The New York Mets have been waiting a long time to hear from Major League Baseball about Jeurys Familia‘s expected suspension. Familia was charged with domestic abuse on October 31, 2016. A complaint filed in court revealed that Familia caused bodily injury to another resulting in a bruised right cheek and scratched chest of the victim. The alleged victim was his wife, Bianca Rivas.
Familia pled not guilty and his wife later dropped the charges in the middle of December. Regardless of the decision, under MLB’s new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy, commissioner Rob Manfred has the right to suspend Familia.
The two other cases under this new policy involved Aroldis Chapman and Jose Reyes. While both cases were dismissed, they still ended with a suspension. The question isn’t if Familia will get suspended, but rather when the Mets will hear about it and for how long.
The complaint against Familia was filed exactly a year after the Reyes incident. Chapman’s actions occurred on October 30, 2015; a day before Reyes’. This makes it easier to compare these suspensions.
Chapman’s suspension was for 30 games and was handed out on March 1, 2016. He allegedly choked Cristina Barnea, his 22-year-old girlfriend, and fired eight gunshots in the garage of his Florida home. On January 21, Chapman learned he wouldn’t be prosecuted due to insufficient evidence and conflicting reports.
Reyes’ 51-game suspension was handed out a couple months later on May 13. His took longer since he had a court date scheduled for April 4 before charges were dropped on March 30 due to his wife not cooperating.
Technically, if MLB announces Familia’s ban this week it will be the quickest given out among cases like these from the time of the incident. However, the real difference is that the charges were dropped over a month earlier compared Chapman’s and there is still no word. A possible reason for the wait, according to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News, could be the World Baseball Classic.
Familia is slated to participate for the Dominican Republic team barring a suspension beforehand. Ackert mentions that Sandy Alderson expects Familia’s suspension to be announced sometime between the end of the World Baseball Classic and Opening Day. It is something she calls hypocritical since the WBC is promoted by MLB media outlets, and broadcasted on MLB Network. Therefore it almost seems like the delay is occurring to benefit MLB.
This is obviously speculation, but regardless there isn’t any reason to delay the announcement any further. This simply puts the Mets in a tough situation. It doesn’t matter if Familia is the one who is inconvenienced since he allegedly domestically abused his wife which, if true, is appalling. He must reap what he sows.
However, what isn’t fair is the way the Mets players, personnel, and fans are being treated. Terry Collins has intended to alternate Familia and Addison Reed in the closer role until a ban is announced. Fernando Salas will be getting ready to take over for Reed in the eighth inning. Collins, Reed, and Salas would all benefit from MLB announcing their ban sooner rather than later.