A few quick thoughts on Yankees’ relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman’s 30-game suspension…
- 30 games seems a bit low.
- It seems like it was a negotiated amount, but that’s just me.
- I have a lot of respect for Rob Manfred, even though I don’t agree with his punishment.
To expand on my first point, I was expecting him to be suspended for about forty-five games. Given the harrowing details of his alleged crime (gun shooting and choking are the headliners), I was surprised the he will only have to sit out a little over a month. However, I will admit, as a huge Yankees fan, I am a little pleased I get to watch him pitch as soon as May…
I feel like his suspension was negotiated because he has elected not to appeal. He just wants to get it over with and there is no way MLB wants to start the 2016 season with a lawsuit. Not only that, but a suspension of 45 days would delay his free agency by a year. This means that after the 2016 season, he is eligible to be a free agent (and he will get PAID this off-season). I think had he been suspended for longer than 30 games, he would have absolutely appealed the decision. People also are saying that if his free agency was postponed for a year, that is a win for the Yankees, who many felt made a grave mistake pursuing a man who was accused of DV. I don’t care if it would be a “win” for the Yanks – a longer suspension still sends a message that DV is not okay.
Though I don’t agree with the length of the suspension, I have nothing but respect for Commissioner Manfred’s reasoning. In the statement he released, he made it abundantly clear how important the victim was in his consideration. He said the use of a firearm impacted the severity of the suspension, as it should. It is so so so so so important that we do not forget the victims of these domestic disputes.
Chapman is going to be suspended without pay for 30 games. Fine. I have no tolerance for a man who puts his hands on a woman (or visa-versa), but this is a good start. The NFL looked ridiculous for it’s handling of Ray Rice and Greg Hardy, and I don’t think MLB will be viewed the same way. In a way, this is a big win for baseball.
Final quick thought: The Yankees should donate Chapman’s salary for the games he will miss to Joe Torre’s Safe At Home domestic violence foundation.