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

Getty Images
32 Comments

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.

Report: Guardians, 1B Josh Bell reach 2-year, $33M deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

SAN DIEGO — The Cleveland Guardians and slugging first baseman Josh Bell have agreed to a two-year, $33 million contract, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a review of medical records.

Bell played for Washington and San Diego last season, batting .266 with 17 homers and 71 RBIs in 156 games.

Cleveland is coming off a surprising 2022 season, going 92-70 and winning the AL Central for the first time since 2018. The addition of Bell gives the Guardians more power for their lineup after they hit just 127 homers this year – the second-lowest total in the majors.

The 30-year-old Bell is a .262 hitter with 130 homers and 468 RBIs over seven seasons with three big league teams. He had his best year with Pittsburgh in 2019, making the NL All-Star team while batting .277 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs in 143 games.

The switch-hitting Bell also is expected to benefit from restrictions on defensive positioning coming to the game next year.