“You’re Out” — Yanks Pitcher Suspended 30 Games
On Tuesday March 1, 2016, Major League Baseball announced it had suspended New York Yankees relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman for the first 30 games of the upcoming season. Spawning from an October domestic violence incident in which Chapman allegedly choked his girlfriend and illegally fired gunshots in his garage, the suspension comes as the first under the League’s new domestic violence policy. Chapman, through his attorney, also released a statement on Tuesday, saying he would not be appealing the suspension; although, he refused to accept any guilt on the matter as well.
Interestingly enough, Florida prosecutors announced in January that they would not be charging Chapman with any crime. But his “acceptance” of the 30 game ban allows him the opportunity to remain with his teammates and continue to participate in training camp, an invaluable opportunity for him as Major League Baseball gears up for another long campaign starting next month. Had Chapman decided to appeal the suspension, under the terms of the MLB’s new joint domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse policy, he would have been banned from participating in team events or from having access to team facilities, at least for the duration of the appeal.
Players, under the policy, have the right to an appeal for a suspension, to be heard by an arbitration panel consisting of a representative from the Players’ Association and one from Major League Baseball, as well as a third “impartial arbitrator.” Such a process is distinct from appeals in other professional sports, such as the NFL, where league commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the infamous suspensions of Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson in 2014.