The New York Yankees will not be hindered by the 30-game suspension leveled by Major League Baseball on closer Aroldis Chapman. The Cuban born left-hander will not appeal MLB’s new domestic violence policy in his alleged involvement that took place last October.
It will hurt Chapman more in the pocket that is estimated to be $1,856,557 in salary. Yankees manager Joe Girardi stated that Chapman was the closer, but 30 games won’t make a difference with Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller in a bullpen that has been projected to be the best in baseball.
Yes, the void of Chapman for a limited amount of time does deviate from the plan of this Yankees “Three-Headed-Monster” out of the pen that has been compared to the Kansas City Royals big three of two years ago that got them to the World Series. The Yankees for a brief span will be one man short, though they have another viable arm or two that can hold the spot when Chapman returns at some point in mid May.
More importantly to the winning of ballgames, and to the credit of Major League Baseball, there is more credibility to what commissioner Bob Manfred has mandated. A zero tolerance policy is in the books and soon Jose Reyes of the Colorado Rockies and Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to have a similar suspension from their incidents of domestic violence abuse.
Does it mean that baseball has turned the corner with the MLB Players Association? Yes as there is a more cohesive effort to keep the game clean off the field, and Manfred did not sleep on the issue of domestic violence as opposed to his predecessor, Bud Selig, who had an almost no look approach during the baseball steroid era and use of performance enhancing drugs.
Manfred did not let this issue linger into a new season that commences in four weeks. There is some closure and an immediate message sent as opposed to his colleagues that oversee the National Basketball Association and the National Football League. The NFL and NBA have had their share of domestic violence situations.
The difference maker is Manfred. His policy works for the betterment of baseball and there is the cooperation of the players union, evidenced by Chapman not going on with an appeal as Reyes and Puig await their faith and of course, assuming there is a suspension for the two, they have an option to appeal and let their situations linger into the new season. Though Reyes was placed on a paid leave last week for his involvement with his wife in Hawaii back in October.
Late Tuesday afternoon the Yankees released a statement: “The New York Yankees support the decision made by the Commissioner today.We are pleased that Aroldis has accepted this discipline.”
And the Yankees, an organization with a no tolerance policy, they would be the first to support a new MLB policy that now has effected one of their own. It’s not like this was unexpected as the Yankees knew when they made the trade for Chapman that there was an inevitable chance they would be without him at some point.
Chapman is the first player suspended under the new policy that will begin on Opening Day. He is allowed to participate in spring workouts and the exhibition season that begins wednesday afternoon in Tampa, and it is expected that Chapman will continue to be in uniform and stay in shape until the Yankees first game in the Bronx on April 4th.
Manfred said in his statement, “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.”
Chapman said he did not do any harm to his girlfriend as the incident became public about choking her on October 30th, that was reported to local authorities in Davie Florida. Charges were dropped and the investigation was closed but Major League Baseball went forward.
“However,’ Chapman said Tuesday, “I 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 the decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates, and most importantly, my family.”
Some of the Yankees said Tuesday that the message was clear and that Chapman should pay for his mistake. Yes, the Yankees will survive the minimum loss in that key component coming out of their bullpen, and that dangerous three will be two for a month or so. So Girardi and Yankees fans can wait and anticipate how it all transpires in the late innings, assuming of course that the Yankees have a lead that can get to those big three.
More importantly, Major League Baseball has sent a message to the other professional sports leagues that have been tarnished by domestic violence issues among the ranks.