by Amaury Pi Gonzalez
AP photo: Aroldis Chapman tunes up at spring training with the New York Yankees he will be suspended for 30 regular season games by MLB
Aroldis Chapman made news today. The hardest throwing pitcher in Major League Baseball was suspended for 30 regular season games under the new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy in the game. Although Chapman said last month he would appeal any suspension, has agreed to the punishment and was allowed to continue working out with the Yankees Spring Training facility in Florida. Barring any other unpredictable stuff, Chapman will be eligible to play in the regular season May 9 at Yankee Stadium against the World Champion Kansas City Royals. Because of the 30-game suspension the lefty reliever will lose about $1.7 million in salary, and will become a free agent at the end of the season. He is the first ever player to be punished for domestic violence.
“I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident involving Aroldis Chapman,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in issuing the decision. “
Chapman allegedly choked his 22-year-old girlfriend, Cristina Barnea, and fired eight shots in the garage of his Davie, Fla., home. On Jan. 21, prosecutors announced that they had decided not to prosecute the hard-throwing left-hander, citing conflicting accounts and insufficient evidence that would have made a conviction unlikely.
Under the new policy MLB negotiated with the MLB Players Association, the Commissioner has the power to impose discipline as he sees fit. Doesn’t matter if the case goes to trial or not. Chapman, 28 years old, born in Cuba went to the Yankees in a trade in December from the Cincinnati Reds. Aroldis possesses the hardest fastball in the game and has saved 145 games during the past four seasons. giving the opponents 169 hits and striking out 546 batters in the 319 big league games he was worked. Chapman was expected to make a formidable trio of relieves in the Yankee bullpen with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.
We have talked about the changes in the game as far as clocks and replays, the “proximity play”at second base and other stuff, but here is one change that is truly a precedent as far as behavior outside the diamond in the National Pastime.
Amaury Pi Gonzalez is the Spanish radio voice for Oakland A’s baseball and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com