All business entities reserve the right to establish behavior rules that extend to all employees and to enforce penalties for violations of those rules. Assuming that these regulations are well known to all, ascales of justice individual (if they don’t like the rules) can leave that company to work for another company that may have different behavior expectations.

Baseball, as well as all other professional sports, is a bit different. Where are the other “companies” you can work for in the United States if you have a talented left arm? And regardless of how many courts have upheld MLBs exception to anti-trust laws, for all practical purposes baseball exists as a unregulated monopoly.

There’s no need to change that. But at the same time, MLB needs to be aware of the special status it has been granted and it must act accordingly, especially with regard to incidents of domestic violence …………

And here’s why……

First, a caveat  – which is that none of what follows is intended to diminish acts of domestic violence. Civil and criminal prosecution and penalties exist and they need to be executed as warranted. At the same time however, we also need to focus on due process for the perpetrators  – and in particular in this instance – the players who are currently involved in cases that fall under the guidelines established by Major League Baseball.

In that light, Commissioner Manfred’s ruling on three cases before him could come any day now. The questionJose Reyes

becomes this…….does he adopt a one size fits all mentality as a means of justice……or does he make an attempt to sort things out and levy penalties accordingly? 

For instance, the case of Jose Reyes received police attention and a court date has been set for his trial to begin. On the other hand, the cases of  Yasiel Puig, who fought with a bouncer and his sister outside a nightclub, and  Ardolis Chapman, who fired a gun in his garage and  pushed his girlfriend against a wall,…….these cases are not being adjudicated meaning that police saw no reason, or not enough evidence, to file charges.

And therefore, Manfred needs to take that into account as he rules on each case. Reyes should not even be ruled on until his trial (scheduled to begin on April 4) is completed. His case would appear to be the most serious. But, he is still innocent until proven guilty.

Chapman and Puig imagedeserve to be treated differently under the laws we live by. They are free men who no doubt need to be watched closely. But,  according to the law of our land, they haven’t been charged with a crime. No doubt that in each of their cases, something happened that shouldn’t have happened. 

Similar to baseball’s drug policy, MLB needs to add some layers to its much acclaimed and needed domestic violence policy with a emphasis placed on whether or not there are charges filed and adjudication is to follow. For those convicted in a court of our land – not MLB’S – the penaltiesimage should be the most severe….up to and including expulsion from the game for life. 

But for others, MLB should back off a bit and not “throw the book at them” assuming that these players understand that there is no where else they can take their skills, unless they want to play in a foreign culture like Japan 12,000 miles from “home”,……… maybe they’d better Man Up and not screw up again

Commissioner Manfred…’re up!


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