New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman will be the first player suspended under Major League Baseball's new domestic violence policy. He will serve a 30-game ban for his involvement in a domestic violence incident back in October while still with the Cincinnati Reds.
Chapman issued the following statement saying he will not appeal the suspension.
Today, I accepted a 30 game suspension from Major League Baseball resulting from my actions on October 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 certain 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.
MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred also issued a statement on the matter.
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 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.
A police report obtained by ESPN revealed that Chapman was under investigation after allegedly choking his girlfriend at their home on October 30. Chapman told police that she had fallen over after he poked her in the shoulder, but acknowledged some disturbing behavior after the altercation. He stated that he cut his finger while punching a car window and discharged eight shots from a handgun inside his garage.
The investigation was closed due to lack of evidence and witness cooperation, prompting the Florida state's attorney to announce in January that Chapman would not be charged.
New Nationals manager Dusty Baker, who managed Chapman in Cincinnati for several seasons, made waves at Winter Meetings when he voiced support for the embattled closer.
"Oh, he's a heck of a guy. I mean, a heck of a guy," Baker said. "I'll go on record and say I wouldn't mind having Chapman. No, no, he is a tremendous young man."