Aroldis Chapman Excused from Monday’s Workout


Yankees’ closer Aroldis Chapman was not at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Monday in what the team said was an excused absence.

“We knew he would not be here today,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “He asked permission, we provided it, and you’ll see him again [Tuesday].”

According to manager Joe Girardi, he was not scheduled to throw a bullpen today.

Chapman is facing a potential suspension from commissioner Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball along with Yasiel Puig and Jose Reyes.  Manfred said on Friday he was close to a ruling on three pending domestic violence cases.

At first when I found out Chapman had missed workouts, I immediately figured he was meeting with the commissioner to discuss his discipline.  However, sources told Yankee camp that the closer was not in New York meeting with the commissioner or his investigators on Monday.

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  • Chapman is connected to a Oct. 30, 2015 incident, in which he was accused by his girlfriend of choking her following an argument in his Florida home. His girlfriend threw away the allegations, and as a result, prosecutes decided not to file charges against Chapman due to insufficient evidence.

    Manfred, however, has the power to decide on additional (or in this case, the only) discipline, with no minimum or maximum penalty, whether or not charges were filed.

    Chapman will appeal any suspension. Many say, however, that his suspension may be longer than fans expected.

    The new domestic violence policy comes with the intention of separating from how Roger Goodell and the NFL has handled their cases, specifically with Ray Rice and Greg Hardy. Goodell damaged not only the reputation of himself, but the reputation of the league as well. He gave both athletes minimum penalties, which followed increased evidence which at that point, cannot be used against them.

    Manfred is faced with the tall task of generating a fair and reasonable punishment, and to avoid projecting tolerance towards domestic violence.

    Also, Manfred does not want to give Chapman a minimum penalty and then new evidence get released, like the Ray Rice elevator video, but has the benefit of not having set penalties.

    The NFL has a guideline to follow. A six-game suspension for a first offense and a lifetime ban from the league for a second offense. The first offense could range from choking and repetitive beating  to violence with a weapon and this decision led the public to question their sincerity and commitment.

    Manfred and MLB’s policy has the power to give athletes, like Chapman, a hefty suspension and allow others to decide if it should be lowered. The Players Association will defend Chapman if a suspension comes, and arbitrator Fredric Horowitz will determine whether to uphold or reduce it.

    Manfred, and anyone else in his shoes, would rather establish a precedent and stamp Chapman with a harsh suspension and have an outside party lower the punishment. This prevents having a sticky situation if you give a minimal penalty, then you find out Chapman indeed choked his girlfriend.

    Related Story: Aroldis Chapman Impresses In First Bullpen Session

    For now, we can only wait and see what MLB decides to do. The decision should come within the next week and definitely before spring games begin.