Chapman will not appeal suspension for domestic violence allegations
The Los Angeles Dodgers were on the verge of acquiring Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman when a two-month-old story broke. How it had been kept quiet that long is really unfathomable in these days of social media and constant communication.
Apparently in October 2015 Chapman allegedly choked his girlfriend and fired off eight gun shots in his Florida home. No charges were brought against Chapman for the incident. Yet the incident was still considered serious by Commissioner Rob Manfred, especially under MLB’s new domestic violence policy as well as the increase in firearm related crimes that have taken place in the country over the past year. Manfred had, until today, been taking his time on ruling on three domestic violence cases that involved big league players.
Today it was announced that Chapman has been suspended for the first 30 games of the regular season, a rather stiff penalty being that no charges were brought against him. Still, Manfred is taking the issue extremely seriously. He recently placed Jose Reyes of the Colorado Rockies on paid administrative leave while he actually being tried by the courts regarding an instance of domestic violence. If found guilty, one can only imagine that his suspension will be much longer than Chapman’s.
The other player to make headlines for having domestic violence allegations brought against him is the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig. However, the evidence against Puig is limited and no charges have been filed so we can assume that his suspension, should he get one, will be 30 games or fewer. Perhaps he won’t get suspended at all but with the importance Manfred is placing on the issue, and rightfully so, I’d imagine he’ll end up with some kind of punishment.
The biggest surprise that came along with today’s announcement is that Chapman will not be appealing his suspension when as recently as last week he was determined to fight it. The suspicion is that the New York Yankees, who the Reds were eventually able to deal Chapman to, basically told him not to. That will likely never be made official but it would be my guess.
While the Dodgers walked away from the deal they were about to make to acquire Chapman, the Yankees went for it knowing full well that they would likely not have Chapman for some portion of the season. They are likely pleased that it is just a sixth of the regular season and would rather have Chapman be absent in April instead of down the stretch.
With the addition of Chapman the Yankees now boast one of the all-time greatest bullpens. The Yankees starters will be needed for at most six full innings after which the “three-headed monster” that is Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Chapman will take over to close out the game. They make for an extremely formidable trio and I certainly don’t look forward to the Oakland A’s facing them at the Coliseum this summer.
So far it seems that Manfred has handled these domestic violence cases seriously, thoughtfully and with a great deal of care. It’s a testament to his ability to do his job as the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. While I might not agree with all of his decisions or ideas, this is a serious issue and it is nice to know that the man in charge doesn’t take it lightly.