Major League Baseball suspended newly-acquired New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman 30 games under its new domestic-violence disciplinary process.
The hard-throwing reliever begins serving the suspension following spring training. His eligibility to first pitch in pinstripes comes on May 9. He loses $1.7 million in salary as a result of the ban.
“I asked my staff to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the incident involving Aroldis Chapman,” MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred explained. “Much of the information regarding the incident has been made public through documents released by law enforcement. Mr. Chapman submitted to an in-person interview with counsel present. After reviewing the staff report, I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct to be inappropriate under the negotiated policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner.”
Chapman explained in a statement:
Today, I accepted a 30-game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on Oct. 30, 2015. I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to my actions, and for that I am sorry. The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family. I have learned from this matter, and I look forward to being part of the Yankees’ quest for a 28th World Series title. Out of respect for my teammates and my family, I will have no further comment.
Chapman allegedly fired shots in the air and choked his girlfriend during an incident last fall. Florida prosecutors declined to prosecute. The new policy enables the commissioner to mete out punishment even when the courts do not.