MLB Suspends Aroldis Chapman, Sets Important Precedent

When Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed to terms on a new domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy last August, it was clear that the first few cases to arise under the new agreement would take on heightened importance. As I noted at the time, under the agreement MLB and the union agreed that any past suspension — or lack thereof — for an act of domestic violence would not serve as a precedent in any future cases arising under the new policy. Instead, the initial suspensions handed out by Commissioner Manfred under the agreement would establish a new baseline against which the fairness of any future punishment would be judged.

As a result, Tuesday’s news that MLB had officially suspended Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games of the 2016 season established a significant milestone, marking the first case in which a player has been suspended without pay under baseball’s new domestic violence agreement. This is all the more noteworthy considering that Chapman was never actually charged for the incident that led to his suspension. Although baseball’s new policy clearly permits MLB to punish players in cases that do not result in criminal prosecution, it wasn’t clear to what extent the league would be willing to suspend someone for an incident that did not result in the player being charged with a crime.

Further, because Chapman declared shortly after his suspension was announced on Tuesday that he would not be appealing the punishment, MLB has avoided the possibility that the 30-game suspension could be overturned by an arbitrator, creating an immediate precedent for future cases.

Although it was not originally announced as such, the fact that Chapman was willing to accept his punishment without a fight — after less than two weeks ago having vowed to appeal any suspension — strongly suggested that MLB and the players union had negotiated the length of the suspension before it was announced, a fact that the New York Times confirmed last nightIndeed, considering the precedent-setting nature of Chapman’s case, the MLBPA would have almost certainly appealed any suspension that it viewed as being overly punitive in order to avoid setting an adverse precedent for future cases in which a player is accused of — but not charged with — an act of domestic violence.

Moreover, because any suspension of 45 or more games would have prevented Chapman from reaching free agency after the 2016 — preventing him from accruing a full six-plus years of service time this season — Chapman himself would have been strongly motivated to appeal any suspension of a significantly longer duration, even if the union did not support the move.

Thus, in many respects, it made sense for all involved to reach some sort of agreement on Chapman’s ultimate suspension. From MLB’s perspective, even if Manfred may have ideally preferred to suspend Chapman for a longer period of time, the league nevertheless benefits by avoiding the threat of an appeal and establishing an immediate precedent under its new domestic violence policy. Meanwhile, from the union’s perspective, the MLBPA was able to guarantee that the first precedent set under the new policy was one with which it could live. And from Chapman’s vantage point, he was able to ensure that he would still reach free agency after the upcoming season.

That having been said, the fact that Chapman was suspended for 30 games does not necessarily mean that all future offenders will automatically be subject to a suspension of a similar length. For instance, a player actually convicted of domestic violence might very well face an even more stringent punishment under the league’s policy. Along these lines, if his Jose Reyes were to lose upcoming domestic violence trial in Hawaii, it would not be at all surprising to see him suspended for more than 30 games.

On the other hand, it is also possible that some future players could try to argue that they deserve a lesser punishment than Chapman in light of any potential differences between the facts of their respective cases. For example, Manfred’s statement on Tuesday suggested that a 30-game suspension was particularly warranted in Chapman’s case due to his “use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner.” Therefore, a player appealing a future punishment could argue that he should be subject to a shorter suspension in a case where no firearm was involved.

Still, though, after Tuesday it is reasonable to assume that most future players accused of domestic violence will likely be facing a suspension of at least 30 games, if not more.

This raises the question of whether a baseline suspension of 30 games is a sufficient punishment for a player who commits an act of domestic violence. One the one hand, when judged in comparison to the way in which MLB punishes players for performance enhancing drug use — which carries a mandatory 80-game suspension for a first offense — one could argue that 30 games isn’t enough for a crime that, unlike PED use, results in the infliction of physical and/or emotional harm on an actual victim.

Similarly, considering that Roberto Hernandez was suspended for 20 games in 2012 for engaging in age and identity fraud, one could also reasonably contend that a 30-game suspension is a comparably insufficient punishment for Chapman, considering that he was accused of choking his girlfriend and shoving her against a wall, before firing off eight rounds in his garage while his girlfriend hid outside in the bushes.

As a point of comparison along these lines, under the National Football League’s recently adopted domestic violence policy, any professional football player who commits an act of domestic violence faces a mandatory six-game suspension — or, 50% longer than the four-game suspension imposed on NFL players for a PED offense. Thus, an NFL player accused of domestic violence will be forced to sit out 37.5% of his team’s regular season games. In contrast, Chapman’s 30-game suspension represents only around 18.5% of the MLB season.

At the same time, however, Chapman’s suspension does represent a substantial change in MLB’s handling of domestic violence cases. Considering that, until now, the league has never seriously punished a player for engaging in an act of domestic violence, the fact that MLB has established a new baseline of a 30-game suspension is not insignificant.

All in all, then, even if some would have undoubtedly liked to see the league go even further, Tuesday’s suspension of Aroldis Chapman sends an important message to MLB players: anyone engaging in an act of domestic violence in the future can expect to face a suspension of at least 30 games, if not longer.



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Nathaniel Grow is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business. He is the author of Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption, as well as a number of sports-related law review articles. You can follow him on Twitter @NathanielGrow. The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not express the views or opinions of the University of Georgia.


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DeanAnna
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DeanAnna
2 months 23 days ago

Who needs actual evidence anyways?

mbenson
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mbenson
2 months 23 days ago

COMIN’ IN HOT

Walter
Member
Walter
2 months 23 days ago

HA, I wonder what the first comment hot-take percentage is.

Greg Simons
Member
Member
Greg Simons
2 months 23 days ago

This isn’t a court of law. The standards are different.

DeanAnna
Member
DeanAnna
2 months 23 days ago

That I understand to a point, it seems a calculated move by the union, allowing this precedent be set in exchange from preventing the extra year of team control to the Yankees. It works in Chapman’s case, but I wonder how it will go for a player that isn’t about to get paid.

But then again, the “different standards” argument is currently being used to deny due process to university students accused of rape. At some point.

Dooduh
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Dooduh
2 months 23 days ago

It’s a workplace policy violation, not a criminal prosecution, but those are minor details.

SteveM
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SteveM
2 months 23 days ago

The circumstantial evidence is clear and overwhelming, and more than sufficient for the purposes of MLB.
I don’t boo players, regardless of their team, but I will heartily boo chapman whenever given the opportunity. I wish him nothing but pain and misery. Electric stuff or not, he’s a putrid human being.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
2 months 23 days ago

That’s…a little strong. Chapman did something terrible, no doubt, and I certainly agree that charges don’t have to be filed in a case like this for a suspension to be warranted. But the fact is we don’t know everything that happened, and even if we did, I know I’ve done some pretty awful stuff in my life and wouldn’t want those things to define me for the rest of time. Chapman will serve his suspension, lose a big chunk of money, and be under constant scrutiny – all by his own doing. But then I hope he gets himself some help so that if in, say, 5 years or so if he’s cleaned up his act we won’t all be sitting around still talking about the dumbest night of his life.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

Yeah, this passes the “unstable asshole” threshold, but not the “irredeemable piece of shit” threshold (also known as The Hardy Line).

Hopefully he learns that shooting up his garage is not an acceptable way to deal with relationship problems, and we never hear his name in the offseason again.

bohknows
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bohknows
2 months 23 days ago

Man what did J.J. do???

gnomez
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gnomez
2 months 23 days ago

@bohknows

Greg Hardy, NFL

davedsg
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davedsg
2 months 23 days ago

There was probably some alcohol involved too.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

I’m so tired of the “we don’t know everything” line, especially regarding this particular incident. There is absolutely nothing we could learn about the situation that would make Chapman repeatedly firing his gun immediately following a domestic dispute anything other than deplorable and incredibly frightening. When a gun is involved in domestic violence, that is an unforgivable escalation.

CliffH
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CliffH
2 months 22 days ago

What if there was no domestic dispute or violence? What if the gun was an air pistol?

Fernando
Member
Fernando
2 months 22 days ago

Jdbolick:

It’s a simple fact that we don’t know all the details. I don’t say that as an excuse for Chapman’s behaviour, which I think I made quite clear in my description of it as “terrible” and that the consequences he faces are “by his own doing”. He deserves to get suspended for what we do know, regardless of what else might mitigate the story. I merely point this out to temper the expectations of those who seem to think Chapman is going to have the book thrown at him when many aspects of the case are simply unknowable.

However, that being said the main thrust of my comment was towards what I think is an overly harsh attitude, namely the above wish that Chapman receive “nothing but pain and misery”, and now to a lesser extent your own conclusion that this is “unforgivable”. Maybe it’s a chliched notion on my part, but I believe everyone deserves the chance to redeem themselves.

You and I have the privilege to live our lives out of the public eye. There are no reporters following our every action, nor are there gallons of ink being spilled documenting each misdead. If you can honestly say you’ve never done anything that wouldn’t be roundly condemned in the court of public opinion, then I suppose I’ll just have to tip my hat to you for you are clearly a better man than I.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

If you can honestly say you’ve never done anything that wouldn’t be roundly condemned in the court of public opinion, then I suppose I’ll just have to tip my hat to you for you are clearly a better man than I.

I have never done anything remotely equivalent to firing a handgun eight times immediately after a domestic dispute, no. 99.99% of all people haven’t and presumably wouldn’t, which is why people like you downplaying the significance of Chapman’s transgression is so infuriating. Chapman didn’t just “make a mistake” or “lose his temper” or “do something unfortunate,” he fired a handgun multiple times in anger at a time when it would clearly intimidate and imply a threat to another human being. As someone who has grown up around guns and knows the right and wrong ways to use them, I can’t forgive or forget what Chapman did.

Fernando
Member
Fernando
2 months 22 days ago

Neither have I, but I’ve done a lot of ugly stuff, which is why I’m not super keen on stacking myself up against anyone else. And I still want people to forgive me and not define me by any single act, so I can’t refuse that grace to others. Like I said, if you feel confident you’ve never done *anything* the public would condemn – i.e., I’ve grown up around issue X and therefore I simply cannot forgive this -then I tip my cap to you. I, however, live in a glass house and cannot throw stones.

Johnston
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Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

Circumstantial evidence is never good enough. NEVER.

Milendriel
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Milendriel
2 months 23 days ago

Do you even know what circumstantial evidence is? Contrary to what shitty police procedural TV shows say, “Circumstantial” is not a synonym for “weak” or “bad”. Circumstantial evidence is merely evidence from which other material facts can be inferred. Aaron Hernandez was convicted of murder because circumstantial evidence placed him with Odyn Lloyd at the time he was shot. They didn’t have the gun and it didn’t matter. Even DNA evidence (which most people value highly) is strictly circumstantial. Do you honestly think we should only convict people of crimes when they were either videotaped or directly witnessed?

Richie
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Richie
2 months 23 days ago

Yes, more people think that than you’d think.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

Do I know what it is? Let’s see, grandfather an elected county sheriff and senior MP officer, brother a career policeman, one daughter’s an attorney, the local DA is a friend, my best friend from childhood is an attorney, I am good friends with a half dozen others and I have a law firm on retainer – no, clearly I am totally ignorant. “Circumstantial evidence is never enough” is a direct quote from my brother when he was a detective lieutenant. He was also fond of saying “No body, no conviction.”

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

Ok, but your brother is wrong.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Amazing how he was able to have such a decorated and successful career then, wasn’t it? With the highest conviction rates in his PD and all.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
2 months 22 days ago

Aside from the fact your brother is wrong, we’re not talking about a criminal conviction here, so your incorrect brother’s incorrect assessment is immaterial.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

Johnston, it is an objective fact that people can and have been convicted solely through circumstantial evidence. It’s likely that you’re either misquoting your brother or didn’t understand what he meant (i.e. don’t settle for circumstantial evidence during an investigation if you can help it).

SteveM
Member
SteveM
2 months 22 days ago

This is not a criminal case; it’s more akin to a civil case, where circumstantial evidence usually wins the day.

Mark Davidson
Member
Member
2 months 13 days ago

Is Johnston a troll account? He seems to take a supremely contradictory stance in all his comments. The dude thinks he’s pretty riteous if he’s for real. At least he supports fangraphs, I guess.

Vanity Factory
Member
Vanity Factory
2 months 23 days ago

He shot up his garage. Is that even in dispute?

Nate
Member
Nate
2 months 23 days ago

Nope. He shot a gun indoors, and a bullet went out the window. Multiple witnesses and he admitted/apologized for it. Sounds like good evidence of domestic violence.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

He shot a gun indoors, while his girlfriend was outdoors, and a bullet went out the garage window into an open field. Multiple witnesses and he admitted/apologized for it. Sounds like good evidence of domestic violence. murky as all fuck, and this is an appropriate suspension.

FTFY

Nate
Member
Nate
2 months 23 days ago

Yeah good point. Now that I think about it, I don’t know anyone who has ever done anything this crazy. I love how pro sports leagues always say it’s a privilege to play in their league but then hand down small suspensions. If they really meant it, anyone doing anything like this would just be kicked out of the league. Pretty sure I would lose my job over something like this.

Walter
Member
Walter
2 months 23 days ago

I don’t know that I would agree that someone should lose their job over this kind of thing though. Domestic disputes happen. People do stupid stuff when angry, hopefully they control themselves enough to not go far enough to actually cause real harm, physical or mental. And it seems Chapman did.

It would be one thing if his girlfriend really pursued the matter and she had physical signs of assault, but in this situation it sounds like everyone has a different story and what is known, isn’t all that condemning of Chapman.

This is a clear step down from, for example, the sexual assault that led to this: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/03/us/chicago-professor-resigns-amid-sexual-misconduct-investigation.html?_r=0

That’s the kind of thing that someone should lose their job over.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

You see, Nate, I know people who would love if their boyfriend had fired off a few shots in the garage rather than punching them in the face when they had an argument.

Funny how that changes your perspective, isn’t it?

L. Ron Hoyabembe
Member
L. Ron Hoyabembe
2 months 23 days ago

He shot a gun indoors, then he was traded to my favorite team, so I’m gonna give him the benefit of the doubt.

FTFY

Nate
Member
Nate
2 months 23 days ago

Indeed Cool Lester, I am sure there are plenty of murder victims who wish they were only raped.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 22 days ago

Hahahahaha, at least try to act like an adult.

A better comparison would be “there are plenty of rape victims who wish they’d just had their ass slapped.”

Both behaviors are utterly unacceptable, but anyone equating the two is either a moron or a child.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

CLS, equating someone you just argued with repeatedly firing a gun nearby with having your ass slapped is reprehensible. You need to leave this discussion before you make yourself look any worse.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 22 days ago

Obviously, there’s a huge difference.

Firing a gun in your property, even if it’s to relieve anger, is completely legal.

Slapping someone’s ass without their consent is sexual assault.

SteveM
Member
SteveM
2 months 22 days ago

Yeah, lots of people go shoot some skeet in their home as a way to unwind after trying to assault their girlfriend/wife/partner. It’s a thing now.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

Cool Lester. The Aroldis Chapmans of the world outnumber the OJ Simpsons 50 to 1. (I know, we don’t know who did it, or that he did it, but just read on and don’t get bogged down in the details of a metaphor.)

Fact: the majority of women who are victims of gun violence are shot by a current or former romantic partner and the majority of those follow arguments and appear to be part of episodes of domestic violence that escalate. They very rarely pre-meditated homicides where a dude shows up to kill his wife/girlfriend/ex.

The reality of gun violence is that failure of impulse control is implicated in MOST of it. People think that murder is committed by bad guys who are strangers to the victims. This is rarely true, and Chapman’s incident strongly suggests exactly the TYPICAL profile that results in a 20 year prison sentence for murder.

Walter
Member
Walter
2 months 22 days ago

philosofool, sure, its really very typical behavior of a guy that when he murders his spouse, except the most important part….. he didn’t shoot anyone!

He DID show impulse control by firing off his gun in his garage well away from his girlfriend.

Now, I don’t think any of this is acceptable behavior, but I do firmly believe you and JD are blowing this way out of proportion.

tramps like us
Member
tramps like us
2 months 23 days ago

Oh there is evidence. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Anyway, the standard is closer to “preponderance of evidence” than “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This doesn’t seem to fit the latter, but it likely does the former.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

Funny how the actual police concluded there was insufficient evidence for an arrest.

L. Ron Hoyabembe
Member
L. Ron Hoyabembe
2 months 23 days ago

Sending someone to jail is a bit more serious than sending them home from work for a month without pay.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

I promise you that if the police have sufficient evidence to make an arrest stick they will make the arrest. They didn’t because there wasn’t.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
2 months 22 days ago

Johnston, the point is the amount of evidence necessary to send someone home from work for a month is less than a criminal conviction. This is true in practice and is also completely logical.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

You believe that employers have the right to act as judge, jury and executioner for acts committed in the home that do not result in an arrest, let alone a conviction? I pity your employees.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
2 months 22 days ago

You believe that employers have the right to act as judge, jury and executioner for acts committed in the home that do not result in an arrest, let alone a conviction? I pity your employees.

In most states, for most occupations, that employers have that right is just a fact. It does not require belief.

Nate
Member
Nate
2 months 23 days ago

He did start shooting a gun indoors. That’s probably evidence.

Domestic violence is notoriously under reported/prosecuted. I think the bigger problem will be that pro athletes with lots of money can easily settle out of court, and their victims will be eager to take the money and move on.

SteveM
Member
SteveM
2 months 23 days ago

This is a light tap on the wrist. It’s a precedent to be sure, and a very, very bad one.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

He realized he was about to hit his girlfriend, stopped, and shot up his garage instead. He didn’t get arrested, and he was not charged with a crime.

This is exactly how much he should have been punished for not going to town on a punching bag instead.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

If he didn’t get arrested and was not charged with a crime, then how in the Hell is he being fined $2 million dollars via the suspension?

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

Because shooting up your garage after an argument with your girlfriend looks really, really bad for the MLB.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

$2 million dollars worth of bad? No way.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 22 days ago

>20 percent of your salary bad? Abso-fucking-lutely.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

No way. The worst you can get him for is shoving a woman. I have seen much worse acts that settled with fines of $1000 or less.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
2 months 22 days ago

You are deeply confused. MLB is not enforcing a statute on behalf of a polity. They are enforcing their own policy on their own behalf (a right no one questions they have – including Chapman).

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 21 days ago

The MLB is kowtowing to feminists. That much I believe.

JimmyD
Member
JimmyD
2 months 23 days ago

I haven’t let out a garage pop in a while

Jason B
Member
Jason B
2 months 23 days ago

You can borrow my copy of “Spank”.

Oh! Wait, never mind.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
2 months 23 days ago

Armin Tamzarian: You can borrow my copy of “Swank”. This is Armin’s apartment, Armin’s liquor, Armin’s copy of “Swank”, Armin’s frozen peas.

(I kinda miss the days when I could respond using a different user name. Sure we got rid of the batsh!t crazy commenters, mostly, but I do miss the little things sometimes…)

Hurtlocker
Member
Hurtlocker
2 months 23 days ago

If you did this in the military you would essentially end your career, so he got off easy in my view. I do applaud MLB taking a positive stand on these type of issues since many players in the past just kept playing no matter what they did.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

I knew a Naval officer who fired pistols in his garage on a regular basis. He retired as a captain.

Hurtlocker
Member
Hurtlocker
2 months 22 days ago

Current regulations state that domestic violence when a weapon is involved, means you can no longer carry a gun in your job in the military. All jobs in the military (including medical, dental, admin) require you to be able to carry a weapon if deployed, so you are no longer fit for deployment or continued service.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

But he did not do that. He never hurt her, and then he went in his garage and fired off some rounds. If I’m on the court of that court-martial, he walks and the charges get expunged.

Vanity Factory
Member
Vanity Factory
2 months 23 days ago

Contrast this to how the NFL has handled similar situations.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 23 days ago

How so? Both figured ‘none of our business’ till the politics changed such that it became their financial business. Now on the basis of this first case, NFL punishment is a bit more severe.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

It’s not any of their business. It’s a matter for the police.

Vanity Factory
Member
Vanity Factory
2 months 23 days ago

I’m reasonably sure this will not end up in court where the league will lose and be embarrassed.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 23 days ago

This is equivalent to a three game suspension in the NFL at just under 19% of the regular season, yet the bigger number sounds much more severe and will presumably be received more positively.

dl80
Member
dl80
2 months 23 days ago

True, but he’s also going to miss about a month and a half of action, where 3 games in the NFL is only 3 weeks. Still the same percentage, but it is a longer time at least.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

Which is about right, considering that he didn’t actually hurt her, didn’t get arrested and didn’t face any criminal charges.

cs3
Member
cs3
2 months 23 days ago

Uh, who says he didn’t hurt her?

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

You mean who other than his girlfriend, the witnesses, the first responders and the police?

The target practice is some scary shit and he deserves the suspension, but the only precedent set is for cases that don’t involve battery or legal charges.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

A guy pops a few rounds off in his own garage, threatens no one, hurts no one and you think it’s appropriate to fine him $2 million? Thank God you’re not a judge.

briney212
Member
briney212
2 months 22 days ago

Even though she may have had no physical signs of violence, I guarantee that night was one of the most frightening and mentally damaging nights of her life. Domestic violence is not just physical abuse, but emotional as well. You can’t tell me that you wouldn’t be terrified if you and your partner got into a heated argument and your partner went on to shoot up your garage. You would be afraid for your life, and his girlfriend probably was too. If I were her I’d still be scared to go home with him. You may not be able to actually see that kind of abuse, but it is most certainly there and it is very, very real

briney212
Member
briney212
2 months 22 days ago

And by the way, the fact that “he fired shots in his own garage” means nothing, it is illegal to negligently or recklessly discharge a firearm on your property. He was clearly negligent, especially considering the fact he shot one out of a window.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

“it is illegal to negligently or recklessly discharge a firearm on your property”

That depends on where you live. I have no ideas what the laws are where Chapman lives, but I have lived places where it wasn’t illegal to do that at all and nobody gave a damn.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 22 days ago

What he did was absolutely fucked up, and he deserves to be suspended.

What he did was also much, much less fucked up than hitting her would have been, so he shouldn’t receive the same punishment as someone who did.

20-30 games for getting the cops called, 80 games for getting arrested and a year or more for getting charged seems an appropriate gradation to me.

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

What he did was also much, much less fucked up than hitting her would have been

How can you be this ignorant? Firing a gun in anger near a person with whom you just had an altercation is clearly an implied threat to their life.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 22 days ago

So, you know how Aroldis Chapman normally deals with anger?

You know that he doesn’t come home and fire a few rounds into his garage wall when he’s blown a save?

I certainly don’t. And it’d be asinine to pretend I do. It’s nice to get on a high horse and pronounce absolutes, but you have no fucking clue if firing a few rounds in his garage is how he normally deals with anger or frustration.

All we do know is that he was about to hit her, but he shot up his garage instead.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Bingo! We have a winner!

And then some sanctimonious pencil pushers fine him $2 million for nothing.

Easyenough
Member
Member
Easyenough
2 months 23 days ago

MLB is punishing Chapman because his behavior reflects badly on MLB, and it wants to dissuade behavior that does that. MLB is not punishing Chapman because of moral outrage. That’s his community’s job, through the police and courts. If you think this was an inadequate response, I hope you are even more outraged by film and TV producers that don’t put domestic violence clawback clauses in actors contracts.

Richie
Member
Richie
2 months 23 days ago

Since most domestic violence cases don’t involve any gunplay, if that formally gets cited as a pertinent factor, seems to me that the base suspension for domestic violence will be some amount less than 30 games.

Bounty
Member
Bounty
2 months 23 days ago

“one could argue that 30 games isn’t enough for a crime that, unlike PED use, results in the infliction of physical and/or emotional harm on an actual victim.”

My understanding is that he was not suspended for any “crime.” He was basically suspended for the thing not in dispute, that is intimidating his GF by shooting a gun in his garage. How that rates vs someone suspended for actually inflicting physical harm on someone I think, is yet to be determined.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

Did he do it on a baseball field? Did he violate any of baseball’s actual rules?

No. And therefore this is just an exercise in politics and PR.

Jason B
Member
Jason B
2 months 23 days ago

This is a scorching hot (and way stupid) response. Drunk driving, hit and kill a guy? Eh, that’s fine. Mountain of cocaine on your desk, Scarface style? Whatevs!

Would my work punish me for doing any of the above? Of course not, I mean, I didn’t do it at work, right?

“THIS DIDN’T AFFECT MY PERFORMANCE MIND YOUR OWN BEESWAX BROSEPH” – every alcoholic and addict ever, incorrectly

bdhudson
Member
Member
bdhudson
2 months 23 days ago

The League and the Union agreed to a domestic violence policy. He did, therefore, violate baseball’s actual rules.

Would you suggest that because PED users don’t take drugs on the field of play that those bans are simply PR exercises as well?

BigChief
Member
Member
BigChief
2 months 23 days ago

AS far as breaking rules…

“Players may be disciplined for just cause for conduct that is materially detrimental or materially prejudicial to the best interests of Baseball including, but not limited to, engaging in conduct in violation of federal, state or local law.”

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

It’s politics and PR. The man commits no crime, isn’t even arrested and the MLB decides to make an example of him. And “domestic violence?” Gee, he didn’t injure anybody at all, and that fact is not in dispute. But let’s have a feelgood party and fine the man $2 million dollars, even if law enforcement and medical personnel both say that it was a non-event. They are only the professionals, what could they know?

With Chapman being crucified as an example, I am reminded of Admiral Byng and Voltaire’s comment that “In this country, it is wise to kill an admiral from time to time to encourage the others.”

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 months 23 days ago

In this case, a very valuable, beneficial, and necessary exercise in politics and PR.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

That depends on your politics and who you are.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 months 22 days ago

I am a person who, politically speaking, opposes domestic violence. I could see how someone who supports it would feel differently.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 21 days ago

I support justice, so yes, I see it differently than the lynch mob you belong to.

scooter262
Member
Member
scooter262
2 months 23 days ago

Couple of points.

I think this is a great precedent–MLB and the MLBPA are presenting a unified stance that domestic violence is unacceptable. This is a HUGE contrast to what’s been going on in the NFL. Is it self-serving on MLB’s behalf? Of course; so what. The fact that it is good PR for baseball is beside the point: it is a morally good stand to take.

Second, I didn’t realize that Chapman is making over $11 million this year, while still not a free agent. How much more is he going to get in Free Agency? Teams have gotten smarter about how to pay “proven closers” and about how volatile these guys are. He’ll most likely get a multi-year deal, but I don’t see his AAV being a lot more that his current salary. Does anyone see him getting more than say 3/45?

Walter
Member
Walter
2 months 23 days ago

Not in AAV, no, but more years maybe.

SenorGato
Member
SenorGato
2 months 23 days ago

Either Chapman didn’t hit that woman and he’s being punished for the fiasco of it all OR the MLB doesn’t think much of men beating women. Either way, not a good thing.*

*Note that I don’t think Chapman should avoid punishment. I do think this is ridiculous as a precedent. It’s more like a PR move for the league’s new domestic violence policy.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

By all accounts, he stopped right before he hurt her, at which point he went and shot up the garage.

So, it’s for assault but not battery, and the implied threat of the firearm.

If he had a punching bag in the garage instead of a firing range, he gets 10 games.

If he’d hurt her and she didn’t press charges, he gets closer to 80.

We’ve seen what they did with Reyes. After this, I expect a full year if he somehow escapes jail time.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 23 days ago

If it was actually assault then the police would have arrested him for assault. This is the equivalent of a man punching a door and telling his wife “I wish it was you.” Getting mad at someone and leaving their presence to discharge a firearm is not illegal either, unless the discharge of a firearm is illegal in that jurisdiction by itself. This is a $2 million fine for a man who, according to the police, has committed no crime. I call shenanigans.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

He grabbed her and shoved her. That’s legally assault. If she wanted, she could have pressed charges.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

And you think that’s worth $2 million? He should apologize to her and go on with his life and the MLB should stay the hell out of it.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Please explain to me that if he committed assault exactly why the police did not arrest him for assault. Could it be conflicting testimony and no evidence or witnesses, perhaps?

Anonymous
Member
Anonymous
2 months 22 days ago

Because Chapman did beat her, and then paid off her and the police when they showed up.

(See, I can out-tinfoil you.)

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

Please explain to me that if he committed assault exactly why the police did not arrest him for assault.

Because a prosecutor rarely files charges without the victim’s cooperation and that cooperation is less likely for domestic incidents. I’m surprised that someone who claims to be the brother of a decorated police lieutenant wouldn’t already know that, but read this and educate yourself: http://www.jsonline.com/news/crime/police-prosecutors-use-new-tools-to-help-domestic-violence-victims-b99403492z1-286843931.html

When a domestic violence victim does not cooperate with investigators during the court process, it can be challenging for prosecutors to obtain a conviction. A suspect has the right to face an accuser in court, but it can be difficult for a victim to participate in the prosecution of an abuser for a variety of reasons, said Carmen Pitre, executive director of Sojourner Family Peace Center.

Some victims still love their abusers and don’t want to hurt them. Some victims rely on their abusers for income or child care, benefits that would be taken away if the abusers were imprisoned. And in many cases, if the victim cooperates, the violence gets worse.

“Everything that a survivor or victim does is about planning for their safety,” Pitre said. “It’s important for the public to understand that.”

In the case of Terrell Kelly, the victim and her family often did not want to cooperate, or they would initially agree to help police if Kelly was not providing diapers for the couple’s children and other financial support, then back down.

Even now, the woman contends Kelly was not abusive and his criminal conviction was based on lies.

Court files and police records outline a pattern of abuse dating to 2007.

Milwaukee police first learned of Kelly’s possible relationship with the victim the year before, when the Milwaukee County Bureau of Child Welfare contacted them about her pregnancy. The victim, then 14, gave officers Kelly’s name, but lied and said he was 16 and had gone back to Chicago for school. Police contacted Chicago Public Schools, but officials there had no record of Kelly, who at that time was 26.

The following year, the victim called police to report Kelly had choked and punched her several times during an argument about his ability to provide for the family.

By 2008, police had established Kelly’s age. He and the victim had a second child together when she was 17.

Police continued to respond to the victim’s calls for help — most times Kelly fled before officers arrived — and refer the cases for prosecution. Kelly faced several domestic-violence misdemeanor charges in three separate cases in 2010 that were dismissed when the victim did not appear in court. In a 2011 case, Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to two months in jail with work-release privileges.

For officers, the experience was frustrating.

“I think maybe in some sense you lose confidence in the system because it’s not working,” Shepard said. “Something drastically went wrong with this.”

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

I am well aware of “he-said she-said” and codependency. But if no charges are filed that means that there is no independent evidence to convict, which is obviously true in this case AND THEREFORE NO CHARGES SHOULD BE FILED. And the MLB should stay the Hell out of it. The MLB is an employer, not a law enforcement agency or district attorney.

Paul22
Member
Paul22
2 months 23 days ago

Only problem here is the lack of any evidence there was domestic violence. Players now need to be celibate until they retire since all it takes is a scorned GF to make crap up and you get suspended. Gamblers who bet on season outcomes also take heed.

As far as Chapmans agreement, it was coerced. He was obviously threatened with a longer suspension if he did not agree, one that would have made him a slave for an additional year. MLBPA has no say unless the player files a grievance.

If I were the players I have the MLBPA rework this agreement, The commissioner is paid by and works for the owners. He have the Yankees what they wanted, which is a savings of about 2.5 million with the tax, for missing a month where there are 5 offdays so he won’t be missed as much. They cant leave this up to the commissioners discretion. I think a 3 man panel, MLBPA, commissioner, and an arbitrator not named Horowitz should decide

Anyways, Reyes should probably get the electric chair if Chapman gets 30 games

brett
Member
brett
2 months 23 days ago

I can pretty much assure you that this is NOT want the Yankees wanted. In fact, this is pretty close to the worst-case scenario for them (which would be a 44-game suspension).

If he is not going to be under control for next year, then the Yankees want him playing as much as possible this year. By your logic, if he was suspended 150 games, then that would be an even better deal for the Yankees, since they’d be saving even more money.

“missing a month where there are 5 offdays so he won’t be missed as much”

I think you’re misunderstanding. He is missing 30 games. That’s 30 out of 162 games, regardless if that 30-game span includes no days off or 500.

Cool Lester Smooth
Member
Cool Lester Smooth
2 months 23 days ago

Yeah, this is fucking terrible for the Yanks.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

The big historical problem with domestic violence charges is that so many of them are fraudulent.

TKDC
Member
Member
TKDC
2 months 22 days ago

You are an awful human being.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Translation: “I am a liberal and disagree with you, and I refuse to accept that there are valid opposing viewpoints, so I will insult you personally.

“fraudulent claims of domestic violence are common and unpunished in many states. It is a favored divorce tactic in many states.” – http://divorceresistance.info/dv.html

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

“Anyways, Reyes should probably get the electric chair if Chapman gets 30 games,”

You’re right. If what Chapman did merits thirty days in the opinion of whoever makes up these ludicrous penalties, then they will likely offer Reyes a last cigarette and shoot him at dawn.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

I’m pretty sure MLB isn’t going to hand down a sentence on every player whose ex says that he hit her.

In this case we have a 911 call from someone who said she was hiding in the bushes because “he was going crazy” and had a gun, which she said she could here him firing. The police showed up and the firing of a gun was verified.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Don’t be so sure. And if I were a professional gambler with a lot of money bet on team A, hiring a woman to sleep with and then file false charges on star player B of Team C just became a new option.

Bip
Member
Member
Bip
2 months 23 days ago

forgot to disable comments on the article didn’t ya

Ryan DC
Member
Member
Ryan DC
2 months 22 days ago

Is no one else concerned that we are outsourcing law enforcement activities to an employer?

jdbolick
Member
Member
2 months 22 days ago

I’m concerned about the comments section of this article.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

Chapman is part of a union that agreed to this.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

I’m very concerned about this. I think it’s illegal, or should be.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

Government should totally take away the players rights to agree to things. It’s absolutely nuts that the union is allowed to bargain with MLB. Instead, Senators should do it for them.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

You may think it’s legal to sign a contract that bargains away your constitutional rights, but I don’t, and I think it should be illegal.

Tom Dooley
Member
Tom Dooley
2 months 22 days ago

He has no constitutional right to be paid millions of dollars by MLB without any discretion on their part.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

Stupid me. I forgot the part of the declaration of independence where among the inalienable rights was “running around a birthday party firing a gun in the pursuit of happiness.” Then we enshrined employment rights in the third amendement. No wait, that’s the solidiers one. Was is the 18th Amendment? No, that’s income tax or prohibition. The second amendement is about firing guns off, being necessary to the fun of the party and making your girlfriend hide in the bushes, the right of the people to keep and bar arms shall not be infringed. 9th–nope, that’s the can’t construe the non-enumeration here to make something not a right. Maybe you refer to the ERA which never passed?

I can’t figure out what you’re talking about.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

Fourth Amendment-based rights. The rights to publicly confront witnesses, to have a public trial, to have a jury trial, and to have an unbiased trial.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

“The fact of the matter is, the public and media in general don’t care a whit about guilt, innocence or justice, all their empty claims to the contrary. They care only that the eventual outcome be aligned with their own sadly underinformed (and intentionally misinformed) preconceptions. Immoral machinations and manipulation are fine just as long as they are done in service of what people already believe.” – Chris Lott

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

Ardolis Chapman’s girlfriend called 911 allegedly “scared” for herself and her daughter. This happened after a domestic dispute resulted in him firing his gun eight times. This is not disputed by any source INCLUDING AROLDIS CHAPMAN: He’s guilty of that. and under MLB’s domestic violence AGREEMENT he has been punished for it by the commisioner. Chapman is not appealing, probably because he doesn’t want to lose, which he probably would, because trying to explain what he was doing with wrecklessly shooting fireamrs after a domestic dispute would sound more ludicrous than it does reading about it.

You, however, seem to want to defend him and I can’t imagine why. Surely what his done is terribly frightening behavior that no one should tolerate. Given that MLB has negotiated rules that allow it not to tolerate this sort of behavior, my only question is whether they have been intolerant enough.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 22 days ago

He wasn’t arrested or charged with anything, therefore the incident is trivial at best, but people like you still want to crucify him. I find that terrifying: we are reverting back to the concepts of private justice, without law enforcement, the court system, due process or any of the rights every accused person should have. Did he hurt her? No. Did the police file charges? No. End of story.

philosofool
Member
Member
philosofool
2 months 22 days ago

If he wasn’t incarcerated and no one appealed, then any punishment handed down is trival at best.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 21 days ago

A $2 million dollar fine – with neither an arrest nor a conviction – is not only non-trivial but ridiculous.

Johnston
Member
Member
Johnston
2 months 15 days ago

What Chapman did was a non-event. What the MLB did was a disgrace.

kingrover
Member
kingrover
2 months 9 days ago

testing this strikethrough
and this one

wpDiscuz