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Major Leagues

Mets Family Minus One

Today is Opening Day for the 2017 Major League Baseball. Players are excited to leave Spring Training behind and start the chase for that illustrious diamond ring. You are not going to get it at Jared’s. This is the ring, the ring that makes you immortal in the field of dreams.

However, Jeurys Familia is not one of them. He is forced to sit out.

An incident on October 31, 2016, placed a dark cloud over a successful season when a 911 call came in from Bianca Rivas. The voice said the man “was going crazy” and was “drunk”.

The officer at the scene noticed a scratch on the woman’s chest and a bruise on her cheek and drew the conclusion she was assaulted, and Familia was arrested.

Domestic violence is a serious charge and can never be tolerated. I have no problem with a player being suspended for domestic violence.

In the case of Familia, I find it very confusing to justify a suspension based on the lack of evidence and testimony of those involved. The case was dismissed in New Jersey after Rivas refused to testify against Familia.

Many are quick to say Rivas did not want to lose her lifestyle. Others say she protected her family unit, perhaps taking responsibility for the incident.

Either way, Familia was forced to go through months of counseling on domestic violence, twelve 90-minute domestic violence counseling sessions, to be exact. It seems that Familia just wanted to put the incident behind him and accepted the counseling.

But isn’t that an admission of guilt for a charge that the state of New Jersey would not pursue? Still, Major League Baseball Commissioner, Fred Manfred, found sufficient evidence to suspend Familia. He was given the right based on the joint agreement with the Players Union and Major League Baseball.

Manfred felt something had to be done to maintain a positive image of MLB. He certainly did not want a public relations nightmare similar to the NFL.

Rivas stated her son scratched her and her bruise was caused by leaning her face on her hand for a long period of time. Is that not a good enough testimony? Babies do scratch if their nails are not trimmed.

Maybe Manfred’s role is to be prosecutor, judge, and jury. He may have accepted Rivas’ testimony but felt a need to protect her from herself.

Now Familia can be like all of us and watch Opening Day on TV. No public address introduction along the first base line for him. He is also $700,000 lighter in his pocket. That’s $700,000 not being spent on his family that Manfred is trying to protect.

Did you ever wonder where that money goes? I do, but that for another time.

I hope the suspension is a sign that MLB will be progressive in its efforts to stop domestic violence. But can MLB be clearer in its efforts and not make a case of Familia when there is no evidence and no testimony to merit such a suspension?

Let’s correct this and do a better job. Familia is part of the Mets family. I hope he and his family will have a wonderful life together and move on.

Joe is an avid fan of sports. He enjoys engaging in good conversation about topics of interest. He seeks knowledge that is applicable to the betterment and growth of my life and the lives of others. Born and raised in New York, Joe loves watching and rooting for the New York Mets.

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