Last month domestic abuse charges against Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes were dismissed by a judge in Hawaii after his wife refused to cooperate with prosecutors. The charges could be re-filed within the next two years if she changes her mind, but for now Reyes is in the legal clear.
He is not in the baseball clear, however, given that Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy does not require a criminal conviction in order for punishment to be leveled. We saw this already with Aroldis Chapman, who comes back from his 30-game suspension today. We will soon see it with Reyes, but in a far more severe fashion. Here’s Jon Heyman, writing on his Facebook page:
Jose Reyes should hear his penalty from MLB for domestic abuse soon, and word is that it’ll be at least 60 games and perhaps significantly longer than that.
Eighty games, or about a half a season, may be a fair ballpark estimate, according to some.
Heyman reminds us that, despite the charges being dropped, a serious act of violence occurred. Specifically, Reyes’ wife suffered injuries to her neck, wrist and thigh as a result of the October 31, 2015 incident, as corroborated by employees at the hotel where the incident occurred.
While some may take issue with the league imposing discipline in a case where the player was not prosecuted, it’s important to remember that the policy specifically states prosecution is not required. And it’s important to remember the it does so because a huge number of domestic violence cases fail due to victims of violence being either reluctant or afraid (or both) to cooperate with authorities. Put differently: MLB acting in instances where prosecutions fail is a feature of the policy, not a bug.
Here’s hoping that MLB’s discipline is harsh in this case and that it starts changing the behavior of the men over which it has authority as a result.