Mets closer Jeurys Familia appeared before the court on Thursday morning in Fort Lee, New Jersey in regards to his simple assault charge.
The charge was dropped by the state, as prosecutor Arthur Balsamo met with Bianca Rivas, Familia’s wife, prior to Thursday’s hearing and recommended its dismissal.
The charge stemmed from an arrest on Halloween night on suspected domestic violence. This was Familia’s second appearance in court since the incident after pleading not guilty to the charge last month.
After the criminal proceedings wrap up, Major League Baseball will undoubtedly start its own investigation and deliberations. Its intent will be to determine whether a suspension for Familia is warranted based on their own player regulations and standards. It’s possible that based on claims made by the prosecutor in court on Thursday, however, Familia may not be suspended at all.
Even with the charges dropped, and no conviction, a suspension is still a possibility though. Current Mets infielder Jose Reyes was suspended following his suspected domestic violence arrest even though that case was also dropped. MLB’s own investigation determined that suspension was warranted regardless of the outcome in court.
As far as the Mets go, it’s more than likely that Familia will stick around with the team even if he faces a suspension from Major League Baseball. The team signed Jose Reyes after he was released by the Colorado Rockies following his alleged abuse and suspension. You could say there’s a precedent there for the Mets keeping Familia around should MLB feel that something that serious really did happen here as well.
As for the fans, well, we’ll have to once again deal with the question of how to root for a player that’s been accused of and arrested for violence against women. I personally can’t tell you how to feel or react going forward to what Familia does or how he performs, but in sports, like in life at times, talent and ability outweighs character. Familia is still a great pitcher, and should be for a few more years, so his success and our team’s success will likely be linked for some time. How we deal with that is up to each and everyone of us.