By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor
You can put this all in perspective when it comes to the 15-game suspension imposed by MLB on Mets closer Jeurys Familia for violating the League domestic violence policy. The Mets got a break and Familia a fair suspension. The policies are clear and MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the right call.
Yes, there will be those that argue 15-games is not enough. And with situations of the past few years, the Yankees’ Aroldis Chapman and the Mets’ Jose Reyes, yes there is every reason to make a point that Familia deserved more time away from the game.
All you have to do is take into account the recent suspensions of Reyes (50-games) and the 30 games that were imposed on Chapman for violating the policies.
There is no debate when it comes to domestic violence abuse and the severity of this issue. And there is every reason once again to provide accolades and support the work Manfred and his team at MLB have accomplished with the issue and in the Familia situation.
It’s simple to understand that MLB will not tolerate and will send a message about the severity of domestic violence in handling the issue with more clarity than the other major professional sports leagues.
You don’t have to be a legal expert here and define the terms of why Familia was handed more leniency towards the number of games he will miss, and compared to the other situations of Reyes and Chapman there is that difference.
The one distinction, though with domestic violence there is no room for a difference, is that charges were dropped in the Familia case and there was no physical force or harm.
So there was no physical evidence of violence that was determined in the Familia case. Though a police report was filed and any charges eventually were dropped. This is domestic violence, and like all of these situations this is something that needs more attention as society draws more attention to the everyday issue.
Baseball and all sports are not excluded in this and the athletes are no exception.
Again, the MLB policy is strict. The ballplayers and their union are also aware that Manfred has a low tolerance with the domestic violence issue and with other common threads that are an unfortunate part of society as it exists today.
Familia will undergo counseling sessions, and his team will survive. All teams manage to have depth and the Mets do have that luxury in the bullpen as Addison Reed, who closed 42 games for the White Sox a few years ago, will take the role. He does not have the Familia fastball and this is 15-games.
But those games in April are just as important as September. And those close games that are lost our of the pen in April, they do at times come back to haunt a team in a pennant race come September.
Reed can fill the void, so can Fernando Salas or any of the other arms that manager Terry Collins elects to use in those late game situations. What matters more is that baseball once again sent a message and got it right whether it be 15 or 30 games.
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