Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman has been suspended for 30 games for a domestic violence incident that took place back in October. The recent decision handed down by the MBA makes Aroldis the first professional baseball player given this type of discipline under the league’s new rules. Chapman accepted the 30-game suspension and will not appeal. The Yankees’ new pitcher even offered a partial apology, while still maintaining that he never hurt his girlfriend, according to ESPN.
Aroldis Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend Cristina Barnea during an October 30 altercation at his home in Davie, Florida. Just months after the accusations of domestic violence, Chapman was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Yankees in exchange for four minor league players, a move that excited Yankees fans to have the Cuban-born left-handed pitcher. Now, the Yankees will have to wait for 30 games in order to use their new closer.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) March 2, 2016
Chapman has made a statement about the alleged incident and the suspension that follows. “I accepted the decision,” Chapman said through an interpreter, “I have to take responsibility for it and basically move on.”
Then Aroldis offered up a partial apology for the incident. “I want to take this opportunity,” Chapman said. “I want this to be clear — I’m apologizing because the use of the gun. It was bad judgment on my part. But I also want to say that I never hurt my girlfriend. I want this to be very clear. I’m taking this punishment because of my bad judgment. [It’s] something that I definitely want to put behind me and move on.”
What MLB’s 30-game ban of Aroldis Chapman means. https://t.co/lRklSoGaB7
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) March 1, 2016
Barnea claimed that Aroldis Chapman choked her after they began to argue about text messages found on his phone. After the argument, Chapman reportedly went to a garage on his property where he retrieved a gun and fired eight shots. Chapman wasn’t charged for the incident because Broward County prosecutors found the witness testimony to be inconsistent and they didn’t have enough evidence.
That didn’t stop MLB commissioner Rob Manfred from making history with the league’s new domestic violence policy. Manfred suspended Chapman for the first 30 games of the 2016 baseball season, resulting in a pay loss of just over $1.8 million. Chapman will be allowed to take place in spring training activities, and even in the simulation games, to prepare the Yankees for the upcoming season.
Chapman initially vowed to appeal the MLB ruling if he was given a multi-game suspension for the incident. It seems the Yankees’ new pitcher changed his mind after hearing about the 30-game suspension after talking it over with his lawyer.
— MLBPA (@MLB_PLAYERS) March 1, 2016
Aroldis won’t just get off easy after serving out a 30-game suspension, though. Based on the statement released by Manfred, Chapman can still face additional treatment as a part of the player treatment plan before a reinstatement. The MLB’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Child Abuse Policy is brand new, having been agreed upon in August, 2015. As part of that new policy, one of the domestic violence experts on the Joint Policy Board will submit a player treatment plan to the rest of the board and once agreed upon, will set the additional requirements that Chapman must meet in order to return to the team. That player treatment plan may include counseling, psychological testing, relocation, weapon removal, or any number of suggestions made by the expert.
The New York Yankees stand behind MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on the 30-game suspension for Aroldis Chapman. “The New York Yankees support the decision made by The Commissioner today,” the team said in a statement. “We are pleased that Aroldis has accepted this discipline.”
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