Aroldis Chapman‘s 2016 season was rather unique, to say the least.
It started with a 30-day suspension for a violation of the league’s new domestic violence policy. He was stellar, as usual, on the mound for the Yankees before being traded to the Cubs before the trade deadline. He then would go on to help break the Cubs’ 108-year drought in winning the World Series. After the season, he signed a five-year, $86 million deal in free agency to return to the Yankees.
In terms of the domestic violence, the Yankees took a lot of negative public relations in dealing for him last winter, just as the Cubs did over the summer. Then the Yankees again took a hit when signing him to such a huge deal.
They don’t, however, have regrets, per owner Hal Steinbrenner (via USA Today):
“Quite frankly it was manageable the minute he got here last year,” Steinbrenner said at the quarterly owners’ meetings Thursday. “He was great. Look, he admitted he messed up. He paid the penalty. Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right, and said everything right, when he was with us.”
The line sure to garner the most negative attention there: “Sooner or later, we forget, right?”
Chapman is alleged to have pushed his girlfriend against the wall by her throat while yelling at her and then later firing a gun into his garage wall eight times in a fit of anger. No charges were filed due to insufficient evidence and conflicting reports. He did voluntarily accept the punishment from Major League Baseball.
On one hand, as unfortunate as it might be, Steinbrenner is right in that most people do eventually just forget about something like this — especially when it comes to a professional athlete helping a fan’s favorite team win games. Many will also echo Steinbrenner’s sentiment that Chapman paid his price, apologized and moved on.
On the other hand, I’m betting victims of domestic violence don’t forget what happened to them, whether it’s “sooner or later.”
In 58 regular-season innings in 2016, Chapman posted a 1.55 ERA (273 ERA+), 0.86 WHIP and 90 strikeouts. If he repeats that, the majority of Yankees fans will likely largely forget about Chapman’s off-field issues, as Steinbrenner says. Whether they forgive as well is up for debate.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Yankees owner on Chapman domestic violence incident: ‘Sooner or later we forget’