New York Yankees reliever Aroldis Chapman will be suspended for the first 30 games of the upcoming season.
BREAKING: Aroldis Chapman suspended 30 games by MLB under domestic violence policy, source. No appeal. Story posting momentarily @nytsports
— Billy Witz (@billywitz) March 1, 2016
The move was later confirmed by Major League Baseball. The 30-game suspension will cost Chapman nearly $2 million in salary.
Aroldis Chapman's 30-day suspension for violating MLB's Domestic Violence Policy will cost him $1,856,557.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 1, 2016
Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggested that Chapman’s compliance probably kept the suspension from being 40 or more games.
At first, 30 games seems like a big number and in other sports, it would be. Still, this feels like the equivalent of someone getting a single up the middle when a home run was really needed. It’s a nice start, but it doesn’t quite click.
A 30-game suspension in baseball, while not insignificant, works out to 18.5 percent of the season. As a point of reference, that’s the equivalent of a three-game suspension in the NFL. It’s hard to believe that would fly for a football player who was dealing with such allegations, even if, like Chapman, the player was facing no legal charges.
That’s not to say that all sports need to have the exact same suspensions for these issues, but this doesn’t quite add up. The allegations that Chapman faced were incredibly troubling and disturbing and as Sherman also mentioned, commissioner Rob Manfred said that the use of a “use of a firearm was a factor.”
All things considered, something in the 50-60 game range would seem more fitting for Aroldis Chapman. If Sherman is correct and he’d be more likely to fight a suspension, so be it, but a stronger message has to be sent. Whether someone will appeal or not isn’t totally irrelevant, but it shouldn’t be that big of a factor, either.
This is certainly a stigma that Chapman will carry around for a long time and he’ll no doubt be asked about it well after the 30-game suspension is over, just like he would have been if it was a 60-game suspension. But while it will be no picnic, he got off relatively light.