MLB and the players’ union today released the details of a joint policy on players accused of domestic violence. We’re on record as saying this stuff is well beyond the ability of pro sports leagues to properly address, and that any attempt to preempt the legal system is about concern with optics instead of justice. (On that point, MLB’s most effective policy was already the simple fact that it’s not the NFL.) But here it is.
The relevant points:
Please note Rob Manfred’s ability to “issue the discipline he believes is appropriate,” i.e. the commish can suspend a player for as long as he feels necessary to quell public outrage. It seems like Manfred is going full Goodell here, but not quite: a player who challenges his punishment will have his appeal decided by an independent arbitrator as stipulated under the CBA. In the NFL, that arbitrator can be Goodell himself. This is better.
This part addresses what MLB can and cannot do in those first few hours and days after the new breaks of a player involved in a domestic-violence situation. Manfred can suspend a player
without with pay for up to seven days, to avoid the nasty scene of him playing in games while fans are reading allegations against him in police reports. But the limit prevents MLB from doing what the NFL did to Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson, making them sit out almost the full season even before issuing them suspensions.
The full policy can be read here.