My first reaction at the news was “I don’t want Aroldis Chapman!”.
As a Los Angeles resident (and because the team was formerly managed by one of my all-time favorites, Don Mattingly), the Dodgers have been my “second” favorite team or you could say my favorite NL team. When the Dodgers had the deal in place to acquire flamethrower Aroldis Chapman from the Cincinnati Reds, I had initially been excited to hear about it. Well, until the news broke about his domestic violence. When the deal collapsed as a result, I admired the Dodgers for walking away.
I have been a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, and have experienced firsthand what it is like to have a star player on the team with domestic violence issues. I would never condone Adrian Peterson’s behavior, and I supported the punishment he received. In the end, I did find that the player deserved a chance to redeem himself. With rumors of possible trades, I didn’t want to see Peterson leave Minnesota. Peterson served his penalty, and has returned hopefully a better man.
Andy King, Associated Press
So, maybe it’s in Peterson that I am finally starting to warm to the idea of Chapman in pinstripes. This isn’t about wanting the player because he is an incredible pitcher. Well, perhaps a little. But I do believe in the process. The MLB is currently investigating the incident with Chapman, and when the time comes, they’ll take the appropriate action. If it means a suspension of 10 games…or 75 games…so be it. As they say, if he did the crime, he can do the time. I am content with a bullpen that features Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller at the backend. The bridge to them might be suspect but I think GM Brian Cashman and Manager Joe Girardi will figure it out by the end of spring training.
Chapman, like Peterson, deserves a chance for redemption. I don’t know the player beyond what I saw from afar while he was a Cincinnati Red. I couldn’t tell you if he is a nice guy or a complete jerk. Still, he should have the right to amend his wrongs. As a major league baseball player, there is great responsibility. Sorry, that sounds similar to a line from Spiderman, but baseball is bigger than any individual. If you wear the uniform of a major league team, you represent that team, its city and fans, and all of major league baseball. Your actions are a direct reflection upon the two major leagues. I hope this incident teaches Chapman that he is not above the game. Like Peterson, I hope he comes back a better man.
I don’t know if Chapman is just a short term rental (one year and out via free agency) or a long-term fixture in the Bronx. Nevertheless, I look forward to the day when he’s served his sentence and is able to resume his professional career.
Welcome to the Bronx, Aroldis Chapman…