From the comments, the acquisition of Aroldis Chapman is pretty polarizing. I, in fact, was part of that camp until I looked more into what did/didn’t happen and tried to think about how much it all matters to us as fans of a baseball team. Myles wrote up his take on Chapman from a baseball and personal perspective. I’ll leave out the baseball side of things. If you want to read something positive baseball-wise, head over to BN. If you want something negative, read the comments from Sunday/Monday.
First off, headlines often shape our opinion. To be honest, I read the headlines and tweets. I didn’t go full in depth of the allegations, which shame on me. Well maybe not shame of me, frankly I don’t have time to read into everything on every player. In case you’ve been under a rock, athletes get in trouble quite often. Let’s check out the headlines from December.
- Yahoo Sports: Police report: Aroldis Chapman allegedly fired gunshots, ‘choked’ girlfriend in domestic incident
- USA Today: Police report: Reds’ Aroldis Chapman involved in domestic incident
- TMZ: AROLDIS CHAPMAN’S GF POLICE PHOTOS Of Alleged Choking Aftermath
- Bob Nightengale: Aroldis Chapman now a toxic asset to many MLB clubs
That sounds pretty bad. Choked. Domestic violence. Gunshots. Toxic.
Arguably the best time to get facts are at the time of the incident. Stories can change. To summarize the incident based on Chapman, the victim, and eyewitness comments. The victim took Chapman’s phone into a private bathroom. The victim found a text from a woman. The victim confronted Chapman about it. Verbal confrontation led to Chapman putting his hands on the victim’s throat (not strangling) and pushed her away. The victim fell. The victim’s brother tackled Chapman. Chapman still angry, went to his detached garage away from the guests and family at his house and fired 8 rounds.
Domestic violence is a serious issue. Nobody should make light of it. Chapman grabbed and pushed his girl friend and discharged a firearm near her. It’s threatening and intimidating. However, everything needs context. Chapman’s girlfriend wasn’t bruised or bloodied (check out the TMZ link above). No one was injured. No one was arrested. No one went to the hospital. No criminal or civil charges were filed. Because of Chapman’s profession and how good he is at his profession, this was brought to the limelight. The police were only forced to do a criminal investigation when the news broke in December, over a month after the incident. If this happened to a normal couple, it wouldn’t make the news.
I’m not trying to defend Aroldis Chapman here. He’s wrong, he admitted as such.
Sports are for entertainment. We marvel in the athletic feats human beings can do. I don’t feel shame rooting for him to succeed. I don’t recall those around here getting this upset when Starlin Castro was being investigated for sexual assault. Aroldis Chapman is good at sports. He will help the Chicago Cubs win baseball games. It’s reasonable to be on either side of this debate. It’s OK to have this inhibit your ability to enjoy Chicago Cubs games. It’s OK for you to root for him to strike out ever batter he faces in 2016. He might be a bad person, but we don’t have to buy his jersey.