The New York Mets will be without their closer for couple of weeks of the season following a suspension by Major League Baseball for his involvement in a domestic violence dispute last year.
After an almost four month long investigation, Major League Baseball has suspended Jeurys Familia for the first 15 games of the season.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement on Wednesday (via Ken Rosenthal) in which they note that that “the evidence reviewed by my office does not support a determination that Mr. Familia physically assaulted his wife, or threatened her or others with physical force or harm, on October 31, 2016.
This, however, does not absolve Familia of any discipline. Manfred adds:
"“Nevertheless, I have concluded that Mr. Familia’s overall conduct that night was inappropriate, violated the Policy, and warrants discipline.”"
The Mets closer also released a statement (via Ken Rosenthal) in which he again reiterates the fact that he “never physically touched, harmed or threatened [his] wife that evening.”
Familia does take responsibility for his actions and the suspension:
"“I did, however, act in an unacceptable manner and am terribly disappointed in myself. I am alone to blame for the problems of that evening.”"
The Mets have also released a brief statement. They expressed their support for MLB’s decision to suspend Familia, and his decision to accept the penalty with no desire to appeal.
Major League Baseball’s investigation into the incident has taken some time. According to sources in the league, “everyone on (Familia’s) side has clammed up.” This obviously made finding out exactly what happened that night much more difficult.
When it came down to it, even though Familia’s lawyer believed a suspension could be avoided, MLB decided it needed to enforce some type of discipline following the arrest even though they believed Familia did not actually assault or threaten his wife.
This distinction is quite important as it not only shows the difference between Familia’s case, and, for example, Jose Reyes‘ case — who allegedly assaulted his wife but was not prosecuted for it. It also shows that Major League Baseball is willing to discipline its players for their conduct and not just for possible criminal activity.
On the baseball side of things, the Mets will now likely name Addison Reed as their closer for those first couple of weeks. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs in that role for that short span of time, and how Familia fits back into the mold when he returns.