Aroldis Chapman Suspended 30 Games By MLB


When the New York Yankees traded for Aroldis Chapman, they knew, deep down, that this day would come.  Chapman, who was labeled the closer before Spring Training even began, has been suspended 30 games by Major League Baseball for violating the domestic violence policy.

Chapman, who initially stated he would appeal any suspension given, had a change of heart and accepted his punishment, although he maintained his innocence, according to Ken Rosenthal:

"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."

While there were reports that Chapman could be suspended for Spring Training, his suspension will not begin until Opening Day, and he will be suspended without pay, costing him just under $2 million.  The suspension fell just short of giving the Yankees an extra year of team control, and Chapman will be eligible to return May 9th against the Kansas City Royals.

Chapman, who won’t face criminal charges from the incident on October 30th, did admit to inappropriate conduct that night, according to Rob Manfred:

"I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident involving Aroldis Chapman on October 30, 2015.  Much of the information regarding the incident has been made public through documents released by law enforcement.  Mr. Chapman submitted to an in-person interview with counsel present.  After reviewing the staff report, I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct on that day to be inappropriate under the negotiated Policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner.  I am gratified that Mr. Chapman has taken responsibility for his conduct, that he has agreed not to appeal the 30-game suspension, and that he has agreed to comply with the confidential directives of the Joint Policy Board established under the parties’ Policy to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future."

The Yankees, who acquired Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds over the offseason, released a short and simple statement, supporting the decision:

"The New York Yankees support the decision made by The Commissioner today. We are pleased that Aroldis has accepted this discipline."

The MLBPA, which has always stood strongly by it’s members, also supported Chapman’s decision to accept his suspension:

"The Major League Baseball Players Association and its members do not condone the mistreatment of others by playing or non-playing personnel.  At the same time, the MLBPA remains committed to protecting and ensuring the rights granted to Players under the applicable provisions of the sport’s new Joint Policy on Domestic Violence.  As such, the MLBPA supports Mr. Chapman’s decision to forgo his right to an appeal."

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While almost anyone who follows baseball knew this was coming, I believe that it is good for both Chapman, and the Yankees that the decision was announced before Spring Training games kick off tomorrow.  Chapman, who was the first player to be punished by the new Domestic Violence Policy, which was created in August of 2015, will no longer have his pending case be a distraction to his new organization.

The Yankees, unlike most teams, will not suffer from losing their closer, as Andrew Miller was one of the better closers in all of baseball in 2015, finishing with 36 saves in 38 opportunities, and a 2.04 ERA.  Dellin Betances will likely move back into the eighth inning role.  While the loss of Chapman will affect the Yankees depth in the bullpen, I believe that the bullpen should hold up just fine in his absence.

Some will argue that Chapman’s suspension was too light, and others that it was too long, but in my opinion, the suspension was shockingly fair.  Manfred didn’t come down too hard on Chapman, as he will only miss the first 30 games, and he didn’t come too light, as although what Chapman did, firing a weapon eight times, was wrong, he ultimately wasn’t charged with any form of abuse.

What do you think Yankees fans?  Was Chapman’s suspension too harsh or too light, or did Rob Manfred, and his team of investigators, come down with a fair ruling?

Next: Yankees Aroldis Chapman Likely To Receive 25-30 Game Ban

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