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MLB’s complaining of a lack of cooperation in the Jeurys Familia investigation is a bad look

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As you all know, Mets closer Jeurys Familia was arrested last October following an alleged domestic violence incident. In December, the charges against Familia were dropped, in large part because his wife and alleged victim Bianca Rivas, asked prosecutors to drop them, indicating that she would not cooperate in her husband’s prosecution.

As you also know, Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy is not contingent upon a successful criminal prosecution, and the league’s investigation of Familia has proceeded. He is likely facing a suspension of 30 games or so, akin to the suspension Aroldis Chapman received under similar circumstances (Chapman was not even arrested).

Bob Klapisch has been talking to some MLB officials who are frustrated with the Familia investigation. He characterizes it as Familia and his wife “stonewalling” investigators, and says that MLB “has been rebuffed in its attempts to learn more and, specifically, whether Rivas felt pressured to ask for a dismissal [of the criminal case].”

On the one hand I am sure it is frustrating to Major League Baseball, which has admirably taken on the responsibility of punishing players involved in domestic violence incidents, to be unable to proceed with its investigation. In this they share the same frustration experienced by those in the criminal justice system who are invested in prosecuting domestic violence cases. It’s an extraordinarily difficult type of case with often perverse incentives at play. Regrettably, it is often the case that the victims of domestic violence are placed under more scrutiny and duress than the alleged perpetrators of the crimes.

On the other hand, it’s unseemly, in my view, for MLB’s frustrations in this regard to be leaked to a columnist like this. Especially when those frustrations seem to be focused on Ms. Rivas, the victim, and her claimed lack of cooperation. Major League Baseball’s Department of Investigations has a markedly checkered track record and has exhibited a profound lack of integrity when it comes to the most sensitive of matters, so it should not be given an uncritical forum to air its grievances with respect to such matters now.

If Major League Baseball is being stonewalled as it tries to do the right thing, well, that’s unfortunate. But in this instance its anonymous and grumpy leaking of the problems it is having with the investigation comes off as victim blaming. It’s a bad look and they should cut that out immediately.

Joe Girardi won’t use Masahiro Tanaka in Game 7

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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.

Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.

Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.

Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.