Aroldis Chapman has made the wrong kind of history, as he is now the first player suspended under MLB's new domestic violence policy. The Yankees' reliever will serve a 30-game suspension and he will not appeal it, according to the New York Post.
News of Chapman's domestic violence didn't even come out until he was nearly traded to the Dodgers in early December. Then, word broke that Chapman had reportedly choked his girlfriend and fired off a gun eight times in his garage. The Yankees then took the opportunity to acquire Chapman at a lower price, taking advantage of what many (correctly) felt was an imminent suspension.
While there was no arrest, MLB isn't letting it slide, and the Players Association, by not appealing, is taking no issue with that stance. Or, at least, they are allowing their client his wish to quietly serve the 30 games.
MLB released a statement on the suspension shortly after the Post revealed the news saying as much:
"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."
It's uncomfortable to think that, had someone not leaked news of Chapman's domestic violence to the press following a breakdown in the Dodgers-Reds negotiations, no one might have found out about this. It was leaked, though, and now Chapman has to serve a lengthy suspension, the first of its kind. What this means for Jose Reyes -- who was not only arrested but will stand trial in Hawaii for domestic violence against his wife -- is unknown. Given Chapman's suspension length, though, Reyes might end up being out of MLB for some time whether he's convicted or not.
That's an encouraging step in the way leagues treat domestic abuse -- by having its own investigations, unencumbered by the problems that real-world courts often face, Baseball can at least try to institute some measure of justice while attempting to discourage future violence. It's not perfect, not by any means, but, like Chapman's suspension, is a start.