win a championship,” he said. “That involves pitching well. That involves helping teammates and learning from them. If they have questions – you know – share my knowledge with them.”

He also repeated several times about his desire to play in Japan, dating from a collegiate tournament in 2009 at the Tokyo Dome. He said playing in Japan was on his mind even before winning the Cy Young – and also immediately after.

“The Tokyo Dome was sold out,” he said. “I’d never played in front of that many people – probably combined in my life. In the United States, college games aren’t very big, so seeing that amount of passion. How many people came to a college game in Japan. It really struck me.”

He said he’d been practicing with the Japanese ball, which he said was slightly softer with higher seams.

“But overall it just feels like a baseball and the pitches move the same. The velocity is similar. I don’t notice much of a difference.”

Other teams in Japan have made similar controversial signings before.

Former major league reliever Roberto Osuna – who received a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy – signed last season with the Chiba Lotte Marines.

He has signed for this season with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks.

In 1987, Dodgers relief pitcher Steve Howe, who had a career plagued with drug problems, tried to sign with the Seibu Lions. But he did not play in the country after the Japanese baseball commissioner disqualified Howe because of his history of drug abuse.

Bauer was an All-Star in 2018 and went 83-69 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 seasons for Arizona (2012), Cleveland, (2013-19), Cincinnati (2019-20) and the Dodgers. He won the NL Cy Young Award with Cincinnati during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.