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Photo Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

The hammer was dropped. According to Shi Davidi, Major League Baseball has suspended Roberto Osuna for 75 games for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Abuse, and Child Abuse Policy. Osuna will not appeal the suspension.

The league was given permission to evaluate the information in Osuna’s case and they interviewed the alleged victim to ultimately come to their conclusion. This is the third-longest suspension ever handed out by MLB under their new program, meaning the league is clearly starting to take this kind of stuff more seriously.

I said when I originally reported on this when Osuna was arrested that the Blue Jays can’t continue to employ Osuna. The organization will certainly wait out Osuna’s case to make a decision as to how they’ll move forward, but given MLB’s decision, it’s abundantly clear what’s gone on here. I have a feeling we won’t be seeing Osuna pitch for the Blue Jays again.

That would be the right decision. I’ll echo what I said the first time around, which is that it’s much more important for the Blue Jays to stand for what’s right and wrong than it is to have a lock-down closer that helps the team win games. And no, I’m not interested in “it was just a mistake!” This is a very severe issue that shouldn’t be trivialized as a mistake. I have no interest in cheering for a team that employs a domestic abuser.

I don’t want to turn this into some kind of lecture because that isn’t my place on a site like this. That said, if you disagree with my above point, take a moment to put yourself in the shoes of somebody else. Imagine being somebody who doesn’t exist in the same position of power as you do. Imagine being somebody who has experienced abuse in the past trying to enjoy a baseball game knowing a player on the team did this and, ultimately, was able to just carry on a few months later. Try to understand the position of power you get to operate under and empathize the fear that others have to live with on a day to day basis.

  • Steve-O

    Agreed 100%. His tenure with the Blue Jays must come to an end. I’m not interested in anyone’s arguments to the contrary. Let him rehabilitate himself and make amends somewhere else. (And on that point, I sincerely hope he does.)

  • VBCBPT

    Totally agree he should never play for the Jays again. Do you all feel he should be afforded to play on any team? Would any team want him after this? If yes, what kind of trade chip is he now? Prior to this he would have fetched a good return. Now?

      • Dexxter

        I don’t disagree with you about any of the above points…. but you probably will see him pitch for the Jays again.

        It’s a shitty position to be in…. but Osuna is a lot more valuable trade chip if the Jays are still interested in employing him. If they’re not….it’s a desperate trade without not a lot of value coming back.

        Also (Again… agreeing fully with your comments above) every other team in the league has allowed these players back. Doubt the Jays will be different.

        • Dexxter

          Oh. Except for the “Jays are blowing it all up” thing that’s going on at the deadline this year…. and he doesn’t come back until a few days after the deadline. If they get a decent offer they’ll probably take it. But I can’t see them just giving him away because of this. Even if morally they should… he’s still an asset that they will look to maximize.

    • Starvenger

      I think he will net something of value, assuming the Jays don’t just dump him for pennies on the dollar.

      As for playing, Dany Heatley and Ray Lewis has productive careers after their convictions, so it’s not out of the question for Osuna.

      Would agree that he’s got to go. Yes, he deserves his due process, but it’s better for everyone that he not stay here. Although… if he’s convicted, would he even be allowed in the US?

      • The Humungus

        Yes, because in the United States, in this situation, victim co-operation is required for criminal charges.

        In Canada, this is not the same. Police can press charges even without testimony from the victim, so long as there is evidence.

        So, Chapman “facing charges” is moot, because the MLB policy is based on the action, not the criminal consequences.

  • Barry

    There are people who will respond to this with “innocent until proven guilty” apologism.

    I would like to formally invite those people to take their heads out of their asses.

    • byngski

      Just pulled my head out of my ass to point out that even the most vilest members of our society are in fact innocent until proven guilty. And no, it’s not “apologism” it’s the center of our legal system. I can’t think of a lower individual than one who abuses anyone for any reason. I agree that Mr. Osuna should be traded as I expect he will particularly since he comes off suspension so close to the trade deadline. If you want to light the torches and get out the pitch forks then go for it. I just don’t like vigilantism suggested or actual.

      • Barry

        We’re not talking about “our legal system.” Literally no one here has said he should be in jail. People – you included – have said he should be done as an Jay. So, what point are you trying to make?

        • Nice Guy Eddie

          If he’s convicted of the crime of assault, if the woman was physically injured as a result of his assault (as has been reported) I’ll say he should be in jail. He’s 6’2″ and weighs 215 and beats a woman to the point of injury and he shouldn’t be in jail? Why?

  • iggy88

    I’d have him back on the team with a number of conditions – repentant and taking responsibility for his actions (unlike Luke Heimlich), accepting whatever professional/MLB and legal consequences come his way/paying his dues for his actions, and serious charity and outreach work on the issue of domestic violence. I’d like to hope that twenty-three year olds can improve themselves, even perpetrators of violent crimes

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Everyone deserves a second chance. I would have no problem with him pitching for the Jays. Random people hidden behind social media sitting on their moral high horse are no judge or jury.

  • Peter Gowdy

    Cam, you are indeed lecturing here. If Osuna deserves a second chance, why can’t it be with the Jays? We all get the severity of these allegations. The league has issued a 75-game suspension, not a lifetime ban. I just don’t buy the special moral high ground you and others seem to be suggesting is necessary for the Jays to be on, but that other teams don’t have to be.

  • The Humungus

    I love all the trashes on totally reasonable takes.

    Here’s my piping hot stack of pancakes of a take:

    1. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ is great for a court of law. Y’know, if there weren’t guilty people who’ve gone free on technicalities, or innocent people who were sent to jail because of circumstancial evidence.

    MLB has chosen to suspend Osuna for 2.5 times as many games as Aroldis Chapman for what their investigation concluded he did. For those who don’t remember, Chapman put a gun beside his girlfriends head and fired 8 shots, and also choked her. So, if Osuna gets 75, and Chapman only got 30, then something pretty awful must have happened.

    2. The Blue Jays are a rebuilding team with a borderline elite closer who has a pretty serious issue on his hands. A closer who has 3+ years of control, mind you (he’s going to lose a year of service time because of this). I say, trade him for all he’s worth. I would much rather not have to cheer for him as a fan, but also, if someone is willing to pay even close to market value (which is likely in the neighbourhood of what the Yanks got for Miller), then you do that trade.

    It would be great if he could learn from this and grow. But, I’d bet there are guys on the team who don’t want to play with him (Donaldson comes from a home where his mother was abused; Solarate lost a wife to cancer; Estrada has a single mom, etc). Their thoughts have to be taken into consideration as well. If he’s going to grow as a person, for me, I’d rather he did it somewhere else. Like San Diego, who has a big fat farm system and a 40 man roster crunch on the horizon. And who likey won’t play outside of the US for at least the next three seasons (they’ve come to Toronto on the last two AL East vs NL West interleague cycles).

      • Matty

        It’s also reasonable to disagree with you. Am I defending an abuser? No. Am I saying he should be blackballed? No

        If he’s guilty he should go to jail like all of us would under certain circumstances. And with proper counselling etc he should be given another opportunity to earn money for his family in his profession

        • The Humungus

          I never said he shouldn’t be given an opportunity.

          If MLB has suspended him, then there is credible evidence of wrongdoing, without the potential that he gets off on procedural issues, which can happen in court even to the guilty.

          If there isn’t credible evidence, then he should be appealing (he is not, as noted above). Because it’s pushing his free agency back a year, which could cost him as much as $12M (based on his current salary and what elite relievers are being paid).

          It’s not unreasonable to assume guilt at this point based on the suspension, and the lack of appeal despite his service time. That in mind, I don’t want to have to support him as a fan.

          I clearly stated he can go earn a living elsewhere.

    • Nice Guy Eddie

      Cam I think you should take this thread down. This is a matter where criminal charges are involved and also a young man with a history of mental health issues. This shouldn’t be the topic of internet gossip.

    • GrumblePup

      I agree with you mostly, especially the part about the posibility that other Jays might not want to play alongside him. (Although, if this is true of the Jays, it’s probably true of a lot of other clubs)

      I will say though that just because Osuna is getting more games than Chapman, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what he did was worse (of course, I have no idea what actually transpired, so this is pure speculation, and I could be way wrong. But I think this makes sense).

      I think that the MLB is realizing that they severely screwed up the Chapman suspension and/or are starting to take these kinds of things more seriously. Because Chapman really really should have gotten a much harsher suspension. If this is the case, then things are moving in the right direction. But I don’t think we’ll really know what the league is thinking until this happens again and we see how it plays out.

      And it’s super unfortunate that it’s a “when this happens again” and not “if this happens again.

    • Buck's Hair

      “…if Osuna gets 75, and Chapman only got 30, then something pretty awful must have happened.”

      Not necessarily. I think it’s quite possible that the league is imposing longer suspensions for domestic abuse incidents as time goes on (and public pressure mounts).

  • Norm Kelly

    I’m done with Osuna..so done. Don’t care if he pitches for another team but he needs to take his act elsewhere. My daughter got an Osuna jersey for Christmas..now she can’t even look at it.

  • Tuloshyperbaricchamber

    There is some good intelligent discourse happening here with a splash of narrow-minded trashing thrown in because it’s the internet.

    Greg Zaun was fired (albeit to no one’s surprise) for less. He did not face criminal charges like Osuna is facing. The only way Osuna stays a Jay is if he is innocent.

    That said, the MLB would not suspend him for 75 games without just cause. Sure, we (the public) don’t have all the info but it’s not a decision which gets made in a vacuum. If the MLB has mistakenly suspended a wholly innocent player then the MLBPA would be furious and fight it tooth and nail.

    Given what we do know, It’s pretty hard to imagine he stays as a Jay.