Major League Baseball has announced that Yankees pitcher Domingo Germán has been suspended 81 games under Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Because the punishment is applied retroactively, Germán will only miss the first 63 games of the season as he was placed on administrative leave in mid-September.
Germán, 27, allegedly slapped his girlfriend in public during an argument. Germán is not appealing his suspension. His punishment comes in a bit under that of Phillies outfielder Odúbel Herrera, who was suspended through the end of the 2019 regular season, which amounted to 85 games.
This past season, Germán went 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA and a 153/39 K/BB ratio across 143 innings. The Yankees were well-prepared to deal with the loss of Germán from the starting rotation, inking Gerrit Cole to a record (for a pitcher) nine-year, $324 million contract last month.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.