Commissioner Rob Manfred made his first domestic violence stance since the new policy was implemented in August. Closer, Aroldis Chapman, of the New York Yankees was punished and accepted a 30 game unpaid (will lose $2 million) suspension starting Opening Day for his abusive actions back in October, 2015. Chapman allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend and fired gun shots into the wall of his garage. No charges were filed, but that didn’t stop the MLB from stepping in swiftly to lay down the law and send a powerful message to the MLB. Manfred’s statement below:
Manfred did a good job conducting an investigation and acting quickly, within four months, to discipline Chapman. Aroldis denies he harmed his girlfriend, but in his statement he said he acted inappropriately:
“Today, I accepted a 30 game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 30, 2015. I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry. The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family. I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.”
The MLB, MLPA, and Rob Manfred have my approval and respect for their handling of this domestic violence issue. They created a new policy, stuck with it strongly, and sent a message to the league. There will be no appeal, which is thankfully avoiding more conflict with the commissioner and arbitration. If Chapman would have lost the appeal, he could have ended up having more games added to his suspension. 30 games is a good time length because if the suspension lasted 45 games or any longer, it would have prevented Aroldis Chapman from becoming a free agent due to service time. Hopefully, Aroldis will use this time to reflect on his actions and perhaps receive some counseling. The message that domestic violence will not be tolerated in professional baseball by any means was well sent. The whole situation was not a “circus” and it was handled professionally, unlike similar issues in the NFL. Other sports take note, the MLB got it right with its domestic violence stance. Let’s hope this step in the right direction continues across all sports.
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Aroldis Chapman, of the Cincinnati Reds is known for his world record speeds of his fastball topping 105 mph. During Spring Training, the pitching coaches will be transforming Aroldis from reliever to starter. A very hard transition here. Through his whole career he has been inconsistent and has had numerous control problems. You know that “kid” that always brags about how fast he throws but can’t hit the side of a barn? Well, it doesn’t matter how fast you throw if you can’t throw strikes. I think when he becomes a starter it will be a huge hit or miss. Also, he got away with mainly using his fastball since it was so fast and being only a reliever, he wasn’t expected to pitch a whole game. He will absolutely need to develop some variety and more dangerous pitches or they’ll just tee-off of him. If he can develop a dangerous curve and change up, he could be unstoppable. Imagine a 101 mph fastball followed by an 85 mph change up. Scary, right? Also, becoming a starter will dramatically increase the number of innings pitched. He could throw his arm out if he’s not prepared correctly.
I have a feeling this won’t be a good transition, but who knows? I’m just not convinced he’ll be able to go the distance. I believe the Reds should keep Aroldis as a dangerous reliever.