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Hal Steinbrenner on Aroldis Chapman’s past: “Sooner or later, we forget, right?”

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At the quarterly owners’ meetings on Thursday, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner made a pointed defense of closer Aroldis Chapman, who was suspended for the first 30 games of the 2016 season following an October 2015 domestic violence incident during which he allegedly pushed and choked his girlfriend, then shot a gun eight times in his garage. She ran outside and hid in some bushes, then called 911.

Steinbrenner, Via Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports:

Quite frankly it was manageable the minute he got here last year,’’ Steinbrenner said at the quarterly owners’ meetings Thursday. “He was great. Look, he admitted he messed up. He paid the penalty. Sooner or later, we forget, right? That’s the way we’re supposed to be in life. He did everything right, and said everything right, when he was with us.’

Well, no, you don’t forget. Chapman was one of a handful of players — along with Hector Olivera, Jeurys Familia, and Jose Reyes — involved in domestic violence incidents recently and became the first player to be suspended by Major League Baseball under its new domestic violence policy. Chapman’s girlfriend did not cooperate with authorities, which is not uncommon behavior among domestic violence victims. Many fear that if their abusers are punished (fined, fired, etc.) they will retaliate against them. Victims often stay silent or change their stories in order to protect the abuser. However, Major League Baseball does not need a conviction in order to levy a punishment and, as a result, commissioner Rob Manfred levied a 30-game suspension on Chapman, attempting to make an example out of him.

The Yankees traded Chapman to the eventual World Series-winning Cubs mid-season, but brought the flame-throwing lefty back on a five-year, $86 million contract in December. As Nightengale writes, “When you can throw 105 MPH, it accelerates forgiveness.”

Steinbrenner insisted that Yankees fans “love [Chapman].” He said, “There are so few baseball players that I feel can really get fans to buy a ticket and bring their kids to their game, and he’s one of them.”

Not only does a 105 MPH fastball make a billionaire owner forgive Chapman, it makes the scores of Yankees fans across the country forgive him, too. While we can’t control whether or not other people forgive him, we can at least control whether or not he’s remembered as a miscreant.

Giants remove pitching coach Dave Righetti

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After 18 years, 12 winning seasons, seven postseason runs and three World Championships, Dave Righetti is no longer a pitching coach for the Giants. He was removed from his post on Saturday, when the team announced a few reassignments as they shake up their coaching staff. Heading into the 2018 season, Righetti will serve as special assistant to general manager Bobby Evans, former bullpen coach Mark Gardner will step into a similar special assistant role to “assist in pitching evaluations,” and former assistant hitting coach Steve Decker will take a special assistant role in baseball operations.

According to MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Righetti was the longest-tenured pitching coach in the big leagues. He helped shape the careers of notable Giants’ aces like Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain — all Cy Young contenders (and, in Lincecum’s case, a two-time winner) at various points in their careers. He was there to assist Ryan Vogelsong during his stunning mid-career comeback in San Francisco. He helped newcomers like Chris Stratton and Ty Blach flourish even as the team stumbled to the bottom of the division. He was there to take the credit when a sterling rotation clinched the Giants’ 56-year, drought-snapping championship title in 2010 — and, when things went so horribly south in 2017, he took the blame as well.

Hardly anything went right for the Giants’ pitching staff in 2017. Madison Bumgarner was shelved after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in a dirt bike accident, Johnny Cueto couldn’t shake a cluster of blisters on his right hand and Mark Melancon found it difficult to justify a $62 million paycheck after pitching through an arm injury to four blown losses/saves and a 4.50 ERA. It would be a lot for any pitching coach to stay on top of, and given the team’s rapid descent from 2016 postseason contenders to last-place finishers in 2017, it’s not surprising that Evans felt the need to switch things up.

Successors have yet to be named for Righetti, Gardner or Decker, though Murray hears that the Giants could have interest in former major league pitching coach Jim Hickey. NBC Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic adds that Evans is searching for someone to “put a new voice” on the pitching staff and will likely target someone who, like Righetti, brings considerable experience to the role.