The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Aroldis Chapman suspended 30 games; will not appeal

Aroldis Chapman

One day before the Yankees spring training opener, Major League Baseball has announced a 30-game suspension for new Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman, who was found to have violated the league’s domestic violence policy.

Chapman has agreed not to appeal.

His suspension will be effective on Opening Day, leaving him free to participate in all Spring Training games and activities.

“Much of the information regarding the incident has been made public through documents released by law enforcement,” commissioner Rob Manfred said in a released statement. “Mr. Chapman submitted to an in-person interview with counsel present. After reviewing the staff report, I found Mr. Chapman’s acknowledged conduct on that day to be inappropriate under the negotiated Policy, particularly his use of a firearm and the impact of that behavior on his partner.

“I am gratified that Mr. Chapman has taken responsibility for his conduct, that he has agreed not to appeal the 30-game suspension, and that he has agreed to comply with the confidential directives of the Joint Policy Board established under the parties’ Policy to ensure that a similar incident does not occur in the future.”

The Major League Baseball Players Association released the following statement:

“The Major League Baseball Players Association and its members do not condone the mistreatment of others by playing or non-playing personnel. At the same time, the MLBPA remains committed to protecting and ensuring the rights granted to Players under the applicable provisions of the sport’s new Joint Policy on Domestic Violence. As such, the MLBPA supports Mr. Chapman’s decision to forgo his right to an appeal.”

The league’s investigation focused on the night of October 30, when police arrived at Chapman’s home in response to a call about a domestic incident. Initial accusations included Chapman choking and shoving his girlfriend before firing a handgun in his garage, but no charges were filed or arrests made due to “conflicting stories and a lack of cooperation from all parties involved.” Chapman’s girlfriend later softened her accusations about what exactly happened that night, and the case was closed by law enforcement.

When spring training started, Chapman said he planned to appeal any suspension stemming from the incident.

“I never hurt anybody ever in my life,” he said. “… That’s not my character or the person I am.”

The Yankees repeatedly have expressed support for Chapman, while also supporting Manfred’s right to punish under the new domestic violence policy. Manager Joe Girardi has said players should be held to higher standards, and general manager Brian Cashman has expressed faith in the league’s investigators.

“It’s obviously in the hands of the Commissioner and we’ll do what’s best for our sport,” Cashman said. “We’ve got a lot of trust there. Wait and support whatever his decision will be.”

Associated Press photo