On January 2, Major League Baseball announced that New York Yankees pitcher Domingo German will have to serve an 81 game suspension, 63 of which will occur during the 2020 season as the first 18 rolled over from last season.
Domingo German of the Yankees will serve the longest suspension ever handed out by MLB that does not include criminal charges. Rob Manfred has led the way in attempting to crack down on players that commit acts of domestic violence, making it one of his priorities when he became Commissioner of Baseball in 2015. Aroldis Chapman was the first player to be suspended under Manfred’s policies).
German became the 14th player to be investigated for domestic violence and will be serving the fourth-longest suspension given out to those that were investigated. However, German’s story is quite different from some of the others.
Another player in baseball that was suspended for the same amount of time as German was former Dodger and Brave Hector Olivera in 2016. Olivera ended up serving an 82-game suspension after he was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery.
Olivera allegedly got into a dispute with his girlfriend at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Arlington, VA, during a series with the Nationals — when Olivera was with Atlanta and was arrested that same morning. He was the first player to be charged with any DV crime and was handed the highest suspension at the time.
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Roberto Osuna was arrested and charged with assault in 2018 for allegedly assaulting the mother of his son. Since she had returned to Mexico and was not willing to testify, the charges were dropped in exchange for a peace bond. Osuna was ultimately banned for 75 games.
German has not been formally charged, nor has a police report been filed. Alongside several conflicting stories of where the event happened and who saw it, Manfred still went through and handed down a lengthy suspension to the Yankees right-hander.
The message from Manfred is simple… no more!
Before German, Addison Russell had the longest suspension for a player that was not criminally charged, serving 40 games.
Before 2018, only one suspension was longer than 75 games. Since 2018, four players were given suspensions over 75 games, including German.
Is Manfred making his point clear by suspending German for 81 games? Absolutely. Manfred’s zero tolerance for domestic violence is beginning to come into clearer view, and his message was definitely received by players and MLB team staff.
German will be eligible to return on June 5 against the Rays, which will force the Yankees to explore other options for the time being.