Tuesday, February 23, 2016


In the coming days we will wait to hear the fate of Aroldis Chapman - will he be suspended or won't he? The way MLB decides to handle this is going to be heavily scrutinized. They could decide to make an example out of Chapman, and if they do decide to they could have their own penalties to face here and not just Chapman.

Rob Manfred has many factors to weigh here in this case. He is coming into a new position of power, and if he doesn't weigh all of the factors here before making a very important decision baseball as we know it is going to turn into a huge dramatic soap opera and for good reason.

I will start out by saying that I in no way shape or form condone domestic violence or using a gun to blow off some steam. However, there are a lot of factors to consider here...

1) Police did not file any charges against Chapman

After numerous conflicting statements from those involved the Davie police department had to drop it's case. Police also state a "lack of cooperation" during the investigation which sounds like there was and still are a lot of unanswered questions. Allegedly, Chapman physically abused his girlfriend but there was no evidence of this. There is no hard evidence here so....isn't part of out American way of life to acknowledge that he is an innocent man until he is otherwise proven guilty? Why would it be any different in this case?

So how do you suspend someone who has not been charged with a crime? What kind of message does that send, exactly? Manfred has a very difficult case on his hands here, and this should not be taken lightly. Domestic violence is no joke. However, if he does decide to suspend Chapman this is going to cause a frenzy in all of baseball. Without proof that Chapman is indeed guilty the players association will fight this one aggressively. Considering how united they have stood together in the past on issues such as performance enhancing drugs....I can only imagine how defiant they would be when it comes to a suspension on a player who was not found to be guilty of a domestic violence charge.

2) If Manfred does decide to suspend Chapman, he needs to send a firm message.

A spring training suspension means nothing in the grand scheme of things. The games are meaningless and it is just 6 weeks of a preview to the big show. The fabulous spring they may have does not pad their stats. It also does not give them a division title or help get them to the World Series. Players also do not get paid during Spring Training so telling them they won't get paid for work they aren't putting in is stupid quite frankly.

If Manfred decided to suspend Chapman he would need to make the punishment something that makes sense. When players test positive for performance enhancing drugs, they serve their suspensions during the regular season. Think about it, players have been allowed to take part in Spring Training activities and exhibition games with their teams but sat out during the regular season. This should be no different. Manfred has a lot of power to interpret this policy however he wants to, so anything less than a regular season punishment makes this looks like a "lesser" offense.

Bleeding Yankee Blue is obviously in no way a court of law but in the interest of the court of public opinion for baseball fans everywhere a spring training penalty given to a man that was not found guilty of domestic violence could give major league baseball a bad reputation. The last thing they want to deal with is questions about whether or not view domestic violence as seriously as they do of performance enhancing drugs. 

--Jeana Bellezza, 
BYB Senior Writer and Editor
Twitter: @NyPrincessJ 


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