Thirty games. That’s the suspension New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman received for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy.
For some, it’s too harsh. Chapman was not charged for the October incident where he allegedly choked his girlfriend. He did admit to firing eight shots from a handgun into his garage during the incident.
For some, it’s too low, coming in at fewer games than players get for violating the drug policy. But once Chapman decided not to appeal, a decision backed by the players’ union, the precedent was set. The punishment will not be subject to arbitration – a move that we saw in the NFL’s case against Greg Hardy that greatly reduced the suspension from 10 games to four.
The 30 games for violating the domestic violence policy sets a standard for further incidents and takes into account the reality that in domestic violence cases, there are many reasons why formal charges are not filed, none of which involves guilt or innocence of the party in question. Chapman forfeits 30 games and his corresponding pay – $1,856,557 of his $11,325,000 salary. That’s something. That’s tangible. That’s a positive step for baseball.